Health & Human Sciences Bldg
Room 336
Cullowhee, NC 28723
828.227.7467 tel
828.227.7052 fax

WCU Prog. at Biltmore Park
28 Schenck Pkwy, Ste 309
Asheville, NC 28803
828.654.6499 tel
828.654.6507 fax


Faculty Awards and Recognition

Dr. Sharon Jacques received the North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine, awarded by the Governor of North Carolina, for her decades of service to the State and Western Carolina University.

Dr. Ann Johnson and Professor Amy Putnam have received word that their AHEC Clinical Site Grant has been funded. They will be developing Autumn Care in Waynesville for use by undergraduate junior nursing students.

Professor Amy Putnam and Dr. Ann Johnson have had a paper and poster presentation accepted at the 6th Annual South Eastern Nurse Educator Symposium in October. They will be presenting Amy’s graduate work on the Stressors and Stress reactions of Nursing Students.

Professor Bonnie Garner has had a paper presentation accepted at the RNAO Conference: Knowledge, the Power of Nursing: Celebrating Best Practice Guidelines (in Toronto, Canada). She will be presenting her work entitled: “Partnerships in Excellence: Teaching Empathy and Respect.

Dr. Julia Wetmore will be presenting a poster at the Professional Nurse Educators Group (PNEG) 37th annual national conference, Gateway to Innovation and Creativity in Nursing Education, sponsored by Villanova University College of Nursing. The conference will be held in Baltimore, MD from October 21-24, 2010. Dr. Wetmore will be presenting a study of the six-hour research block in the RN to BSN program.

Dr. Shawn Collins presented his work titled "Model for a Reproducible Curriculum Infrastructure for Nurse Anesthesia CE in Developing Countries" on September 29 via a peer-reviewed and invited podium presentation at the 3rd National Doctors of Nursing Practice Conference in San Diego, CA.

Dr. Shawn Collins will also be presenting on this topic at the peer-reviewed invited International Conference on Education, Research, and Innovation in Madrid, Spain on November 15, 2010.

Dr. Sharon Metcalfe received the Outstanding Academic Achievement Teaching Award from the WCU Center for Service Learning for her extensive contributions to service learning through teaching.

Dr. Metcalfe was appointed Visiting Professor in the School of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Care at Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland (2011-2014). Dr. Metcalfe's recent publications and presentations include:

Metcalfe, S. E. (2011). The impact of international leadership development: A shared nursing educational service-learning partnership. Nursing Education Perspectives.

Metcalfe, S. Invited presentation, International Nursing Leadership Development: A Shared Service Learning Partnership. 41st. Biennial Convention, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing. Grapevine, Texas. October 28-31, 2011.

Metcalfe, S. Invited presentation, The Use of Wikis to Connect Nursing Students Around the Globe. Duke University Innovative Nursing Education Technologies Conference (INET), Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. August 5, 2011.

Metcalfe, S. Invited presentation, International Collaborative Mentoring for Future Nursing Leaders. College of Health, Life, and Social Sciences, and School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Social Care. Edinburgh, Scotland. Sighthill Campus, July 27, 20111.

Dr. Metcalfe has partnered with Napier University and the University of Lahti, in Lahti England during the Fall 2011 semester to teach an online course using Shared International Nursing Education Wiki sites.



Dr. Shelia Chapman and Professor Johnnie Guttery have been invited to speak at the NLN Education Summt in September. Their presentation, entitled Academia/Practice: A Win/Win Partnership, focuses on the School of Nursing's collaboration with the Charles George VA Medical Center as a result of receiving the VA Nursing Academy Grant.


Dr. Leslie Norris received her Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree from the University of Alabama Birmingham on May 8th. Dr. Norris also recently presented a poster at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's 11th International Summit in Washington, DC. Dr. Norris will speak at the Tennessee PA Association FallFest CME Conference in October and the NPACE Primary Care Conference in November. The topic for both conferences is "Increasing Recommended Screenings and Immunizations in Adults."

Dr. Claire DeCristofaro published a research article with former Nurse Anesthesia students in the December 2010 issue of the journal American Association of Nurse Anesthesia (AANA) entitled, “The Use of Propofol and Emergence Agitation in Children: A Literature Review.” Lead authors were former students K. Logan Key, MS(N), CRNA; Chris Rich, MS(N), CRNA.  Third and fourth authors were faculty Claire DeCristofaro, MD and Shawn Collins, DNP, CRNA (NA Program Director). This article was based on collaborative research done by the students while enrolled in the NA Program at WCU.  The PubMed link to the abstract:

Dr. DeCristofaro also had journal articles accepted for publication in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Pracdtitioners (JAANP) as co-author with recent Family Nurse Practritioner graduates:  Kristy Hopkins (“How can primary-care providers manage pediatric obesity in the real world?” published in May 2011); The PubMed link to the abstract: Carl Brad Torrence (“Empowering the Primary Care Provider to Optimally Manage Mild Traumatic Brain Injury”  publication 2011 tba); and Jamie McCall (“Oral Sucrose for Pain Control in Non-neonate Infants during Minor Painful Procedures” publication 2011 tba, also as journal CE).  The third author for these journal articles is Prof. Lydia Elliott, MS(N), FNP-BC (FNP track coordinator faculty).  The PubMed link to the abstract:

Dr. DeCristofaro co-authored conference posters with recent Nurse Anesthesia student graduates at the national American Association of Nurse Anesthetists annual conference, October 2010, with students Erica Edgington & Amelia Hinds, “What pharmacologic characteristics of propofol contribute to its use as a drug of abuse?” (this research also won the Health Science Award at the annual WCU Graduate Research Symposium, 2011).  An additional author was Nurse Anesthesia faculty Prof. Mason McDowell, MSNA, CRNA.

Dr. DeCristofaro also co-authored conference research posters with recent Nurse Anesthesia student graduates at the state-wide NC Association of Nurse Anesthetists in September 2010 with Adrienne Fosegan (“Prevention of Succinylcholine Associated Postoperative Myalgia in Adults” (third author NA faculty Prof. Mason McDowell, MSNA, CRNA); with David Abel (“Ancient Adjunct: Does Auricular Acupuncture have a place in Modern Anesthesia Practice?” (third author NA faculty Prof. Mason McDowell, MSNA, CRNA); Danny Roth and Andrew Hatch (“What Non-therapeutic Drug Effects are Seen with Fospropofol for Moderate Sedation?” (fourth author NA faculty Shawn Collins, DNP, CRNA)

Dr. DeCristofaro gave several invited Continuing Education presentations at two South Carolina APRN conferences over the past year. Topics “CS Prescribing Pharmacology: Focus on Pain Management” at the Grand Strand APRN conference in September 2010 and at Advanced Seminars for APRN in May 2011. An additional topic, “DM Update 2011” was given at Advanced Seminars for APRN in May 2011. 

Dr. DeCristofaro also gave several invited Continuing Education presentations at the Asheville, NC, Charles George VA Medical Center in the fall of 2010.  Topics included “Nutraceuticals & Herbal Therapies,” “Hypertension Update,” “DM Update,” and “CS Prescribing Pharmacology.”

Dr. DeCristofaro was invited to write a chapter on behavioral health pharmacology in "Integrated Care:  Creating a Thriving Practice". Hardcover: 256 pages, Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (March 15, 2012), ISBN-13: 978-0415891325. Editors:  Russell Curtis & Eric Christian.

Dr. DeCristofaro's article “How can primary-care providers manage pediatric obesity in the real world?” was accepted for publication in the Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (JAANP). Authors: Kristy Hopkins, MSN, FNP-C; Claire DeCristofaro, MD; Lydia Elliott, DNP, FNP-C. Ms No JAAN-2009-11-18. Note: Kristy Hopkins was a graduating FNP student in May 2010.  PUBLISHED ONLINE IN ADVANCE OF PRINT 28 APRIL 2011.

Dr. Decristofaro was the research chair and faculty co-author for two nurse anesthesia student research teams who presented conference posters at the "State of the Science" poster general session at the annual national conference for the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), this year in Boston, MA this August 2011.  Nurse Anesthesia program faculty for the research committees and posters was Mason McDowell, MSNA, CRNA.  One topic was, "Stand By Me: Is Parental Presence During Induction the Answer to Emergence Delirium in Children?" authored by students Katrina L. McDonald-Morrow, BSN, RN and Melanie J. Black, BSN, RN.  The other conference poster highlighted the topic, "Is sugammadex a safe and effective alternative for reversal of profound rocuronium neuromuscular blockade in adults?" with student authors Eldridge Lee Coates, BSN, RN and Leigh Sauls, BSN, RN, CCRN.   

Dr. Lydia Elliott completed the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, August 2011. Dr. Elliott was the recipient of the Nurse Educators of Tomorrow (NET) Scholarship, 2009 to 2011 ($30,000)

Dr. Elliott's recent publications include:

Authors: Jamie McCall (2011 FNP graduate student), Claire DeCristofaro, & Lydia Elliott.  "Oral Sucrose for Pain Control in Infants during Minor Procedures." (Accepted for publication and as CE article March 2011, Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, for publication 2012).

Authors: Lydia Elliott, Claire DeCristofaro, & Alicia Carpenter. "Blending Technology in Teaching Advanced Health Assessment in a Family Nurse Practitioner Program: Using Personal Digital Assistants in a Simulation Laboratory." (Accepted for publication October 2010, Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, for publication 2011).

Authors: Kristy Hopkins (2010 FNP graduate student), Claire DeCristofaro, & Lydia Elliott.  "How can Primary-care Providers Manage Pediatric Obesity in the Real World?" (Accepted for publication February 2010, Journal of the American Academy Nurse Practitioners, for publication 2011).

Authors: Suzanne Green (2009 FNP graduate student), Linda Comer, Lydia Elliott, & Judy Mallory. "Exploring the Value of an International Service-Learning Experience in Honduras." (Accepted for publication, Nursing Education Perspectives, for publication July-August issue 2011).

Authors: Carl Brad Torrence (2010 FNP graduate student), Claire DeCristofaro, & Lydia Elliott. "What is the Best Practice for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Primary Care?" (Accepted for publication July 2010, Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, for publication 2011).




Brad A. Wilson, MS, FNP-C, a graduate clinical instructor, was recently awarded the Geiger Gibson Emerging Leader Award.

Dr. Mark A. Kossick,
presented on August 13-14, 2011 an 11 CEC program for Blue Ridge Regional Hospital’s critical care nurses, nurse anesthetists, and emergency medical services personnel.  The continuing education program was titled “Two-Day 12 Lead ECG Seminar“ and was held in Spruce Pine, NC.

Dr. Mark A. Kossick,was notified on June 24, 2011 that he has been selected to serve as an AANA Journal Reviewer. This peer-reviewed journal was established in 1933 and is the official publication of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

Dr. Mark A. Kossick presented on May 28th a 7 hour lecture titled “2011 Comprehensive EKG seminar” for Western Carolina University Nurse Anesthesia Program’s Anesthesia Update Continuing Education Program, in Asheville, NC

Dr. Mark A. Kossick presented a lecture to CRNAs at the Heart Center of Mission Hospital on May 12, 2011in Asheville, North Carolina.  His lecture title was “Current Practice Guidelines in Electrocardiography for Anesthesia Providers”.

Dr. Mark A. Kossick presented a 7 hour comprehensive ECG analysis seminar on April 30, 2011at the South Dakota Association of Nurse Anesthetists Annual Spring Education Conference in Rapid City, South Dakota.  His topics included computerized ST segment analysis, configuration of modified chest leads, diagnosis and pharmacological management of myocardial infarction, diverse supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias.

Dr. Mark A. Kossick presented a 7 hour CEC and CME educational seminar on electrocardiography in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 3, 2011.  Attendees included physicians and nurses specializing in anesthesia.   This continuing education activity was implemented by A. Webb Roberts Center for Continuing Medical Education of Baylor Health Care System, Dallas and Northwest Anesthesia Seminars, Inc.

Dr. Mark A. Kossick on March 5, 2011 presented a two hour lecture titled “Navigating ST Segment Changes During Anesthesia” at the North Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists All Districts Meeting in Greensboro, NC.

Dr. Mark A. Kossick presented three lectures on January 28, 2011 to graduate nurse anesthesia students at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC. His lectures were “Prerequisite Knowledge to Mentoring Anesthesia Providers in Electrocardiography”, “Critical Assessment & Interventions for Invasive Hemodynamic Data”, “Anesthesia Concepts for Patients with Valvular Heart Disease”. 

Dr. Mark A. Kossick received notification on January 20, 2011 from the president of the North Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists of his appointment to the Research and Education Committee. 

Dr. Mark A. Kossick was notified on January 19, 2011 by the Editor of Nurse Anesthesia of his appreciation of Kossick's offer to be a contributor to the 5th edition of the textbook. His contributions will include two chapters (Inhalation Anesthetics and Clinical Monitoring I: Cardiovascular System). This textbook is used extensively by graduate nurse anesthesia programs across the country and is listed by the Library of Congress as one of the essential texts in the specialty of nurse anesthesia. Dr. Kossick has contributed chapters to all prior editions. The publisher is Saunders/Elsevier.

Professor Alex Sargsyan's recorded lecture on Gastrointestinal Disorders in Primary Care will be included in the Fall 2011 semester's curriculum for Family Nurse Practitioner program students at Duke University's School o Nursing.

The WCU School of Nursing's chapter of the Nurses Christian Fellowship was recently recognized by the National Christian Fellowship chapter. WCU's School of Nursing was one of the first five schools to receive such recognition.


Congratulations to the faculty and students for their tremendous contributions to research and scholarship.



Copyright by Western Carolina University      •      Cullowhee, NC 28723      •      828.227.7211      •      Contact WCU
Maintained by the Office of Web Services      •      Directions      •      Campus Map      •      Emergency Information      •      Text-Only

Office of Web Services