The Central Texas College (CTC) Nursing and Allied Health department presented its annual DAISY Faculty Award during the spring semester student welcome assembly and pep rally this week. The winner was Elizabeth Colon, third semester coordinator and professor of Adult Health in the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program. Also nominated for the award was Jacqueline Byrd, professor of first semester fundamentals in the ADN program.

CTC is one of a handful of colleges and universities participating in the DAISY program. The faculty award is modeled after the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. It was created by the DAISY Foundation in collaboration with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to provide a national recognition program for colleges and schools of nursing to demonstrate appreciation to teachers for their commitment and inspirational influence on their students. The award is presented to nursing instructors whose expertise and excellence are demonstrated in their role as teachers based on nominations from students and peers.

Colon, a past nominee for the DAISY Faculty Award, received a hand-carved Shona sculpture entitled “A Healer’s Touch,” created by the Shona tribe in Zimbabwe, Africa. The statue symbolizes the tribe’s custom of revering traditional healers. Byrd, who was nominated for the award for the second consecutive year, received a commemorative pin.

DAISY, an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System, was established in 2000 by the Barnes family of California who lost their son, Patrick, to complications from Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura at the age of 33. The program was initially founded as a research foundation and to honor nurses for the care they provided the Barnes family who called Patrick’s nurses “unsung heroes.” It initiated the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses in 2001 and has since honored more than 6,000 nurses.

Photo: Elizabeth Colon (second from left) was named the 2017-18 DAISY Faculty Award winner. Next to her is Jacqueline Byrd, a nominee for the award. They are flanked by Susan Ramnarine-Singh (left) and Priscilla Clark.