McMaster University

McMaster University

School of Nursing faculty, students to be honoured with COUPN Awards

By Amanda Boundris

Several faculty and students from the McMaster School of Nursing will be honoured with three awards from the Council of Ontario University Programs in Nursing (COUPN).

The 2013 COUPN Awards Ceremony will be held on Thurs., Apr. 25.

Details on the McMaster recipients and their awards:


Teaching Innovation Award: McMaster Mohawk Conestoga BScN Program Science Team

Peter Helli, Ruth Hannon, Kirsten Culver and Terry McCurdy
McMaster Mohawk Conestoga Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) Program Science Team members, from left to right: Peter Helli, Ruth Hannon, Kirsten Culver and Terry McCurdy.

COUPN’s Teaching Innovation Award goes to the McMaster Mohawk Conestoga Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) Program Science Team, made up of the following McMaster nursing faculty members: Science Chair Kirsten Culver; and Science Team members Ruth Hannon, Peter Helli and Terry McCurdy.

Over the course of the undergraduate program’s curriculum renewal the last five years, the team has worked with nursing faculty to integrate concepts from the eight science courses into the core nursing courses, and contributed to the design and delivery of individual science courses. While playing a major role in curriculum development, they have enhanced students' learning experience and had success in developing and implementing teaching and learning strategies.

"In four short years, the BScN program sciences have shifted from a group of separate, independent, stand alone courses to a cohesive, interrelated "science thread" that meaningfully contributes to the renewed curriculum,' said Assistant Professor Michele Drummond-Young, in her nomination letter. "Students are better able to understand how scientific knowledge informs clinical practice and contributes to the development of their noticing and interpreting skills within the clinical reasoning process."


Master’s Student Award of Excellence: Cara-Lee Coghill, McMaster University

Cara-Lee Coghill
Cara-Lee Coghill

Cara-Lee Coghill will receive COUPN’s Master’s Student Award of Excellence.

She maintained an "A average throughout her time in the Master’s program and will be awarded her degree in June. She is currently a public health nurse with Oxford County Public Health & Emergency Services.

Her thesis explored what influences rural health unit staff engagement in interventions to address the built environment to promote physical activity. She examined the role of public health nursing in this work.

For her qualitative study she conducted in-depth interviews with health unit staff of all rural health units in Ontario, including public health nurses and managers as well as other public health professionals. She investigated how staff are interpreting and integrating the built environment into public health interventions related to physical activity, and examined barriers and enablers public health professionals’ experience.

"Although she has only recently completed her thesis, I have already been asked by public health managers to be connected to Cara-Lee so that they could access her research results and discuss the findings with her," said Ruta Valaitis, associate professor and Coghill’s thesis supervisor. "Her research has already made an impact on practice."


Doctoral Dissertation Award: Michelle Freeman, McMaster University

Michelle Freeman
Michelle Freeman

COUPN’s Doctoral Dissertation Award will be presented to Michelle Freeman, who earned her PhD in nursing from McMaster in 2012. She is currently an assistant professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Windsor.

Her dissertation entitled "Migration Intentions of Nurse Graduates in a Canadian Border City" has resulted in peer reviewed papers published in three highly regarded nursing journals: Journal of International Nursing Studies; Journal of Advanced Nursing; and Applied Nursing Research. She has also presented on her research findings numerous times.

"This study provides insight into the cross border workforces that have implications for employment in border city areas. This is an area where little is known and yet the information is critical to Canadian employment patterns," said Freeman’s PhD supervisor, Andrea Baumann, associate vice-president, Global Health.

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