Pamela G. Watson



Dean and Professor, School of Nursing

Rebecca Sealy Distinguished Centennial Chair

UTMB Vice-President for Education




School of Nursing Newsletter

Winter 2013









Season’s Greetings






Here we are amidst the holiday season as another calendar year draws to a close.  2013 has been an exciting year for UTMB School of Nursing.  We have seen our largest graduating class ever, the first class of McGovern Scholars, initial accreditation of the new Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, and the addition of many new faculty and staff.

There are many people whose work contributes to our school fulfilling its mission: faculty, staff, students, clinicians, members of the SON Advisory Council, our community, clinical partners and many more.  I thank you all for your many contributions.

Happy Holidays,

Pamela G. Watson

Dean and Professor, School of Nursing

Rebecca Sealy Distinguished Centennial Chair

UTMB Vice-President for Education









Programmatic Achievements






Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Granted Initial Accreditation

Photo: DNP students slated to graduate in Spring 2014.  Left to right - Sharon Marshall, Bushra Manakatt, Cathie Campbell, Sharisse Hebert, Aimee Jackson and Eva Blight



The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) has granted initial accreditation to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program after a review of the program on October 9-11, 2013.  In a debrief on the final day of the evaluation, the CCNE evaluators were complimentary of the program, stating that all standards were met without any recommendations for improvement.  They also noted that the program “shines” in its approach to clinical experiences.    Accreditation has been granted through 2018, at which time the program will be reviewed again.

Development of the DNP program began in 2008. The first class of DNP students entered in Spring 2012 and are expected to graduate in Spring 2014.









Faculty Achievements






Dr. Alice Hill Receives Distinguished Alumni Award



Photo: From the UAMS 60th anniversary reception. Left to right – Dean Lorraine Frazier, Dr. Alice Hill,  Dr. Mary Lou Bond.

Alice Hill, PhD, RN, FAAN, received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) at a dinner in Fayetteville on September 6, 2013, which also celebrated the school’s 60th anniversary.  The award, presented by Dean Lorraine Frazier, is the highest honor to be bestowed upon a UAMS College of Nursing graduate.

Dr. Hill earned the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from UAMS in 1970.  She later earned the Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing degree from the University of Texas at Austin.  She has been a faculty member at UTMB School of Nursing since 1984 where she is a tenured Professor, the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, the Director of the Nursing PhD Program, and the John P McGovern Chair in the Healing Practices of Nursing. 

In addition to being an accomplished nurse scientist whose research focuses on care of preterm infants, Dr. Hill is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, the recipient of the Association of Black Nursing Faculty’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Visionary Leaders Award from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, among others.






Academy of Master Teachers Inducts Dr. Cherry Beckworth and Dr. Jessica Peck

Photo: AMT awards reception. Left to right – Dr. Jessica Peck, Dr. Cherry Beckworth, Dean Pamela G. Watson.



Cherry Beckworth, PhD, RN, CNE, and Jessica Peck, DNP, RN, CNL, CNE, CPNP-PC, have joined the ranks of UTMB faculty who have been inducted as members of the UTMB Academy of Master Teachers (AMT) at an awards reception in October of this year.

The Academy of Master Teachers is a faculty service organization that recognizes exceptional teachers and provides a variety services to faculty including grants, mentoring, and development opportunities for all UTMB faculty.

The Academy has inducted 98 faculty members across the four UTMB schools since its inception in 2007.  There are currently 65 active members.















Deans of GNE Project Schools Host Congressional Reception

Photo: Congressional reception attendees included members of Congress, Deans and select students from schools participating in the GNE Project.



Dr. Pamela G. Watson and representatives from each of the five institutions participating in the Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration (GNE) Project hosted a reception for members of congress at the Memorial Hermann Health System offices in Houston  late this summer to discuss the progress of the project.

The GNE Project is a $200 million project, funded through the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS), that aims to create a model of APRN training and funding intended to increase the number of advanced practice nurses (APRNs) who will provide primary, preventative, transitional, and chronic care and care management to the general public. 

The GNE model will be refined over the course of the project and thereafter will be formally  presented to Congress with hopes of legislative adoption as a means to provide cost effective and readily accessible care to consumers.  The five participating institutions include Texas Woman’s University–Houston, Prairie View A&M School of Nursing, Memorial Hermann, the University of Texas School of Nursing at Houston, and The University of Texas Medical Branch School of Nursing.






Holiday Style Raises Over $150,000 for Honors Program

Photo: Dr. Pamela G. Watson presents Jeannie Urbani Walser with a certificate of appreciation for her role chairing the Holiday Style Fashion Show and Luncheon on November 14, 2013.



The second annual Holiday Style Fashion Show and Luncheon on November 14, 2013 raised over $150,000 to help support the UTMB School of Nursing Honors Program.  The luncheon, held in the Frances Anne Moody Ballroom at Moody Gardens Hotel and Conference Center included a live runway show featuring fashions provided by Tootsies of Houston.  Designers included Valentino, Stella McCartney, Nicole Miller, Dolce Cabo, Adrienne Landau, Kate Spade, Rachel Zoe, Alexis, and Magaschoni among others. In addition to sharing a portion of the expense of the runway show, Tootsies contributed 10% of its sales from the event to the Honors Program.

The second class of honors students, known as the McGovern Scholars, will enter the undergraduate program in August, 2014.  Entering students are chosen based on academic performance and community service.  They receive generous scholarships and participate in educational opportunities (beyond the standard curriculum) designed to build leadership skills while working to serve vulnerable populations in Texas.







Photos: Top Left – Bay Area Houston Ballet and Theatre’s Candy Cane Lane Dancers.  Top Center – blue/green multi-sequin gown by Nicole Miller, and fuchsia ruched gown by Sue Wong.  Top Right – coral chiffon pearl beaded dress by Jovani.  Bottom Left – gold metallic coat by Josie Natori with black/gold floral sequin lace trim dress by Nicole Miller; black/gold damask coat by Kate Spade and black/gold metallic dress by Shohsanna.  Bottom Right – Holiday Style Committee members Jeannie Urbani Walser, Nicole LeBoeuf, and Stephanie Vasut.






Golfers Salute Doctoral Nursing Students

Photo: Left to right - McGanity Trophy Winners Dr. Michael Binder, Dr. Pat Rogers, Dr. Cindy Judice, and Dr. Blake Korndorffer.



The October 4th, 2013 Salute to Nursing Golf Tournament was a great success.  With 34 teams registered, this year’s event raised over $59,000 which will be awarded as scholarships to students in the Nursing PhD and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs.

Planning for next year’s Salute to Nursing Golf Tournament is well underway.  The event is scheduled to take place October 10, 2014, at Galveston Country Club.

Congratulations to this year’s tournament winners:

First Place - Keith Gray, Bill Ross, Vic Pierson, Jeff Sjostrom

Team Sponsor:  Centerpoint Energy


Titus Harris Award – Tom Kulick, Jake Wolf, Michael Dwight, Hobie Horton

Team Sponsor:  Hensel Phelps


McGanity Trophy – Dr. Pat Rogers, Dr. Cindy Judice, Dr. Blake Korndorffer,  Dr. Michael Binder

Team Sponsor:  UTMB Pediatrics






Arabian Nights in Galveston

Photo: Students enjoying the festivities at the Fourth Annual Nightingale Ball on November 16, 2013.



Fun and friendship was enjoyed by all at the Student Nurse Association’s (SNA) fourth annual Nightingale Ball held on November 16, 2013 in the Frances Anne Moody Ballroom of Moody Gardens Hotel.  Guests enjoyed dinner and dancing at the “Arabian Nights” themed party. 

The event included a brief awards reception which honored Ms. Betty Douzar as SNA Faculty Advisor,  Ms. Juan Feng, Mrs. Jeri Jaquis, and Mrs. Ruth Ann Marr received awards for Most Inspiring Faculty.  Peer awards were issued to students in each graduating class for Congeniality, Class Clown, Most Likely to Succeed, among others.






Nurses Provide Modern Care in 19th Century Style

Photo: Students and faculty member, Mrs. Ruth Ann Marr, volunteering at the 2012 Dickens on the Strand Festival.



Members of the Galveston Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), the Honor Society of Nursing, provided volunteer first aid services to visitors of the 40th Annual Dickens on The Strand.  “Dickens” (as local call it) is a Victorian holiday festival that benefits Galveston Historical Foundation.  

This year’s festival took place December 6-8, 2013.  The first aid station was located on 22nd Street just south of Strand Street and across from Murphy’s Irish Pub.









Faculty Presentations






Andrews, V.C., Cates, L.A. (2013, September) The UTMB Interprofessional Simulation Center Faculty Simulation Academy, Galveston, TX.


Andrews, V.C., Rojas, J., Brown, K. (2013, October) Interprofessional Simulation.  Partnership Excellence in Nursing Education–Interprofessional Collaboration. Galveston, TX.


Bishop, S.L., Madsen, M., Valsted, C., Peldszuz, R. (2013, August). ODYSSEY: Global Personality Test For Crewing A Generation–Starship: A One-Way Deep Space Neo-Earth Mission, Paper presented at the Icarus Interstellar Starship Conference, Dallas, TX.


Davila, Y.R., Mendias, E. (2013, November). IPV-HIV interrelated risks: A socioecological approach. Paper presented at the 141st American Public Health Association Meeting and Exposition at Boston, MA.


Davila, Y.R., Mendias, E. (2013, November). Preventing IPV from women's perceptions of personal strength and sense of safety. Paper presented at the 141st American Public Health Association Meeting and Exposition at Boston, MA.


Lovric, A., Davila, Y.R. (2013, November). Pet assisted therapy: An intervention to decrease social isolation in elder adults. Poster presented at the 141st American Public Health Association Meeting and Exposition at Boston, MA.


Murphy, M.K. (2013, November). Condom availability in schools: One school district’s journey. Podium presentation at the American Public Health Association annual meeting, Boston, MA.


Murphy, M.K. (2013, November). National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health annual report. Given at Prevent Blindness America annual meeting, Chicago, IL.


Richard, P.L., Davis, P. (2013, October). Dedicated Education Units: Progress and Outcomes.  Partnership Excellence in Nursing Education–Interprofessional Collaboration. Galveston, TX.


Richard, P.L., Davis, P., Bhojani, M.M. (2013, October) An Innovative Nursing Professional Development and Academic Partnership: Implementing Dedicated Education Units, Poster presentation at the 40th Annual National Conference on Professional Nurse Educators Group and Development (PNEG), Lessons from Oz: Assuring Capabilities for Future Nursing Education & Practice. Kansas City, MO.


Watson, P.G. (2013, October). Interprofessional Education.  Partnership Excellence in Nursing Education–Interprofessional Collaboration. Galveston, TX.


Wisnewski, C.A. (2013, September). National League for Nursing Education Summit. Served as Moderator for one session.


Wisnewski, C.A. (2013, October). Education Portfolio Workshop. Creating your educational Portfolio at UTMB. Galveston, Texas.


Szautner, K., Neubauer, G., Wisnewski, C.A.  (2013, October). Education Portfolio Workshop. Creating your educational portfolio. Galveston, Texas.


Wisnewski, C.A., Richard, P. (2013, October). Enhancing Academic and Clinical Partnerships: Building Relationships for the 21st Century. Poster Presentation to the Partnership Excellence in Nursing Education–Inter–professional Collaboration.  Galveston, Texas.


Verklan, M. T. (2013, November). Hypoglycemia is Immediate: Long Term Needs of the Neonate Exposed to Diabetes. Focusing on Future Outcomes, 2013 Diabetes & Pregnancy National Research Conference, Anaheim, CA.









Faculty Publications






Dobbs, A.K., Krueger, W.W.O., Bishop, S. (2013). Comparison of Transtympanic and Extratympanic Electrocochleography. International Journal of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery, 2, 160-164.


Davila, Y.R., Mendias, E.P., Juneau, C. (2013). Under the RADAR: Assessing and intervening for intimate partner violence. Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 5(9), 594-599.


Lederman, R.P., Boyd, E., Pitts, K., Roberts-Gray, C., Hutchinson, M., Blackwell, S. (2013, October). Maternal development experiences of women hospitalized to prevent preterm birth. Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare.