The DAISY Foundation recently recognized two University of West Georgia nursing faculty members for their outstanding contributions to the future of the profession.
Dr. Nancy Capponi, assistant professor, and Susie Jonassen, program director and clinical assistant professor, were nominated for the recognition by students and fellow faculty members from UWG’s Tanner Health System School of Nursing (THSSON).
The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty is presented to faculty who are not only dedicated to teaching their students but also exemplify compassionate care, a cornerstone of THSSON’s mission. Positioning students for success is what Capponi and Jonassen strive for everyday.
“They’re the reason I do my job,” Capponi said. “I’ve been in academia since 2009, and I’ve always put the interests of the students first. It’s very rewarding when they tackle something like a complex concept and then understand it. That’s the most meaningful part of it to me.”
The student who nominated Capponi, Janie Gantt ’21, recently graduated from UWG with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and is working toward a career in nursing education. She said nominating Capponi was an easy choice.
“I nominated Dr. Capponi for the award because I feel she exemplifies the School of Nursing’s caring academic philosophy and the nursing profession as a whole,” Gantt said. “She is an outstanding educator and nurse, and watching her work with the undergraduate students was an inspiration to me.”
Jonassen said receiving the award is a great honor and she is proud to be making an important impact in the lives of students.
“The DAISY Award is a testament to a nurse’s skill and dedication,” she said. “For nurse educators, the award is a powerful reminder that their students and colleagues notice when they go above and beyond as nurse educators. I have nominated many nurse colleagues over the years, but to be not only nominated but to win the DAISY Award is a very humbling experience.”
The DAISY Foundation was formed in November 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 of complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). The nursing care Barnes received when hospitalized profoundly touched his family.
It was no ordinary year, and both nurse educators agree the COVID-19 pandemic presented great challenges to students and faculty alike. Jonassen lost her father to the disease in February, turning the tragedy into a lesson of love and said her colleagues and students offered great comfort to her when it was needed most.
“Through that experience, I was able to learn more about compassion and care to share with my students during that time,” she said. “The faculty and staff stepped up and assisted me during those hard moments, but my students also rallied together and provided care and support to me that still continues today.”