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DAISY In Training Award Recipients

2023 Recipient: Alicia Badios


I would like to nominate Alicia Badios as she has all the characteristics that makes a nurse, a nurse. Alicia is driven by her hard work and empathy to help others that are in the same shoes she was once in. As a 2-year-old, Alicia was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor which is a type of kidney cancer. She went through various rounds of chemotherapy and had her left kidney removed. She never let her past affect her, rather she turned it into a way to help others and give back to her community. She donated her hair to children with cancer, donated money to her hospital (Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles), has inspired other children with cancer to continue fighting, spreads awareness through social media about pediatric cancer and how it is underfunded, and has even made it her life purpose to work as a pediatric oncology RN at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. She loves helping children, as well as their families, that are dealing with pediatric cancer. I know she is eager to do her peds rotation for this exact reason. Alicia loves helping other people and always puts them before herself. She is a true inspiration and knows how to be empathetic towards anyone/any situation. I have never seen her put others down. I have never seen her judge anyone based on where they come from or what others may have to say. Alicia once worked at a facility where she took care of undocumented children from around Latin/Central America who came alone to the country looking for a better future. She would always tell me how many of the kids made bracelets for her, letters, and cried saying goodbye to her when they left the facility. She was the most liked worker at the facility, and I have no reason to doubt that. Alicia is loving, caring, and has chosen the right field of work as she has a heart of gold and a personality that is made for nursing.

2022 Recipient: Julia Gutekunst


I would like to nominate Julia Gutekunst for the DAISY in Training Award. Julia is a compassionate and caring future nurse that always goes above and beyond to promote patient safety through her ability to advocate for her patients. Although there are many instances in which Julia has inspired me with her ability to advocate for her patients, there is one scenario that stands out as Julia caught a critical error that could have resulted in a patient safety issue. During clinical, one of Julia's patients was being prepared for discharge. After a thorough assessment, Julia discovered that the patient was going to be driving themselves home, despite receiving a recent dose of morphine. Julia immediately reported this finding to her nurse however, her nurse decided that the patient would still be discharged. Rather than accepting this answer, Julia followed her intuition and brought up her concern to the charge nurse. This then resulted in a floor wide discussion in which multiple nurses on the floor all worked together to find a policy regarding this issue. Because of her finding, the patient's discharged was delayed until it was determined that their safety was addressed and the issue of finding a clear policy was discussed. Overall, Julia's assessment, knowledge, and advocation allowed her to catch a subtle, yet potentially dangerous situation, thus providing exceptional care for her patient.

2021 Recipient: Gaby Jaime-Montez


I am nominating Gaby because she is compassionate, determined, and supportive of her fellow students. Standing in the face of a pandemic, Gaby felt compelled to address the psychosocial effects of isolation COVID patients experienced. Gaby pioneered the COVID Card Program, which involved inviting students to write words of encouragement and letters of well wishes to be distributed to patients hospitalized with COVID. Gaby's commitment to her patients also extends to the clinical setting, where she advocates for her patients' health in all aspects. Despite her own personal setbacks, Gaby is always willing to help her fellow classmates professionally, academically, and personally. Without a doubt, Gaby will positively contribute to the nursing profession.

2020 Recipient: Mathew Trevino


Mathew is an exceptional student who was in my Nursing Leadership and Management clinical group. He worked well with hospital staff at all levels and made a positive impression during his collaboration with nursing managers in the Discharge Planning department. Despite setbacks and adversity, Mathew maintains a positive attitude and admirable work ethic. Mathew's academic achievements include involvement with Interprofessional Education activities and the recent receipt of a prestigious award for his work on a university-based research project. Mathew is not only diligent with his schoolwork; he has also been highly involved in the campus Nursing Student Association, serving as Vice President and spearheading the development of Boot Camps to refresh students' skills after summer break. Above all, Mathew has shown his compassion for his patients and their families during his clinical rotations. His calm, open demeanor allows him to form trusting connections with his patients. He will be a valued member of the nursing profession!

2019 Recipient: Kimberly Fong

Fong_KimI’m nominating Kim Fong for the Daisy Award. I currently work alongside Kim in the Oncology Department at CHOC Children’s. Having had trained Kim for a few shifts, I knew she was someone who was going to excel at this job. Families were immediately taken with her very open and inviting personality. She was able to communicate properly with her patients. Being mostly children, it at times can be hard to communicate, but Kim showed an expertise way of managing the very different personalities of both patient and parent. Kim is a kind-hearted individual who understands her job responsibilities and fulfills them with love and understanding. Because of the department that we work in, it’s sometimes really hard to have a distance between caring and caring too much. Kim has shown, that she can both be professional and show a great deal of understanding and empathy towards our patients. She goes above and beyond for her patients and family, making her the best candidate for this award. Please consider my coworker and friend Kim Fong, a person who has undoubtedly made many patients life a bit lighter in the darker days.

2018 Recipient: Jordan Northcote, MSN Student

Northcote_JordanJordan is a high caliber student. She stays on task, is thorough in her assignments and often works ahead. She brings her expertise to the bedside and is patient and caring with patients and their families as well as other students. Jordan is a great listener and picks up on cues from patients and peers to make a solid connection of trust, compassion and understanding. She is well respected in the nursing community and is often seen as a strong advocate. Her desire is to mentor others to their full potential as well as educating others in their health and well-being. She has a talent for mentoring and can often be seen pulling up a chair next to a fellow student to guide them and help them in their knowledge and nursing practice. She embraces lifelong learning and plans to continue in her education at an advanced practice level. Her easily understood teaching plans help her patients and their families have a strong grasp of medical knowledge and feel empowered to make informed decisions about their healthcare. Jordan is the type of student every teacher longs for. She is attentive, comes prepared, is enthusiastic to learn and has a loving heart to assist others. I am honored to have had the opportunity to be a part of her nursing journey. She will enrich and touch many lives.

2017 Recipient: Josef de guzman, Traditional BSN Student

Guzman_JosefdeMr. Josef de Guzman, TBSN 2015 cohort, is the recipient of the 2017 DAISY in Training Award. de Guzman is known for his great capacity for kindness and his compassion towards fellow students and his patients. Utilizing therapeutic touch, de Guzman has been able to comfort and soothe his patients while also conveying to them that theirs needs and concerns are being heard and addressed. de Guzman’s commitment to the nursing profession is unfaltering, as evidenced by the time he spent at the Kaiser Flu Clinic where he was received warmly for his attentive nature. As a nurse de Guzman’s exceptional care shines through in every interaction, he is always able to connect with his patients by finding common ground and asking the right questions. We are proud to present this year’s DAISY In Training Award to Josef de Guzman.

2016 Recipient: Hoa Nguyen, RN-BSN Student

Nguyen_Hoa Mr. Hoa Nguyen, RN-BSN 2016 cohort, is the recipient of the 2015 DAISY in Training Award. Hoa exemplifies qualities that make a great nursing leader as he practices compassionate care, safety, and teamwork; provides superior service, exceptional communication, and stewardship; and advocates for patients. Beyond his admirable character and leadership skills, Hoa has dedicated his life to tirelessly being of service to his community. Hoa is a full-time servant, helping those in need, and as such shines as a leader with great initiative who hopes to build a stronger community and make a positive impact on the world. Working at a local food bank, Hoa assembles food packages for low-income individuals, and he works with the transient community providing food, clothes, and care to all. Hoa is a volunteer at Cedars-Sinai, employed as a RN full-time in ICU at Harbor-UCLA, and also works per diem in ICS-SDU at Kaiser Permanente. Hoa Nguyen is also a member of the Clinton Foundation 20/30 for young professionals and future business, government, and civil society leaders. The School of Nursing is thrilled to present this year’s DAISY Award to Hoa Nguyen.

2015 Recipient: Michael Le, EL-BSN Student

Le_MichaelMr. Michael Le, EL-BSN 2014 Cohort, is the recipient of the 2015 DAISY in Training Award for various reasons. He has shown qualities that make a great leader, patient advocate, friend, and nurse. Michael is active in ROTC, the army reserves, and would like to join the Army as a medical nurse in the future. His passion to help others has led him to participate in community services for the past five years. This past summer, he volunteered himself to be deployed for a month to Vietnam to help with medical missions and to teach English to children. Michael will make an exceptional nurse just like the nurses that provided care for J. Patrick Barnes, who this award was created after. We are honored to congratulate Michael Le as the inaugural recipient of the 2015 DAISY in Training Award.