2017 COUPN Award Winners

Read about the outstanding achievements of the educators, scholars and students who received the 2017 COUPN Award for excellence in nursing.

Dr. Barbara Davies, RN, PhD

Scholarship Into Practice Award

Photo of Barbara DaviesDr. Barbara Davies is a full-time professor in the School of Nursing, University of Ottawa. As an internationally renowned researcher in implementation science, she has had a meaningful impact on promoting the use of best practices in nursing.

In 2007, Dr. Davies helped found the University of Ottawa’s Nursing Best Practice Research Unit. In 2012, as a result of her efforts, the unit was awarded research centre status; it is the first and only nursing research centre in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Barbara Davies has also made significant contributions to nursing practice through her scholarly activities as an independent researcher. Her program of research has focused on improving nursing and health services practice through implementation of research-based recommendations in various health care settings. She is described by colleagues as “an outstanding leader of evidence-based practice through her engagement in numerous activities that have had a positive impact on nursing practice locally, provincially, nationally, and internationally.”


Dr. Sandra DeLuca, RN, PhD

Excellence in University-College Collaboration Award

Photo of Sandra DeLucaAs Chair of the Provincial Heads of Nursing sub-committee for Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAATs) nursing schools, Co-Chair of the COUPN-CAATs Executive Committee, and CAATs representative on the Joint Provincial Nursing Committee, Sandra DeLuca has been instrumental in strengthening relationships between college and university nursing educators and forging a united educator voice on key policy issues including the Nursing Graduate Guarantee, RN prescribing, clinical education, education for seniors’ care, and educational program approval. Dr. DeLuca’s open and collaborative approach to nursing education, her political insight, approachable nature, and warm sense of humour have all contributed to the advancement of university-college collaboration.

In addition to her roles at the provincial level, Dr. DeLuca has 35 years’ experience teaching nursing, holds joint appointments at Western University, is a researcher at the Centre for Education, Research and Innovation at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, and is an elected Director for the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing.


Kathy Deshaies, RN, MScN

Award for Excellence in Collaborative Education

Photo of Kathy DeshaiesKathy Deshaies began her teaching career as a Sessional Instructor in Nursing at the University of Windsor before being appointed a full-time Professor at St. Clair College in Windsor. Since the early years of collaboration between the university and college schools of nursing, Kathy has been described as “a conduit for building and maintaining faculty and student relationships across both program sites.” She is recognized by faculty and students as an exceptional educator and a leader in advancing nursing scholarship.

Professor Deshaies is constantly looking for new and innovative strategies to engage students in meaningful classroom learning activities that promote critical thinking.

She served on the Collaborative Curriculum Committee for several years, voluntarily designed and re-designed curriculum to support and maximize student learning outcomes, and is regularly consulted by nursing colleagues on educational questions. As one colleague put it: “Kathy’s enthusiasm for teaching is contagious. She has been a mentor to many of us who are striving for excellence in education and research and is an invaluable resource to the faculty of nursing at all of our collaborative sites.”


Dr. Julia Lukewich, BNSc, RN, PhD

Doctoral Dissertation Award

Photo of Julia LukewichDr. Julia Lukewich received her PhD in Nursing in September of 2015 from Queen’s University. The overall aim of her doctoral work was to determine the effects of organizational attributes, specifically primary health care team staffing, on outcomes of patients with type 2 diabetes. The findings from her research have contributed to new knowledge relevant to chronic disease (diabetes) management in the primary care setting, and were key to the development of a comprehensive research protocol submitted to Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). She has been published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, Journal of Nursing Administration, and CMAJ Open, and her work has been cited in multiple scholarly articles.

Dr. Lukewich continues to build upon her research platform to further explore the impact of primary care team organizational attributes on health outcomes in other jurisdictions and across Canada. She has been described as holding “great promise as a nurse researcher, as she continues to build upon her doctoral work to explicate the various roles of nursing in primary health care, and which models of care lead to better patient outcomes.”


Dr. Samantha Mayo, RN, PhD

New Tenure Stream Faculty Contribution Award

Photo of Samantha MayoDr. Mayo started her tenure stream position as Assistant Professor at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto in November 2015 after completing her Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Princess Margaret Hospital. She is regarded as a highly engaged and committed teacher, and has taught four distinct courses in both undergraduate and graduate programs since starting her tenure stream position.

Dr. Mayo often makes use of technological tools such as ‘clickers’ to motivate and engage students in their learning. A large majority of her students reported that she “created an atmosphere that was very conducive to their learning, [and that] the course experience helped them make connections between theory and research with their nursing practice.”

Dr. Mayo consistently liaises between students and preceptors to support learning and ensure that each student’s (and preceptor’s) experience reflects a positive learning environment. Students commented on the tremendous support she provided throughout their placement experiences, her consistent availability for advice and support, and her career coaching skills.


Dr. Karey McCullough, PhD

Preceptor Recognition Award

Photo of Karey McCulloughDr. Karey McCullough first came to Nipissing University in 2004 as a founding member of the School of Nursing in the BScN program. Over time, she has defined and developed the preceptorship experience in the nursing curriculum, and has assumed the role of ‘ Lead Faculty’ for the fourth year of the Collaborative BScN program.

Dr. McCullough’s role as Director, School of Nursing allows her to mentor students in the classroom and clinical setting while simultaneously applying her mentorship skills to all facets of the students’ educational journeys. Always applying a student-focused approach to all areas of her role, she exemplifies a strong commitment to student learning and development.

Dr. McCullough has developed a unique international stream to the Preceptorship course, highlighting Nipissing University on an international scale. She has been described by colleagues as having a “passion for understanding and further developing the philosophical underpinnings of the preceptorship model of teaching and learning in the undergraduate nursing curriculum.”


Fran Meloche, RN, BScN, MScN

Master’s Student Award of Excellence

Photo of Fran MelocheFran Meloche was enrolled in the Master of Science in Nursing Program at the University of Windsor from September 2011 to June 2016. In this time, she steadily built a scholarly academic portfolio towards advancing gerontological nursing knowledge and patient care.

Fran’s Master’s thesis was a focused study of positive clinical experiences in long-term care homes among final year nursing students. Her findings provide insights on how to foster nursing student interest in improving gerontological care.

In an advanced clinical practicum she contributed to building policy and influencing regional changes in the community at large, including improving the transfer process between hospitals and long-term care homes.

Fran’s achievements while a graduate student point to her great commitment to and potential for further improving the care of Ontario’s older adults.


Dr. Gail Mitchell, RN, PhD

Teaching Innovation Award

Photo of Gail MitchellEngaging students and facilitating meaningful learning has always been a priority for Dr. Gail Mitchell. Appointed to York’s School of Nursing in 2003, she has been involved in a number of key initiatives at the university, including a curriculum development group committed to providing quality programs which help students learn critical thinking. She has also been instrumental in spearheading theatre-based approaches to knowledge dissemination, and the development of a new e-learning platform called Daagu, which makes use of such novel components as “tracking student ‘aha’ moments/shifts in understanding, linking feelings with learning, and a ‘heat map’ that shows where activity is occurring.”

Dr. Mitchell continually challenges the status quo and responds to the shifting patterns in student engagement through changing the focus from dispensing content to inspiring creative learning and growth. With the assistance of the Daagu platform, she has been highly effective in engaging and encouraging students to critically analyze, think and build on their own knowledge.


Heather Murphy, RN

Clinical Instructor Award

Photo of Heather MurphyHeather Murphy is a Registered Nurse at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH), and has worked in Paediatrics and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for five years. She has also worked as a Clinical Instructor in third year Paediatrics placements for York University. Throughout her time at OSMH, she has mentored various senior students from a broad range of programs, and has expressed a deep enjoyment of teaching. She has been described by colleagues as having “much passion and dedication in improving the quality of teaching and in being an exceptional educator.”

Heather rigorously upholds the College of Nurses of Ontario Standards of Professional Practice throughout her students’ placements, ensuring her students understand accountability for their actions, continuing competence, the importance of ethics, gaining and applying knowledge, establishing a nurse-client relationship and creating professional relationships. She has also developed and implemented paediatric case studies for students to research during their clinical day, aiding in ongoing learning throughout their shifts. She continues to instruct and support nursing students in reaching their highest potential.


Anne Sutherland Boal, RN, BA, MHSA

Award for Strategic Contribution to Nursing Education

Photo of Anne Sutherland BoalAnne Sutherland Boal has played a critical role in strengthening the partnership amongst nurse educators, the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), and other national nursing stakeholders during her tenure as CEO of CNA. She has taken every opportunity to engage nursing students through guest lectures and support for the national Canadian Nursing Student Association (CNSA). She has brought together leaders from across the country to discuss a vision for nursing that encompasses all groups of nurses, and has championed the role of nurse leaders in helping to answer national questions. This has included collaboration with educators in seeking to address challenges with the National Council Licensure Examinaton (NCLEX), particularly those challenges faced by Francophone writers.

Anne’s contributions to nursing education have extended throughout her nursing career, including, at the B.C. health ministry, overseeing the introduction of the nurse practitioner role and the implementation of the baccalaureate degree as the entry-to-practice requirement for Registered Nurses.


Richard Tang, BSc., BScN

Excellence in Professional Nursing Practice at the Undergraduate Student Level Award

Photo of Richard TangRichard Tang is described by his Professors in the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing as “an extraordinary final year nursing student who demonstrates exquisite nursing care, strong leadership, and outstanding citizenship.” Always bringing a zest for learning to his work, Richard engages fully, passionately and with great skill in both class discussions and clinical settings, and serves as a leader and a role model to his fellow students.

As a Mentorship Coordinator with the Nursing Undergraduate Society (NUS), he has meticulously matched 115 senior nursing student mentors with 155 first year students in order to support their transition into an intensive nursing program and set them up for success.

Richard’s outstanding volunteer work with marginalized populations is a further indication of the invaluable contributions he is already making in his health professional career, and his capacity to cultivate a positive sense of community within nursing and beyond.


Toronto Public Health

Agency Recognition Award

Logo of Toronto Public HealthToronto Public Health (TPH) has been protecting and promoting the health of Toronto residents since 1883 by preventing the spread of disease, promoting healthy living, and advocating for conditions that improve health.

TPH has supported the education of university nursing students in programs across the Greater Toronto Area for decades, particularly through student clinical placements. Placement opportunities for students can range from nursing visits with homeless pregnant women to health promotion with new immigrant families to harm reduction and needle exchange programs to tuberculosis prevention and control.

Students have consistently reported that TPH has provided “challenging but illuminating placement projects, a welcoming and supportive learning environment, preceptors who were committed and effective in supporting their learning, and multiple opportunities to begin to enact advanced practice and leadership roles.”


Dr. Margareth Zanchetta, PhD

Excellence in Teaching Award

Photo of Margareth ZanchettaEducated as a nurse in Brazil, Dr. Zanchetta’s direct experiences of inequity, unfairness, oppression awoke her professional awareness, and spurred her on to develop a philosophy of teaching that focuses as much on the social and political as it does on the clinical. Always willing to accommodate a variety of learning styles and preferences, she actively encourages open and honest dialogue in the classroom, and sees her classroom environment as one where she and her students “share responsibility for the teaching and learning processes.”

In 2006, Dr. Zanchetta spearheaded the establishment of an unstructured intellectual partnership with more than 25 undergraduate nursing students to provide mentorship in writing and research. This initiative was highly innovative in its approach and welcomed prospective mentees who wanted to learn, regardless of their grade point average. She has also recently developed a new research team involving seven undergraduate students focused on raising awareness of men’s health literacy.