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Release: Nov. 13, 2002

UI nursing students, faculty member earn honors at state convention

Some 45 University of Iowa College of Nursing students attended the annual Iowa Association of Nursing Students convention in Des Moines Oct. 31-Nov. 1, where several were elected to leadership positions and earned high honors from their peers.

Four members of the UI delegation, all pursuing their bachelor of science degrees in nursing, were elected to the association's board of directors: Tommy Blodgett was elected second vice president; Carrie Faber was elected nominations and elections director; Emily Gleich, was elected editor; and Cassie Valasek was elected Breakthrough to Nursing director.

In addition to the elections, other UI nursing students earned honors, voted upon by members of the association.

Andrea Rebman received the association's first Student-to-Student Scholarship in the amount of $1,000. The scholarship rewards one student who has an exemplary academic record and is involved in community service.

Erika Enke was voted, "Outstanding Student" by her peers. Enke is the 2002 president of the UI Association of Nursing Students.

Seth Sibunka received the "Best Breakthrough to Nursing Project" award. Sibunka is the UI director of the association's "Breakthrough to Nursing" initiative. Those involved in the initiative work to increase the numbers and diversity among people entering the nursing profession. Sibunka was awarded for his work to coordinate camps for junior and senior high school students interested in pursuing careers in the health sciences. Camps were held on the UI campus during last summer.

Honors weren't reserved only for students. Todd Ingram, UI assistant professor (clinical) of nursing who is co-advisor of the UI student association, received the statewide "Outstanding Teacher" award.

"The accomplishments of everyone who represented the University of Iowa at the state convention this year make us proud, but we're not surprised," said M. Patricia Donahue, Ph.D., professor and executive associate dean in the UI College of Nursing. "Our students are getting a great education in clinical skills and knowledge but we also provide numerous opportunities to help them become leaders. As our students enter the workforce they will be better prepared to provide leadership for and manage the complex healthcare needs of the diverse communities in which they will serve. This is an invaluable attribute."