Alumni Awards

“This is where I came from, and getting this award from UW–Madison is just the ultimate accomplishment. I am thankful that I got both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UW–Madison. They weren’t just degrees. They really did fuel progress in my career.”

Dr. Michelle Byrne, ’79, MS ’86, 2017 Distinguished Achievement Award Recipient

Distinguished Achievement Award

The Distinguished Achievement Award is the University of Wisconsin–Madison Nurses Alumni Organization’s top award. This award is given in recognition and appreciation for exceptional achievement throughout this individual’s career. This award is given annually to one University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing graduate.

Characteristics of a Successful Nominee

The recipient embodies the following qualities or criteria:

  • Reflects the mission of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing as a leader for the profession and society.
  • Made or continues to make an impact in one or more areas: enhanced systems, improved health through research, education, practice, or community service.
  • Provides inspiration for current students, faculty, and alumni as a Badger nurse who has changed lives.
  • Committed to diversity, inclusion, and raising awareness for health equity.

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Recipients

  • Barbara J. King (2024)
  • Mary Gulbrandsen (2023)
  • Jean Johnson (2022)
  • Linda Kautza Procci (2021)
  • Canary Savage Girardeau (2020)
  • Nancy Kaufman (2019)
  • Susan Gold (2018)
  • Michelle (Paetsch) Byrne (2017)
  • Kathlyn Steele (2016)
  • Peggy Zimdars (2015)
  • Terry Lennie (2014)
  • Maryalice Jordan-Marsh (2011)
  • Ceclie Lengascer (2009)
  • Kay Lillesand (2006)
  • Mary Behrens (2005)
  • Irene Sandvold (2004)
  • Mary Nies (2003)
  • Ona Ziehli Riggin (2002)
  • Monica Newton (2001)
  • Constance Curran (2000)
  • Patricia Lasky (1999)
  • Joanne Disch (1998)
  • Karen Frick Pridham (1998)
  • Rosemary Berchem (1997)
  • John Clochesy (1996)
  • Kathleen Henderson Poi (1995)
  • Sharon VanderZyl (1994)
  • Judy Robson (1993)
  • Sally Peterson Karioth (1992)
  • Ruth Schumacher Lutze (1991)
  • Patricia Colligan McNelly (1991)
  • Eugenia Schoen (1990)
  • Ellen Hooker Zimmerman (1989)
  • Diane Kjervik (1989)
  • Gene Cranston Anderson (1988)
  • Mitzi Duxbury (1987)
  • Barbara Moilien Gruendemann (1986)
  • Alice Simonds (1986)
  • Florence Gurholt Wetzel (1985)
  • Signe Skott Cooper (1984)

Nominations open December 1, 2024 – February 21, 2025

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Outstanding Badger Nurse Award

This award is given in recognition and appreciation for exceptional achievement for this individual’s early career. This award is given annually to one University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing graduate who has earned a nursing degree within the last ten years.

Characteristics of a Successful Nominee

The recipient embodies the following qualities or criteria:

  • Serves as an outstanding role model for current and future nurses.
  • Demonstrates the importance of being a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing and being a Badger nurse through engagement or volunteerism.
  • Early career success or achievement aimed at impacting the nursing profession in one or more of the following areas: patient care, research, teaching, health services administration, or community service.
  • Committed to diversity, inclusion, and raising awareness for health equity.

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Recipients

  • Adam Schneider-Price (2024)
  • Tolu Oyesanya (2023)
  • Zhiyuan “Effy” Yu (2022)
  • Emily Hansen Schumacher (2021)
  • Cassondra (Cassie) Dietrick (2020)
  • Jessica Kendall (2019)
  • Elisha Smith (2017)
  • Ashley Rusch Fielek (2015)

Nominations open December 1, 2024 – February 21, 2025

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