Nursing Alumni Awards

Distinguished Alumni Award -  Given to a Miami University nursing alumnus currently engaged in practice. Nominees should provide distinguished service to the community in a way that enhances the visibility of nursing as a profession in a way that furthers the discipline at Miami University.

GOLD - Graduate of The Last Decade Award - Given to a Miami University Nursing alumnus from the past 10 years who is currently engaged in practice and has shown excellence in their respective field.  

Distinguished Service Award - Given to a person who has served and supported nursing's mission at Miami by using caring, creative problem-solving and critical thinking reflection in their daily practice. Awardee does not necessarily need to be a Miami University graduate or a practicing nurse.

Past Recipients

2019 Recipients

Distinguished Service Award

Saundra Smith

After graduating high school, Smith began what is now a 40-year career in administrative support – the last 24 with the Department of Nursing at Miami University.

She started with Miami Nursing in the mid-1990s, shortly after sufering a personal loss in her life. It was during that difficult time when compassionate nurses truly changed her life."Not only were they advocates for my physical care, they truly supported my emotional well-being and positively impacted me forever," Smith said. When the opportunity to work in the Department of Nursing presented itself, she jumped at the chance to learn more about the profession and to pay back some of the kindness shown to her by those special nurses.Smith continues to be inspired by the passion and perseverance of the faculty, staff and students in Nursing at Miami University.

Prior to joining Miami, Smith worked at Ohio Casualty Insurance Company in Hamilton.She then worked for several years in Cincinnati – at GE Aircraft Engines, Procter & Gamble and Cintas Corporation. She greatly enjoys working in the Department of Nursing in various administrative support capacities. Smith has supported three different department chairs, more than 50 full-time faculty, some 120 part-time faculty, and 11 different support staff. Smith is noted for her caring and creative problem solving and critical thinking skills as she runs the day-to-day operations of the department with a can-do attitude.

Recent Graduate Award

Katie Spring Schraub '15

Schraub, a 2015 BSN graduate, is a nurse in the Medical Surgery Unit at Dayton VA Medical Center. Her job is difficult and challenging – she works with newly-diagnosed cancer patients. Schraub absolutely loves working with veterans. She has been on 11 Honor Flights and counting, part of a team that accommodates terminal patients first then works on down the list. She participates in a combination of flights that are completed in one day, and RV trips that last a full three-day weekend.

Miami University Middletown was like a second home to Schraub. She was a popular campus ambassador who greatly enjoyed providing orientation sessions to new cohorts of Chinese students enrolled in Miami's English Language Center at the Middletown campus. Schraub earned a BSN from Miami and is now halfway through a dual master's degree program at Xavier University, working toward her MSN with a focus on forensics and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice. "Going on the Honor flights has been a highlight of my life. It helps ease some souls of Vietnam veterans who did not receive a warm welcome home."

Schraub resides in Trenton, Ohio with her husband, Jacob. The couple is expecting their first child this summer.

Distinguished Alumni Award

Marquita Turner '02

The first in her family to attend college, Turner, a 2002 BSN graduate, currently serves in a dual role that is rare in the health care industry. She is both Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) at Atrium Medical Center in Warren County.

Earning a BSN from Miami was the turning point in her career. It provided her with versatility and a broader context that she applies to other areas of the hospital that are similar in principle but have different functions and issues. It opened new doors for her.

As CNO, Turner is responsible for delivery of patient care. She combines her formal education with a personality that always wants to fix what is broken. As COO, equipped with an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan, she is responsible for quality, safety, performance, efficiency and the overall patient experience. The two positions are different but deeply connected.

As a youngster, Turner was always fascinated by medical shows on television and knew early on that she wanted to work in health care. She is a graduate of Edgewood High School in Trenton, Ohio. Turner and her husband, Jeff, reside in Middletown, Ohio. The couple has two children, both Miami graduates. Son Patrick is a pharmacist and daughter Allyson a school teacher. "I feel blessed to have these opportunities to serve in these capacities," Turner said.

2018 Recipients

Distinguished Service Award

Joan Fopma-Loy

Recent Graduate Award

Nichole Guererro, APRN-CNP '09

Distinguished Alumni Award

Jeanne Wood Pence '76

2017 Recipients

Distinguished Service Award

Anna Jones Monnett

Recent Graduate Award

Tina Gregory, ADN '07 & B.S. '11

Distinguished Alumni Award

Jackie Phillips, B.S. '04

2016 Recipients

Distinguished Service Award

Mary Fose ’83, ’93

Angie McLearan ’01, ’12

2015 Recipients

Distinguished Service Award

Wendy Waters-Connell ’85, ’87

Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Gordon Gillespie ’96, ’01

2014 Recipients

Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Linda Baas ’79

Distinguished Alumni Award

Carolyn Mason

2013 Recipients

Distinguished Service Award

Beth Birchwell ’82, ’91

Distinguished Alumni Award

Tammy Canapp ’98

2012 Recipients

Distinguished Alumni Award

Terry Willis ’72