DAISY Faculty Award Recipients

2017 Recipient: Jo-Anne Andre MSN, RN

Andre_webJo-Anne Andre is a dynamic and supportive leader in her roles as Coordinator of both the Distance Nursing Program and the Peer Mentoring Program. Ms. Andre’s care and commitment to the School of Nursing is unmatched; she continually strives to find ways to meet students’ needs both inside and outside the classroom. Going above and beyond, Ms. Andre is able to help the students connect to the course content through use of personal stories which makes the content relevant and impactful. Several times she has held office hours at coffee shops near her online students’ residences so they wouldn’t have to drive all the way to campus to meet with her. Ms. Andre is a true advocate for students and devotes herself to ensuring her students’ success no matter what barriers they may face academically and personally. If she knows a student is struggling financially, she helps the student research scholarships, loans and other funding. If she knows a student could benefit from counseling, she helps online students connect to resources in their own community to get support where they live. She embodies all the qualities of a true mentor and role model. She empowers everyone around her with her dedication, trust, and genuine care for their well-being and development. She enthusiastically partners with faculty, staff, and students in a variety of ways. Ms. Andre is a true blessing to everyone in the School of Nursing - faculty, staff and students alike; she is a tireless champion of student success, the School of Nursing and the Peer Mentoring program.


2016 Recipient: Judy Hervey MSN, RN

Judy HerveyMs. Judy Hervey is knowledgeable, compassionate, and enthusiastic; she embodies all the great qualities of a practitioner of the science and art of nursing. Ms. Hervey is unanimously cited by students as being an inspiration, in and out of the classroom, as well as an exceptional faculty member whose energy is infectious. As a mentor and role model to her students Ms. Hervey always has her door open, going above and beyond to help and guide students, while maintaining a positive approach to life which she passes on to all around her.

Through Ms. Hervey’s anecdotes and stories, students sense how proud she is to be a nurse, how much she cares about her patients, how knowledgeable she is about the information, and how dedicated she is to teaching. Helping to foster a sense of accomplishment among all of her students, Ms. Hervey is promotes collaboration and makes it her mission to ensure that each and every student is provided with the support and tools to be better nurses. Her patience, dedication, compassion, and unfaltering cheery demeanor as well as the incredible commitment she has to the growth and development of her students are just some of the reasons her students find her to be amazing. A familiar sentiment expressed by the students, “she has been the most singularly influential professor of my nursing career and I will forever take her teaching with me wherever I go. I hope to one day be the nurse and teacher that she is.”


2015 Recipient: Sandra James, MSN, RN

Sandra JamesMs. Sandra James is the definition of a good instructor - both in lecture and in clinical.  She displays so much enthusiasm for teaching the class, brings activities to enhance student learning and inspires her students everyday to be a better nurse.

Her students indicate that Ms. James has the ability to teach in a way that makes the information stick in your mind, utilizing multiple teaching styles to accommodate every person in her classroom.  Ms. James was a tough grader but fair.  Her happy presence, colorful personality, and candid nature make communicating with her easy and instructive. What I appreciate the most about her was her ability to advocate for vulnerable populations, people with disabilities, mental health, and health/wellness runs raising funds for various organizations.  She is extremely patient, understanding and a type of nurse you want to get to know.  Ms. James expected perfection and it made her students step up to meet that expectation. We will all be better nurses because of her.


2014 Recipient: Maryann Garon, DNSc, RN

Maryann GaronDr. Maryanne Garon exemplifies the label, creative teacher. She uses the “flipped classroom” model and has a student-centered teaching style. She has incorporated many innovative teaching strategies into her classroom that have been well received by both her on-campus and on-line students. Examples are readiness assessment tests to assess student understanding of content at the beginning of class, and collaborative strategies such as literature circles and magnetic art. These strategies encourage students to look at nursing through a different lens and make deeper connections with content. Students are engaged and reflective in their class experiences with Dr. Garon as evidenced by this sample comment from a student: I really enjoyed the in-class discussions, Dr. Garon had a natural ability to lead students in critical thinking and discussions about health care topics and concepts related to leadership.

As a qualitative researcher, she has examined various phenomena that affect nurses in the workplace such as the ability to speak up for themselves and their clients. Dr. Garon has also been the concentration lead for the Nurse Leadership concentration for many years, providing guidance to MSN Leadership students and faculty.

For her efforts in the classroom, Dr. Garon receives consistently high evaluations of her teaching from students. These demonstrate the students’ appreciation of her classroom delivery methods and for the support she provides in assisting them in meeting their course and program objectives. Dr. Garon truly exemplifies the art and science of nursing.


2013 Recipient: Marsha Orr, MS, RN

Marsha OrrMarsha has many roles in the School of Nursing and she does each one well. First and foremost, she is a wonderful teacher. We continually hear from students that Marsha is a great instructor. She demonstrates caring and compassion for students and really goes above and beyond to help students learn the material and master the objectives for the courses she teaches. Marsha is always exploring ways to enhance students’ learning experiences and new and better ways to create educationally effective online learning environments such as using webinar software to interact with students in real time in online courses. 

Marsha also has a significant administrative role within the School of Nursing. She is the faculty liaison for all technology matters. She works to help the tech team understand the needs and requests of the faculty, staff and students. She spends time researching technology solutions for the SON and applies for grants and pilots to be able to bring new forms of technology to the school. 

Marsha is also an active advisor for the CSUF chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and serves on several committees in the school and at the university level. Marsha is also a liaison with many of our partner distance facilities. She often volunteers to represent the School of Nursing at community and recruiting events.

Marsha works well with everyone both inside and outside the School of Nursing. She is supportive and encouraging of her faculty peers and works very well with the staff. No matter how stressful the time, Marsha always has a smile and a kind word for everyone she encounters. Faculty specifically request to work with Marsha on projects and students get excited to learn that she will be their instructor for a course. 

Marsha is truly an example of what a nurse educator should be. She is a fair and compassionate role model who effectively collaborates with her students and colleagues and continually goes above and beyond in her faculty and administrative roles to ensure that the School of Nursing’s students receive the best education possible.


2012 RECIPIENT: Stephanie Vaughn, PhD, RN, CRRN

Stephanie VaughnDr. Stephanie Vaughn has been recognized as being an outstanding faculty member by both her colleagues and students. Her peers say: Not only is Dr. Stephanie Vaughn an excellent instructor, she is an excellent role model and mentor. Students comment that she is knowledgeable, approachable, straightforward, and dedicated to her students. Her dynamic teaching methods not only motivate her students but make them want to learn more. She shows that she truly cares for her students and is fair and unbiased with every student.

A faculty member’s perspective: As my mentor, I have learned a great deal from Dr. Vaughn. She was instrumental in helping me become the instructor I am today. Her advice and support was greatly appreciated when I encountered a problem or needed advice on how to proceed with a situation. When I began my teaching career, there were times when I thought I could not continue. I thought maybe teaching was not for me. However, Dr. Vaughn had encouraging words for me. I valued her advice and support.

A student’s perspective: This professor has been an amazing part of the nursing faculty, and continues to be a supportive and essential part of the nursing program. She is a very active member of the faculty and still finds the time to assist students in independent study projects every semester! Despite having a full schedule, she never makes any student feel rushed during appointments, and adapts her teaching to extract the most benefit. She encourages critical thinking, autonomy, and going the extra step in fulfilling my potential as a professional nurse. She has been an extremely supportive leader, and is a great example of what a nurse educator is.


2011 Recipient: Elaine Rutkowski, PhD, RN, CNS

Elaine RutkowskiDr. Rutkowski is one of those faculty who changes students’ lives. She is also a role model for teaching excellence. She incorporates real life examples that help students master and remember content. Incorporating health-promotion, a key concept in the School of Nursing philosophy, into classes she challenges students to personally adopt healthier lifestyles. Some students have lost (and kept off) fifty pounds, others have stopped smoking. This activity provides a lesson in the difficulties in changing habits and “walking in the patient’s shoes” and the lesson significantly strengthens the student’s ability when facilitating patient’s coping with disease. Knowing first-hand the difficulties in modifying lifestyle habits creates empathy and more effective teaching and intervention as a nurse. Students note how Dr. Rutkowski engages them in the material frequently citing her as “the best instructor I ever had”, “I enjoyed the class, not so much the material but the way she presented it”. Her students uniformly give her high ratings and praise her teaching, citing her passion for the topic, her wide range of teaching methods, and her ability to engage all students respectfully.

Some students refer to her courses as life changing events. One faculty stated, “I have taught students several semesters after they had Dr. Rutkowski as their faculty. In spontaneous comments in class discussions, these students have named her as influential in their lives to help them commit to excellence in their nursing careers.”

She links growth as a professional nurse to issues that surround students every day, from their work environments to home to the political and policy aspects of health that occur regularly in the news. Not only does she encourage students “to think like a nurse” but she encourages them to serve as healthy role models and advocates for their families, their patients and their communities. She serves as that type of role model herself—so not only does she teach principles by the evidence available, she also exemplifies professional nursing through her personal actions and commitment.

More details on Dr. Rutkowski's award can be found in this Daily Titan articleOpens in new window .