Skip to main content

KNOXVILLE — Faculty members at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s College of Nursing make a difference in people’s lives every day—and they are being recognized for it. Three members recently were given state and nationwide awards for being leaders in their field.

Donald Bell, clinical associate professor of anesthesia, received the Practitioner of the Year award from the Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists. The award is given to a nurse anesthetist who most exemplifies excellence in anesthesia practice as a clinician, educator and researcher. In 2010, Bell was appointed by Governor Bredesen to the Tennessee Board of Nursing, which he represents advanced practice nurses through December 31, 2013. Bell was instrumental in creating the college’s post-master’s doctor of nursing practice program and is the director of the graduate program of nurse anesthesia.

Sandy Mixer, assistant professor of nursing, has received the national award from the Transcultural Nurses Association. Transcultural nursing focuses on caring for patients from diverse cultures. Mixer serves on the board of directors of the Transcultural Nursing Society as a Member-at-Large from 2009 to 2011. She has also served on the curriculum committee of the Transcultural Nursing Certification Commission for certification examination revision. Mixer teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in leadership, transcultural nursing, and nursing theory.

Lora Beebe, professor and coordinator of psychiatric mental health graduate programs, has been honored with the Alumni of the Year award from the University of Kentucky. In addition to teaching, Beebe has targeted research focused on improving the physical and mental health of people with schizophrenia for more than a decade. She has conducted numerous National Institutes of Health-funded studies and pioneered innovative nursing interventions and research consent procedures. Through dozens of publications and presentations, she has shared information to improve the lives of individuals with schizophrenia around the nation and world.

Marian Roman, associate professor of nursing, has been honored with the University of Kentucky’s College of Nursing Distinguished Alumni award. Roman has practiced nursing in many settings, including home care, inpatient specialty unit, and longterm-care consulting. She has been a clinical research director as well. Roman has taught for more than twenty years and published more than thirty articles and abstracts. Her research focuses on positive mental health despite adversity, which includes studies on stroke survivors and persons recovering from chronic mental illness. She has served on boards of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, the American Society on Aging, and currently is on the Advisory Board of Generations of Hope Development Corporation. She is also an active member of Sigma Theta Tau is the immediate past president of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.

UT’s College of Nursing is a nationally recognized leader in the education of highly skilled, visionary nurses. The college enrolls more than 600 students in undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs. The master’s program offers concentration areas in global disaster, family practice, administration, pediatrics, mental health and nurse anesthesia.

These programs attract extremely qualified students and prepare them for positions in all areas of the healthcare sector. The college’s graduates consistently achieve pass rates on licensure and certification exams of 96 percent or higher, exceeding state and national averages. The college runs a school-based, nurse-managed clinic in Knoxville, engages in international outreach with faculty and students, and generates practice nursing research that improves health, health care, and quality of life.