Victoria (Vicki) Loerzel, an associate professor and oncology nursing expert at the UCF College of Nursing, has been appointed to the Beat M. and Jill L. Kahli Endowed Professorship in Oncology Nursing.
An oncology certified nurse with more than 20 years of clinical experience, Loerzel has been a member of the college faculty since 2005 and holds a clinical appointment as a clinical nurse research scientist at Orlando Health. She is the second scholar to be appointed to this endowed professorship. The Beat M. and Jill L. Kahli Endowed Professorship in Oncology Nursing was established in 2005 by Beat Kahli, president and CEO of Avalon Park Group.
“Vicki has a wealth of clinical knowledge in cancer care and actively contributes to the field with her innovative research,” said Mary Lou Sole, dean of the UCF College of Nursing. “She is well-deserving of this honor, and will serve as a critical resource for the university and college to continue to develop a research program of excellence in oncology nursing.”
Loerzel’s primary research interests focus on quality of life and symptom self-management in older adults with cancer. In fall 2015, she received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to design, develop and test an interactive educational tool for older adults to improve cancer symptom management through better self-care decisions at home. Through improved symptom management at home, patients can reduce severe symptoms, reduce unplanned hospital visits and ultimately, improve quality of life.
“I am honored to be selected for this esteemed endowed professorship,” said Loerzel. “Through the generosity of the Kahli’s gift, I will be able to expand my research and collaborate further with other clinicians, faculty, students and researchers in the field to improve the lives of people living with cancer.”
Loerzel is a member of the Oncology Nursing Society and recipient of the society’s Commendation for Outstanding Achievement for Oncology Nursing Education or Patient/Family Education Award. She has also received numerous awards and honors for research and teaching at UCF, most recently receiving the Scholarship for Teaching and Learning Award. She received her PhD from UCF, her MSN from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, her BSN from Florida Atlantic University, and her BA from Rollins College.
With the recent appointment, the College of Nursing has a total of six endowed chairs – the most of any college at the university. Endowed chair positions are endowed in perpetuity, immortalizing excellence among faculty. “We are thankful to the Kahlis and all of our other endowed professorship donors,” said Katie Korkosz, director of development at the college. “Their support allows us to attract, retain and honor our distinguished faculty who are conducting innovative research in their fields to improve nursing education and patient care.”
Faculty support is a mission-critical priority in IGNITE: The Campaign for the University of Central Florida, the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the university’s history with a goal of $500 million.