Frontier Nursing University (FNU) is pleased to announce the 2020 Spring Term Circle of Caring Award Winners: staff member Bridgett Lyall and faculty member Joanne Keefe.
The Circle of Caring Award is given each term as a recognition for faculty and staff who go above and beyond their job duties and strive to uphold FNU’s mission and Culture of Caring every day.
Award winners are anonymously nominated by fellow FNU faculty and staff. Nominations are voted upon by a committee based on the following Culture of Caring characteristics: professionalism, mutual support, respect, positive communication and inclusivity.
Staff Winner: Bridgett Lyall
Lyall has spent over six years with FNU, first as a clinical credentialing coordinator, then as the academic records officer, her current position. Lyall loves helping students throughout their time at FNU and as they graduate and move on with their professional careers.
With the outbreak of COVID-19, everyone has had a little bit more on their plates and once again Lyall was there to figure out details and relieve stress for her co-workers, as was described in her recent Circle of Caring nomination:
“In the middle of a pandemic, we’ve all seen kind gestures and thoughtfulness, but Bridgett made a campus-wide announcement that she had made face masks for all. This was within hours of the Kentucky governor announcing that wearing masks would be mandatory. Many masks are for sale in other areas – not in our community. Bridgett freely gave of her time and talent and made a box of masks available for us seemingly without effort! We know, though – it’s a gift from the heart! Thoughtful, purposeful, and oh so timely! Thanks, Bridgett!”
Here is what another co-worker had to say about Lyall’s kindness and strong work ethic:
“I work closely with Bridgett to complete multiple forms and letters needed by students. Bridgett is tireless in her commitment to excellent work and service to the students. Her communication is always thoughtful and professional. Bridgett is a joy to work with and an asset at FNU.”
Faculty Winner: Joanne Keefe, DNP, MPH, FNP-C, CNE
Joanne Keefe is the course coordinator for epidemiology/biostatistics at FNU. Teaching has always come naturally for Dr. Keefe as she has the knowledge and the drive to portray information in a comprehensive way, paired with the compassion and love for the community that keeps students engaged. This year COVID-19 began to surge not long before the spring semester began, putting a lot of new stressors on faculty and students. In response, Dr. Keefe rose to the occasion by opening up new outlets of communication and encouragement for everyone in her circle. Here are some of the things fellow faculty members had to say about Dr. Keefe’s thoughtful efforts during these difficult times:
“Dr. Keefe is an amazing faculty member, a wonderful educator, and an outstanding course coordinator. Most notable is the respect and kindness she consistently demonstrates to the students. She is always patient and answers questions and concerns kindly. Of particular importance this term, Dr. Keefe made special arrangements to create a calm and safe environment for students to facilitate the students’ well being. As this term began in the midst of the COVID pandemic, she made sure to address self-care and self-calming strategies each week in the live class. She also started a Discussion Board where students could write about what was happening and what they were doing to stay safe and mentally secure. In a time where learning could be so disrupted, students have said that they felt calm and cared for and safe. Dr. Keefe is truly a model of caring and epitomizes the FNU Culture of Caring.”
“Dr. Joanne Keefe is the leader of an amazing PC702 teaching team. Under Dr. Keefe’s leadership, the PC702 team did some really amazing things this term to support students and help them to master the course content. Dr. Joanne held open sessions twice a week. She opened a BBB classroom where students could drop in and talk about absolutely anything — the course content, work, the pandemic, the increasing awareness of racism, disparity, and inequity and the accompanying social events. Each week all the faculty attended the BBB classroom and at the start of each class we addressed pandemic-related events, and the social movement related to racism and then asked the students how they were coping. Dr. Keefe also opened a Discussion Board on ‘Self calming and Self-care’ where people posted really helpful things – poems, prayers, songs, yoga sites, meditation practices, and more. It was absolutely lovely and helpful and kind. Finally, Dr. Keefe held weekly meetings with the entire teaching team where we openly talked about students and ourselves. We saw many of the things that students were experiencing and discussed how we were experiencing them too. We supported each other and helped each person get through their work and forgave each other when we were not perfect. Under Dr. Keefe’s leadership, we were enabled to do so much during this difficult term.”
Do you know an FNU staff or faculty member that goes above and beyond? Nominate them now for the Circle of Caring Award!