3 UArizona Nursing faculty honored by Tucson Nurses Week

May 14, 2024

Three University of Arizona College of Nursing faculty will be honored by their peers during the 2024 Nurses Week gala hosted by the Tucson Nurses Week Foundation.

The 23rd annual event on May 11 is the city's capstone celebration for National Nurses Week, May 6-12. Maria Kenneally, DNP, and Sarah J. Locke, DNP, both assistant clinical professors in the college were selected as Fabulous 50 nurses.  Melissa Goldsmith, PhD, an associate clinical professor, is receiving the Most Inspirational Mentor Award.

The awardees were chosen by their peers for being role models and mentors, demonstrating concern for humanity and contributing to the Tucson community and the profession of nursing.

The foundation was formed in 1994 by a group of nurses who wanted the city to come together to celebrate local nurses during National Nurses Week. The goals of the foundation and Nurses Week events are to enhance education and research among nurses and to celebrate excellence by recognizing nurses and the role they play in the health of the community.


Maria Kenneally, DNP
Assistant clinical professor

“Being chosen as one of the 2024 Tucson Fab 50 Nurses is an immense honor. Nursing, a career path that offers a plethora of opportunities to aid others, often goes unnoticed in terms of recognition. Within the College of Nursing and UArizona Health Sciences, mutual respect and dignity are observed, and we are encouraged to reach our full potential. I am extremely grateful to Patti Daly, PhD, for nominating me for the Tucson Fab 50 award. It is humbling to see how others perceive my professional performance in all aspects of my nursing career. 

 “My drive to continue advancing in the nursing field stems from the high levels of both patient and student satisfaction with the care and education I provide. I have the privilege of having a supportive team behind me, both professionally and personally. This support system keeps me grounded and excited to begin each day. The passion I have for nursing is unwavering, and it is an honor to be recognized for my contributions to this field.”


Sarah J. Locke, DNP
Assistant clinical professor

“It is such an honor to be selected a Tucson Fab 50 Nurse. I thank Patti Daly for the nomination and the review committee for selecting me. I am so appreciative of the consideration and recognition. The College of Nursing has been so supportive of me in my teaching and scholarship. We have such great faculty and staff who embrace a spirit of inquiry, process improvement and collaboration. I have such respect and admiration for the awesome team I work with.

“Education has always been of great value to me, and I love being a continual learner. As I have gained experience and expertise in my field, it was only natural to teach. I immensely enjoy being part of developing the next generations of nurses.”


Melissa Goldsmith, PhD
Associate clinical professor

“I am honored to be recognized as the Most Inspirational Mentor by the Tucson Nurses Week Foundation and grateful to Patti Daly, who nominated me. I am humbled to be recognized for work that I believe is an inherent aspect of being a faculty member and a nurse.

“I am an alumna of the College of Nursing’s PhD program and I regularly apply the experience I received as a graduate assistant and the knowledge I received in the program to my work as a program director, faculty member and the coordinator of the BSN Honors Program. Before joining the faculty at the College of Nursing, I worked as a clinical research nurse at the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson for five years and this experience informs my teaching in our undergraduate research and evidence-based practice course.  

“My parents were both teachers, so I grew up with an appreciation of education and fostering the strengths and talents of the next generation. I love working with undergraduate students and watching them develop into nursing professionals as they progress through the program and graduate. One of the most rewarding aspects of my career is when a former student is successful in their nursing career. It is a privilege to work with a great faculty team, some of whom I have had the opportunity to mentor. I am motivated to provide the best possible environment for both students and faculty to thrive and grow so they too can achieve their career goals and dreams.”


A version of this story originally published on Health Sciences Connect.