Two UCF College of Nursing faculty members, Drs. Jean Kijek and Linda Howe, were recognized Friday, Sept. 12, by the Florida Nurses Association (FNA). Kijek, a professor emerita, was honored with the FNA Hall of Fame Award for her enduring contributions to the nursing profession. Howe, an associate professor, received the Heather Scaglione Award for her role as faculty consultant to the Student Nurses Association chapter at UCF Orlando.

“Dr. Kijek is an exceptional nurse leader who has had a distinguished career as a nurse and in nursing education,” wrote Jean D’Meza Leuner, a professor at the College of Nursing, in her letter nominating Kijek.”

“Her passion for nursing and her leadership have contributed immensely to the nursing profession,” echoed Joyce Dorner, a retired associate professor.

Mary Lou Sole, interim dean of the College of Nursing, says that Kijek was “instrumental in the early development and growth of the nursing program at UCF” and that she has been an activist in professional nursing organizations throughout her career.

Heather Scaglione, whose life was tragically cut short by a motor vehicle accident several years ago, was very active in the Florida Student Nurses Association. “It’s an honor to receive this award named for one of UCF’s former students,” Howe said.

Under Howe’s leadership, the SNA Chapter at UCF Orlando received the Stellar Chapter Award from the National Student Nurses Association, as well as several other state awards. She has also been a member of the American Nurses Association since she graduated from nursing school.

Sole notes “Dr. Howe embodies the spirit and legacy of the Heather Scaglione Award as an articulate, compassionate, and charismatic leader of future nurses.”

Kim Dever, who works with Howe as co-consultant to the SNA chapter at UCF Orlando, says that “Dr. Howe is a very ‘student-centered professor’ who is dedicated to the professional development of our students. Her door is always open and she is at nearly every SNA event.”

FNA awards are given annually at the FNA Membership Assembly. They recognize and reward Florida nurses by allowing fellow peers to nominate an individual or group within their profession to receive formal recognition. It is one of the highest honors to have bestowed upon as a professional nurse.

Article written by Ivanna Alayon