Novosel Award Recipients
Carolyn Castor Garver (2016)
Garver is a senior nurse practitioner in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) St. Margaret. In the past five years, she has twice received the hospital’s annual Patient Safety Award: in 2012 for developing a protocol to identify perioperative patients who were candidates for regional anesthesia by placing labels on their charts and arm bracelets; and in 2015 for creating a patient education booklet to teach postsurgical patients how to properly use a nerve block catheter and pump.
Garver’s nominator described her as “reliable, dedicated (and) responsible) and “a tireless advocate for quality and safety (who has) spearheaded many initiatives to ensure that patients are cared for.” As the primary nurse administrator for UPMC St. Margaret’s regional anesthesia and perioperative pain service, she is “a primary axis around which the service revolves.”
Previously, Garver worked as a medical–surgical and intensive care nurse. She has earned certification as both a school nurse and a massage therapist. Garver received her bachelor of science degree in nursing from Penn State in 1986, and completed a master’s degree in nursing at La Roche College.
Virginia L. Rayburn (2015)
Rayburn is associate director of patient care services at Chalmers P. Wylie VA Ambulatory Care Center (VAACC) in Columbus, Ohio. A 28-year veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve Nurse Corps, Rayburn draws on both her military and nursing experience to fulfill her duties as a member of the VAACC’s executive leadership team.
“(Virginia is) very supportive and truly leads by example,” said Susan Whipp-Schwarz, a nurse recruiter for the VAACC. “She knows how to instill a deep sense of satisfaction and accomplishment (in) the nursing staff.”
“Ginny … is focused and committed to the establishment of care processes that are evidence based, safe and customer centered,” added Susan B. Tappan Williams, associate chief nurse at the VAACC. “(She) believes every patient experience should be an excellent experience based on a good relationship with the care team.”
Rayburn began her career with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in 2005 as a staff nurse in home-based primary care at the VAACC. Previously, she held managerial and educational positions in private health care systems as well as governmental health departments and agencies. She began her nursing career with the U.S. Army Nurse Corps and, upon discharge from active duty, served with the Army Reserve, from which she retired in 2001 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Rayburn received a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Penn State in 1973. She also holds a master of science degree in nursing from Capital University in Columbus.
Valerie K. Sabol (2014)
Sabol is an associate professor and director of the accelerated bachelor of science in nursing (A.B.S.N.) program at the Duke University School of Nursing. Her work focuses on translating and implementing evidence-based practices in the care of older adults, particularly those who are morbidly obese.
“As a master teacher and clinician, Dr. Sabol has a sustained record of excellence and leadership,” according to the letter of recommendation submitted by Sabol’s nominator. “She has spearheaded innovative educational strategies to teach students how to care for older obese patients … (including) a strong commitment to interprofessional team-based care in which students from various health disciplines learn the critical skills needed to work together.”
To help students learn how to care for patients in this population, Sabol created a realistic bariatric suit for actors or mannequins to wear to simulate morbid obesity, and developed and produced a video teaching sensitivity and safe patient-handling techniques.
Sabol is also board certified as both an acute-care and geriatric nurse practitioner, with more than twenty years of acute and critical care experience. She provides clinical services to older veterans at the Durham, North Carolina, Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center.
In addition to a bachelor of science degree in nursing, Sabol holds an M.S.N. from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Maryland.
Pamela Zenz Adamshick (2013)
A faculty member at Moravian College since 2001, Adamshick received her doctorate in nursing from Penn State in 2006. Her dissertation was titled “The lived experience of girl-to-girl aggression.” Prior to joining Moravian’s nursing program, she taught nursing at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem and Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill.
Adamshick’s specialty is adult psychiatric/mental health nursing, with a focus on the needs of vulnerable populations. She has disseminated her research findings in scholarly writings, poster presentations, and group presentations. Her poster presentation, “The Intersection of Homelessness and Mental Health Illness: Implications for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses,” was presented at the American Psychiatric Nurses Association annual conference this month in San Antonio. In addition, an article she co-authored, titled “Oh, the Things You Will Learn: Taking Undergraduate Research to the Homeless Shelter,” was published in the June 2013 issue of the Journal of Nursing Education.
In addition to her teaching and research activities, Adamshick is involved in many community projects. She developed and leads the RICHES program, a support group for at-risk teen girls in the Bethlehem Area School District. Adamshick has been actively involved in the Choices program of the Lehigh Valley Coalition to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, as well as projects that assist the homeless population of Bethlehem. As a participant in the MAMA (Mujeres Amigas Miles Apart) Project, Inc., she mentored students in Honduras. At Moravian College, she has served as an advocate against sexual assault.
Adamshick has received numerous accolades for nursing excellence. Most recently, she was honored by the Upsilon Alpha chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing in May for her contributions to the advancement of nursing knowledge and practice.
Adamshick received her bachelor of science in nursing (cum laude) from University of Detroit Mercy and her masters in psychiatric/community mental health nursing from the University of Illinois. Before entering the teaching profession, she worked as a psychiatric nurse at hospitals in Illinois and Pennsylvania.
Kathleen Mastrian (2012)
Kathleen Mastrian is associate professor of nursing and coordinator of the Nursing program at Penn State Shenango. Mastrian received a B.S. in nursing from Penn State in 1973, a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh in 1976, and a Ph.D. in medical sociology from Kent State University in 1992. She worked as a hospital nurse before becoming an instructor at Penn State Shenango in 1978.
Mastrian is a leader and expert in nursing informatics, a discipline on the cutting edge of nursing science. The second edition of her book Nursing Informatics and the Foundation of Knowledge was published this year by Jones and Bartlett; it is used in more than 150 nursing schools and 350 nursing courses around the world. She is also senior managing editor of the Online Journal of Nursing Informatics.
Donna Zazworsky (2011)
Carolee Polek (2010)
Dr. Carolee Polek ’81 NURS is an associate professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Delaware. She was nominated by her daughter Christine, a current Penn State nursing student. In her daughter’s words, Dr. Polek “can best be described as committed, passionate, devoted and non-stop.”
Dr. Polek has spoken to the local elementary and high schools about career opportunities in nursing and has encouraged her daughter and some of her daughter’s friends to enter into the nursing profession. She is active in many professional organizations such as the local Oncology Nursing Society, the Delaware State Cancer Consortium, and the American Cancer Society. She has lectured nationally on various cancer related topics and speaks dynamically with an innovative style in the classroom.
Ivy Alexander (2008)
Ivy Alexander, associate professor and director of the Adult, Family, Gerontological and Women’s Health Primary Care Specialty in the Yale University School of Nursing, received the 2008 Shirley Novosel Outstanding Nursing Alumni Award from the Penn State Nursing Alumni Society. The award honors a Penn State alumnus/alumna who exemplifies the spirit of nursing and the School of Nursing’s ideals and philosophy. It is named in memory of Shirley Novosel, a past president of the Nursing Alumni Society.
Alexander, who is also a practicing clinician in the Internal Medicine Department of Yale University Health Services, has devoted her career to improving the health and well-being of women. Her scholarship and teaching in this area take a holistic, multidisciplinary approach that explores both emotional and physical health concerns. Topics covered in her research and nearly three dozen peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and books include stress reactivity in pregnancy; critical theory applied to women and primary care interactions; menopause symptom management among black women; and the prevention, recognition and treatment of osteoporosis.
One of Alexander’s books, 100 Questions and Answers about Menopause – co-written by Karla Knight – received the Will Solimene Award for Excellence in Medical Communications from the American Medical Writers Association. That book and another one written by Alexander and Knight – 100 Questions and Answers about Osteoporosis – have both been translated into Spanish and Italian.
In addition to her bachelor’s degree from Penn State, Alexander has received a master’s degree in primary health care nursing of adults from Northeastern University; a post-masters teaching certificate from the University of Pennsylvania; and a doctoral degree from the University of Connecticut.
Nancy Pike (2006)
Nancy Pike, a 1985 alumna, is a nurse practitioner and researcher in Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Early in her career, Pike developed an interest in cardiac nursing and subsequently received a master’s degree in Cardiopulmonary Nursing from the University of California – Los Angeles in 1993. In 1997, she completed her post-graduate Family Nurse Practitioner certification from the University of California at San Francisco, where she is currently completing her Ph.D.
Pike has been described as a “very dedicated” nurse who “works tirelessly to make sure the surgical experience is less stressful to patients and families.” Pike, who played on the women’s golf team at Penn State, also volunteers at a Los Angeles-area camp for children where she teaches the children to play golf.
Pike was named a Fellow in the Counsel of Cardiovascular Nursing of the American Heart Society in 2005.
Linda Siminerio (2006)
Linda Siminerio, a 1972 alumna, is executive director of the Diabetes Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. She is also an assistant professor in both the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing at The University of Pittsburgh. She is also an adjunct faculty member in the Penn State School of Nursing.
Siminerio has spent her career addressing diabetes mellitus, one of the most serious chronic health problems in the United States. Her work in this area began in the late 1970s, when she created the first diabetes education camp for children with diabetes in western Pennsylvania. Her work to improve the lives of people with diabetes in not limited to western Pennsylvania, however. In the 1980s she published “Children with Diabetes,” a handbook for parents that was widely used by diabetes educators throughout the United States.
Siminerio serves as the senior vice president of the International Diabetes Foundation and is an honorary member of the Diabetes Association of India. She chairs the Safe at School Task Force and the Task Force on International Affairs for the American Diabetes Association (ADA), which honored her with its Harold Rifkin Award. She was one of the first people without a medical degree to be asked to serve on the ADA’s Board of Directors and has previously served as its vice president and senior vice president.
In addition to her nursing degree from Penn State, Siminerio received her master’s degree in Child Development from the University of Pittsburgh in 1978 and her Ph.D. in Health Education from Penn State in 1998.
Elisabeth George (2005)
Elisabeth George received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Penn State in 1979, and master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh in 1983 and 1999, respectively. George is currently working as an advanced practice nurse in Critical Care at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian.
In her role as a CNS, George precepts bachelor’s and master’s in nursing students. She teaches critical care theory at the undergraduate level for the University of Pittsburgh and Waynesburg College Schools of Nursing. In the classroom, Betsy is a dynamic speaker and shares her clinical expertise for many nursing courses including critical care, advanced critical care, trauma nurse, and transplant workshop.
George has worked on many performance improvement projects within UPMC Presbyterian. She was instrumental in developing standards of care to decrease the incidence of Ventilator Associated Pneumonia in the ICU. She also was an integral part of implementing “rules of evidence” within the Critical Care Medicine division to guide practice of acutely ill patients. She is active on several hospital committees as well.
George has CCRN (critical care) certification and is a member of Three Rivers Chapter of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and Sigma Theta Tau. She has published extensively in the areas of cardio-pulmonary and critical care topics and has presented locally, nationally, and internationally in these subject areas.
George currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband. She is an avid golfer who also enjoys many outdoor activities, including hiking and biking.
Gail Latimer (2005)
Gail Latimer is vice president and chief nursing officer of Siemens Medical Solutions Health Services.
Latimer has served in numerous nursing and healthcare leadership roles during her career. In the 1990s she was instrumental in leading healthcare innovation by collaborating with a team that developed the first computer-controlled surgical robot. Under her leadership healthcare organizations achieved exemplary customer satisfaction ratings based on her efforts infusing customer service principles into healthcare delivery. In her current role, she serves as an integral part of Siemens’ senior leadership team, working closely with clinical product developers, customers, and industry groups to help drive Siemens’ development – and its customers’ use – of clinical IT solutions. Latimer is recognized nationally and internationally for presenting on various topics, including utilization of technology to promote patient safety, magnet status and nursing professional practice, and trends in healthcare.
Latimer is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) and the president-elect of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders. She is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and a Johnson & Johnson Fellow from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She was recently selected as a 2009 Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN).
Latimer received the Shirley Novosel Alumni Award from the Penn State Nursing Alumni Society in 2005. Since 2006, she has served on the External Advisory Board for the School of Nursing, where she also serves as an adjunct faculty member. She has served as a mentor to students in the Women’s Leadership Initiative in the College of Health and Human Development since 2006.
Arlene Butz (2004)
Arlene Butz received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Penn State in 1973. Immediately after graduation, she began working as a staff nurse in the Adolescent Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She then worked as a public health nurse and school nurse for the Fairfax County Health Department in Fairfax, Virginia, and as an emergency room staff nurse at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. After earning her MSN in 1978, she worked as a pediatric nurse practitioner in the pediatric outpatient clinics for Baltimore (Maryland) City Hospitals.
In 1987, Butz earned her Sc.D. in maternal and child health from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Hygiene and Public Health and joined the faculty there as an assistant professor in 1989. Since that time, she has continued to work as a pediatric nurse practitioner in addition to fulfilling her academic duties as an instructor and researcher. Currently an associate professor, Butz has authored numerous articles, book chapters and abstracts, given many guest lectures and is a member of a number of professional organizations and advisory committees. She also finds time for community service, having worked in Baltimore city clinics, taught childcare classes to pregnant high school teens and volunteered for Pets on Wheels, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and Asthma Care Training programs.