DAISY and SUNFlower Awards

Celebrate the Amazing Faculty and Staff at the College of Nursing!

The College of Nursing has partnered with the DAISY Foundation to offer The DAISY Award© to Extraordinary Nursing Faculty and the SUNFlower award recognizing the Significant acts of Uplifting and Noteworthy Friends in our staff community.


About the DAISY Award

Established in 1999, the DAISY Awards have expanded to over 4,500 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing in all 50 states. The strategic impact of the program on nurses and their organizations is deep, affecting nurses' job satisfaction, retention, teamwork, pride, organizational culture, healthy work environment, and more.

From the DAISY Foundation website:

As Patrick’s family, we brainstormed what to do in his memory. We vividly recalled the skillful and compassionate care Patrick received from his nurses during his eight-week hospitalization. We wanted to say “thank you” to nurses everywhere by establishing a recognition program, The DAISY Award® For Extraordinary Nurses (The DAISY Award). Through this and other recognition programs, we honor the super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day wherever they practice, in whatever role they serve and throughout their careers–from Nursing Student through lifetime achievement.

Nursing Faculty may be nominated by colleagues, peers, patients, families, or alumni.  The award recipients are chosen by a selection committee at University of Arizona College of Nursing. The DAISY Award will be presented twice per year. Each Honoree receives a certificate, a DAISY Award pin and a beautiful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

Nominations are open all year round. Nominate someone today! Award recipients will be announced at the College Award Ceremonies on May 6th and December 10th.  The Award Committee will consider nominations received prior to the 1st week of November for the December Award Ceremony and nominations received prior to the 1st week of April for the May Award Ceremony.

Nomination Form

About the SUNFlower Award

A new award created for College of Nursing Staff members to recognize individuals who act as a role model or mentor and demonstrate enthusiasm for creating a successful learning environment, while also demonstrating respect for others.

On the creation of the SUNFlower Award:

The College of Nursing has worked to establish a Meaningful Recognition Program for faculty and staff. The purpose of this program is to demonstrate appreciation to staff for their commitment and inspirational influence on their peers and nursing students. While the DAISY Award© is specific to nurses, the college recognized that the faculty’s work could not be done without our amazing staff. Indeed, any attempt at implanting Meaningful Recognition into the college culture would be incomplete if staff were excluded.

Nursing Staff may be nominated by colleagues, peers, patients, families, or alumni.  The award recipients are chosen by a selection committee at University of Arizona College of Nursing. The SUNFlower Award will be presented twice per year. Each Honoree receives a certificate, a DAISY Award pin and a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

Nominations are open all year round. Nominate someone today! Award recipients will be announced at the College Award Ceremonies on May 6th and December 10th.  The Award Committee will consider nominations received prior to the 1st week of November for the December Award Ceremony and nominations received prior to the 1st week of April for the May Award Ceremony.

Nomination Form

Award Honorees & Nominees

May 2021 DAISY Award Honorees

Lisa Kiser

Lisa Kiser, DNP, CNM, WHNP

Clinical Assistant Professor

Dr. Kiser's warmth and genuine spirit manifest in every interaction she has with people. The type of work she dedicates herself to, helping the underprivileged and building international connections for the sake of promoting humanity and enhancing international health collaborations, is a sign of her noble heart. Dr. Kiser consistently demonstrates kindness and consideration to those she works with. As a student, I have had the privilege to meet, interact, and participate in healthcare initiatives she leads and I am continuously motivated to be a better person by her sheer joyful persona. I can genuinely say she fosters a safe environment for professional and personal development for her students. I am forever grateful for having the privilege to meet her, share some of my story, and having such tremendous support from her when I least expected it. During the toughest time in my life in my DNP program, she demonstrated a true interest in my success and wellbeing. She didn't hesitate to assist me and facilitate the resources I needed to make a tough decision. Words cannot express the extent of my gratitude for women and humans like her because by their pure existence they make others, like me, better people. Dr. Kiser has been pivotal in bringing tremendous positivity and hope throughout my DNP program experience. Thank you, Dr. Kiser!

"Dr. Kiser has been pivotal in bringing tremendous positivity and hope throughout my DNP program experience."

Sara Edmund

Sara Edmund, DNP, RN, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC

Clinical Assistant Professor

Sara always puts in 100%! When the pandemic began Sara stepped up and was instrumental in leading the development of clinical simulation in the DNP Program. Sara was co-chair of the task force and spent countless hours working to create hundreds of hours of simulation. This work was a selfless act because it was not given faculty workload. As we all know workload is always a lot. To add this enormous task on top was an amazing sacrifice. Sara is such a pleasure to work with she is always kind and positive with faculty and students. Sara is such as asset to our team and we are very lucky to have her!

Dr. Sara Edmund is consistently professional encouraging and supportive in her work with our students and other members of the College community. As an integral part of the PMHNP faculty team, she is always willing to take on new challenges and help create innovative and effective learning experiences for our students. She works tirelessly to make sure the work gets done and demonstrates a high passion for continually improving the DNP program. In her clinical practice, she takes care of patients experiencing mental health crises; this work speaks to her ability to provide compassionate and competent high acuity psychiatric care and also makes her an excellent clinical course instructor. She is a wonderful role model for our students and junior faculty members. We are so lucky to have her!

Dr. Sara Edmund is an amazing educator nurse practitioner and colleague. She exudes compassion expertise and dedication in all aspects of her work. Sara approaches teaching opportunities with enthusiasm and flair whether she is developing course materials directly teaching students or mentoring other colleagues. Sara is an integral part of the PMHNP DNP team and has directly contributed to the success of hundreds of students.

"Sara approaches teaching opportunities with enthusiasm and flair whether she is developing course materials directly teaching students or mentoring other colleagues."

Megan Degrado

Megan Degrado, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC

Lecturer

Megan has a way of making all of her students feel welcome and calm. Nursing school can be very challenging and having a warm and kind mentor puts our minds at ease. She has great experience and knowledge to help further our journey to becoming a great nurse.

I have seen Professor Degrado show the utmost empathy and concern when dealing with delicate situations. She supported her student during a fragile and difficult time and facilitated that person in getting the help they desperately needed. Professor Degrado has a calming presence and I love her enthusiasm for education and passion for nursing. I admire all that she has accomplished at such a young age and look at her as a role model for how I hope to integrate myself into the nursing field. I get excited when I have the opportunity to work alongside her and look forward to the knowledge she has to share. She deserves to be recognized for the motivation and encouragement she brings to this program.

“I have seen Professor Degrado show the utmost empathy and concern when dealing with delicate situations. She supported her student during a fragile and difficult time and facilitated that person in getting the help they desperately needed.”


May 2021 SUNFlower Award Honoree

Mark Mathesen

Mark Mathesen

Information Technology Support Analyst, Senior

From my vantage point, Mark always appears calm, pleasant, and willing to help.  With COVID wreaking havoc on donor and alumni events, Mark has gone above and beyond for both homecoming and virtual memorial service for Emeritus Dean Gladys Sorensen.  In both instances Mark had to give up weekend time and he did so gracefully and without complaint. Mark added value to the events with his ideas and initiative.  He even began to imagine how we can merge virtual and in-person homecoming events in the future, in meaningful ways.  I am truly grateful to Mark!

Maribeth Slebodnik

Maribeth Slebodnik

Associate Librarian and Senior Lecturer

Maribeth Slebodnik is the consummate librarian. Maribeth enthusiastically makes herself available to students and faculty. She has been instrumental in moving our students toward using reference managing software. She has taught all of us about what certain databases offer and which ones may be more appropriate for our topics of interest. In addition to working with individual students, Maribeth co-developed and co-teaches courses. In these courses, doctoral students learn how to write systematic reviews. Maribeth is a fantastic team member, easy to work with and so professional. Through her laudable individualized support for students in these courses, PhD students will have a resulting publication that they may not have had otherwise.  Maribeth is a true gem of a person and an amazing asset to the CON.


May 2021 DAISY Award Nominees

  • Renee Gregg
  • Tarnia Newton
  • Tara Loghry
  • Sherri Carson
  • Melanie Welch
  • Cindy Elliott
  • Christopher Herring
  • Linda Perez
  • Sara Byron
  • Timian Godfrey
  • Janay Young
  • Amber Price

May 2021 SUNFlower Award Nominees

  • Alice Pasvogel
  • Yvette Mathesen
  • Jaclyn Marr
  • Brandie Drobot
  • Peg Kearney
  • Lydia Parra
  • Hyewon Shin
  • Jose Munoz
  • Valerie Kogut
  • Chris Sogge

December 2020 DAISY Award Honorees

Sharon Hom

Sharon Hom, PhD, MS, RN

Clinical Assistant Professor

Dr. Sharon Hom is a favorite amongst students and is one of my favorite co-workers as well. Her intelligence, bright disposition, and compassion have inspired me to do better in my own work on more than one occasion. Often Dr. Hom will meet with individual students outside of class time to discuss strategies useful to succeed in her course and work with the students to develop a plan for success. Dr. Hom utilizes the college resources to create an inclusive learning environment that promotes a sense of community and belonging for all. Faculty like Dr. Hom who see the best in our students and work to optimize our students' potential have a tremendous inter-generational impact. Students and colleagues fortunate to learn from Dr. Hom's example of compassion will undoubtedly go forth to contribute goodness and fulfill the purpose of nursing.

"Dr. Hom's intelligence, bright disposition, and compassion have inspired me to do better in my own work on more than one occasion."

Jessica Rainbow

Jessica Rainbow, PhD, RN

Assistant Professor

Albert Einstein said: "It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." This quote is very nursing, and it speaks to how learning goes beyond a simple accumulation of facts. Our teaching should incorporate joy, creativity, and knowledge. Dr. Rainbow does just that. She is curious and teaches our students how to be curious. She is compassionate and teaches our students to be compassionate. When another faculty member recently retired, she took on several students. Dr. Rainbow expressed a deep desire to allow the students to continue their progression and growth. It wasn't out of obligation but out of a deep sense of joy that she took them on.

"Dr. Rainbow is compassionate and teaches our students to be compassionate."

Gloanna J Peek

Gloanna J Peek, PhD, RN, CPNP

Clinical Associate Professor 

Dr. Peek has many roles at the University of Arizona College of Nursing: PNP specialty coordinator, course chair, ASD program coordinator, mentor, friend, researcher, DNP – CISC chair...to name just a few. Dr. Peek has a beautiful smile and a kind heart. She will volunteer to help out whenever needed whether it is DNP committee who needs a chair or extra member, a faculty member who needs help during a family emergency, or a staff member who just needs someone to listen to them. Her mentoring does not end when the student graduates, she will continue to keep in touch with students after graduation. Her giving nature continues outside of the College of Nursing, she is active with her church, mentoring young girls in foster care, and volunteering her medical services at an orphanage in Mexico. Overall, Dr. Peek is a kind, caring, loving educator. She is someone who truly advocates for her faculty and students.

“Dr. Peek's mentoring does not end when the student graduates, she will continue to keep in touch with students after graduation.”

Cheryl L Lacasse

Cheryl L Lacasse, PhD, RN, AOCNS

Clinical Professor

I have witnessed Cheri's commitment to our students' success and welfare. This commitment ranges from her leadership as Director of the RN-MSN program; her role in our Arizona Nursing Inclusive Excellent (ANIE) Program, and her tremendous efforts in coordinating this year's CCNE accreditation materials and visits. In all of these roles, Cheri has demonstrated an amazingly balanced blend of advocacy, leadership, organizational skill, insight, compassion, and intelligence. In every interaction Cheri and I have had, my respect for and trust in Cheri has been further strengthened because of her fair treatment of everyone present, which further encourages community and collaboration. These qualities are particularly necessary during acutely challenging times such as those we've experienced in 2020 with COVID-19 fallout; multiple accreditation processes; and the new growth toward equity, diversity, and inclusion that the College is undergoing.

“Cheri has demonstrated an amazingly balanced blend of advocacy, leadership, organizational skill, insight, compassion, and intelligence.


December 2020 SUNFlower Award Honoree

Brandie Drobot

Brandie Drobot

Academic Advisor

Brandie exudes the personification of this award, which is a positive influence to all in the College of Nursing. As colleagues, she consistently remembers birthdays, brings in fun gifts, and greeted everyone (pre-COVID) with a big "Hello my people!!!!!" every morning. Her energy and passion and joy are so nice to have and radiate happiness throughout the building. For students, she also serves as an uplifting member and representative of the CON. In her NURS 195 classes she would learn everyone's name, create custom gift baggies for holidays and treats for them, and would routinely chat with folks in the hallways (and in the bathroom, I'm told, though I don't know that personally). Even now with COVID, she is seeing students and brightening their day, as well as continuing to brighten mine. I can't imagine how dull, dreary, and fun-less that my work would feel without her.

“Her energy and passion and joy are so nice to have and radiate happiness throughout the building. For students, she also serves as an uplifting member and representative of the CON."


December 2020 DAISY Award Nominees

  • Pamela Fick
  • Morgan Stock
  • Gloanna Peek
  • Kim Shea
  • Helena Morrison
  • Cheri Lacasse
  • Linda Perez
  • Renee Gregg
  • Michelle Kahn-John
  • Sharon Hom
  • Jessica Rainbow
  • Lori Martin-Plank
  • Lisa Kiser

December 2020 SUNFlower Award Nominees

  • Peg Kearney 
  • Chris Sogge
  • Jill Hagaman
  • Brandie Drobot
  • Val Kogut