A Hope College professor and student each received individual recognition for excellence during the recent induction and installation ceremony of the Kappa Epsilon Chapter-at-Large of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

The chapter recognized Donna Garrett, assistant professor of nursing, with its “Award for Excellence in Education” and senior nursing major Christine Springer of Ann Arbor as the college’s recipient of an “Outstanding Student Performance Award.”

The event was held on Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Prince Conference Center at Calvin College in Grand Rapids.  The chapter includes the Calvin, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University and Hope nursing programs.

Also during the ceremony, students from each of the four schools were inducted into the society.  The students from Hope, all seniors, were:  Tara Buhl of Holland; Sara DeWitt of Holland and previously Three Rivers; Julia Fulton of Mount Prospect Ill.; Lena Jaynes of Glen Ellyn, Ill.; Megan Johnson of Saline; Jessica Redding of Clinton Township; Nicole Rieth of Holland and previously Ada; Amanda Russ of Holland; Sarah Venlet of Zeeland; Danielle Vroom of Randolph, Wis.; and Rachel Wayner of Holland and previously Grant.

Garrett and Springer have been conducting collaborative faculty-student research together since this past summer, working on the project “Uncertainty in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease.”

Garrett has been a member of the Hope faculty since 2006.  Her areas of specialty are critical care nursing, cardiovascular nursing and acute care of the adult.  Her research interests include cardiovascular nursing, heart failure, patient education and patient compliance.

Prior to joining the Hope faculty, she was a cardiovascular clinical nurse specialist with Spectrum Health from 1995 to 2006.   Her previous career experience includes having been a nurse consultant with Baxter Healthcare Corporation, a critical care nurse specialist with Deaconess Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, and an instructor with Christ Hospital School of Nursing in Cincinnati.  She has made multiple presentations on topics regarding cardiac health, and wrote entries for the books “Cancer Prevention, Detection, and Control: A Nursing Perspective” and “Davis’s Manual of Diseases and Disorders.”  Her publications include most recently co-authoring the article “Recognizing and Responding to Symptoms of Acute Coronary Syndromes and Stroke in Women,” in the “Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing” in 2011.

As a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, Garrett was treasurer of the association’s West Michigan Chapter during 1997-98 and president of the Greater Cincinnati Chapter during 1993-94.  She is also a past faculty counselor for the Kappa Epsilon Chapter-At-Large of Sigma Theta Tau.

Garrett holds both a B.S.N. and an M.S.N. from the University of Cincinnati, and is currently completing doctoral studies at Loyola University of Chicago.

Springer is serving as a teaching assistant for the department and is active in the Hope Student Nurses Association, serving as president during the current school year and as second vice president last year.  She received the college’s Bultman Summer Research Award in nursing to work with Garrett full-time during the most recent summer, and received the college’s Freshman Pre-Nursing Award for the 2009-10 academic year.  In addition, she has been named to the Dean’s List throughout her time at Hope.

Her other activities at the college have included the Kappa Beta Phi (Dorian) sorority, the wind ensemble, the Nykerk Cup competition and Dance Marathon.  She is a 2009 graduate of Huron High School, and the daughter of James and Carol Springer of Ann Arbor.

The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the learning, knowledge, and professional development of nurses committed to making a difference in health worldwide. Founded in 1922, the honor society has more than 130,000 members in more than 85 countries. Members include practicing nurses, instructors, researchers, policymakers, entrepreneurs and others. The honor society’s 486 chapters are located at 661 institutions of higher education throughout Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, England, Ghana, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, The Netherlands, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Swaziland, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, the United States and Wales.

The college joined the Kappa Epsilon Chapter-at-Large in 1996.