“After leaving the military, I began to look for my niche in life. Initially, I thought that was teaching, which I did for a while. However, the more I looked at nursing, the more I realized it was a better fit. Now that I’m in the profession and finishing school, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, it’s exactly where I belong.”
Associate Director of Community Educational Outreach
for the Donald W. Reynolds Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence
A longtime advocate for nurses, Cindy Lyons is helping shape nursing in Oklahoma both inside the OU College of Nursing as well as outside its doors. Lyons, who was named president of the Oklahoma Nurses Association (ONA), has also served as the organization as president elect (2011), vice president (1999-2000) and Region 2 president (1987-1988).
A project of the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing, Healthy Women, Healthy Futures (HWHF) is the only program in Oklahoma and one of a handful in the nation that comprehensively addresses the mother’s pre-pregnancy health. Since its inception in 2008, Healthy Women, Healthy Futures has helped almost 200 women have healthier lives and improve their chances of giving birth to healthy babies.
Associate Director of Community Based Interdisciplinary Research for the Donald W. Reynolds Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence
An associate professor with the College of Nursing, Janet Wilson, PhD, teaches courses on qualitative research, and scientific integrity and knowledge development in the PhD in Nursing program. A founding member and an Oklahoma Attorney General-appointed member of the Oklahoma Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board, Wilson's research efforts bring together interdisciplinary community based teams to gather data and design innovative evidence-based solutions to reduce risks for family violence.
Kali Johnson was named the 2013 OU College of Nursing Outstanding Senior at a recent award luncheon in Norman, Oklahoma. Sponsored by Sooner Parents, the award recognizes a senior at each college who has exhibited outstanding achievements in scholarship, honors, leadership and service to the university and community. A student leader with a life-long passion for nursing, Johnson has expressed an interest in pursuing a career in critical care nursing after graduation.
Assistant Professor, Director Masters Nursing Education Program
Voncella McCleary-Jones, director of the Master’s Nursing Education program, works to strengthen opportunities for nurse educators in Oklahoma and throughout the country through her service as vice president of the Association of Black Nursing Faculty.
Tulsa Site Director, Assistant Professor
As Tulsa site director, Emma Kientz brings her passion for nursing education not just to the classroom, but also to the clinical setting. Kientz helps provide free health care to uninsured Tulsans as one of 11 faculty members participating in OU’s Bedlam Longitudinal and Bedlam Evening clinics.
Assistant Professor, OU College of Nursing Lawton
Lori McElroy’s innovative teaching has helped her students succeed in the classroom and advance health care throughout the state. In fact, McElroy’s fusion of new technology and quality nursing education earned her the 2012 Novice Faculty award from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Assistant Professor, OU College of Nursing Oklahoma City
For students in Mark Fisher’s clinical nursing class, instruction about nursing is combined with an emphasis on community outreach. Thanks to partnerships with Infant Crisis Services and other nonprofit organizations, Fisher’s undergraduate students are not just making the grade in the classroom; they’re making a lasting impact in their community.
BSN Student Michael Massey has turned a childhood passion for elder care into a professional pursuit through the Reynolds’ Emerging Leader program. Through it, Massey is not only learning about the importance of nursing research, but also gaining the invaluable mentorship of faculty and geriatric researchers who will help guide his academic and professional career.
Growing up as one of the youngest residents in a very small town, Shane Cooper quickly grew to understand the mental health needs of older adults. Now a bachelor of nursing student at the OU College of Nursing, Cooper is working toward a career in psychiatric nursing and hopes to enhance life for older adults as a Reynolds Emerging Scholar.
College of Nursing students improve the health of Oklahomans every day through service-learning and community action. Five nursing student volunteered at Camp Cavett helping to provide supervision to 200 children diagnosed with chronic and life threatening illnesses. Their presence promoted the Camp Cavett challenges of "Character, Coping and Connection" where "Illness does not define the child."
Director of the Clinical Nurse Specialist program and Co-Director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program
Along with teaching, Melissa Craft, PhD, an oncology clinical nurse specialist has over 30 years of experience in cancer nursing and her research focuses on how to help people who are dealing with critical life events such as dealing with cancer. Through this interest, Dr. Craft has discovered the beneficial effect of telling your story. Results from her work and other's shows this can reduce fatigue, improve sleep and overall positively affect quality of life.
Ineke Dallas is finishing nursing school, but it’s not her first career. Dallas spent eight years as an Air Force instructor navigator, time that taught her to work with others to maximize individual abilities through teamwork. With the skills learned through her military service and the education she’s received at the OU College of Nursing, Dallas is ready to enter her lifelong career as a nurse.
When Nathan Paris, a graduate student in the Education pathway of the Master's program, decided to pursue a career in nursing education, he wondered how he would balance home, school and work life. With the help of a scholarship from the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing and valuable mentorship from a faculty member, Paris has his solution. "My scholarships allowed me to work less and put more energy into my scholastic endeavors. And when things get tough, my mentor is a fantastic sounding board for ideas and thoughts, as well as a positive voice."
Diane Smith has always loved being around older adults, but it was her mother's manner as a gentle caregiver that inspired her to work in nursing. Smith is currently pursuing a master's in nursing in the Education pathway, with plans to pursue research with older adults with mental health conditions - a plan aided by her work with faculty mentors. "The faculty have helped guide my interest in geropsychiatric nursing. It's been encouraging to know that someone had faith in my abilities to far surpass my own expectations."
As a working mom of three children, Stacy O'Brien Frisbie knew about balancing work and home life. Although she had always planned to return for her master's degree, she was anxious about the financial commitment of layering advanced coursework on top. As a recipient of a scholarship from OU Nursing, however, Frisbie has been able to return to her studies full-time with less stress. "I felt like I had won the lottery! This scholarship allowed me to focus more time and effort into my studies without incurring additional debt."
Kinsey Gaylor grew up fascinated by stories of helping others told to her by her aunt, a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit. She followed in her aunt's footsteps, beginning her career as a registered nurse before joining the University of Oklahoma to pursue her master's degree in nursing education. As a future nurse educator, Gaylor knows that she can inspire others as her aunt inspired her before she passed away from an aggressive cancer. "Her love for the nursing profession was contagious, and I know she touched many lives."