Award Recipients

2017 Recipients

Distinguished Alumnus Award
Mary C. Sullivan, PhD, RN, FAAN '81
Mary Sullivan

Dr. Mary Sullivan is a Professor at the University of Rhode Island, College of Nursing. She has been involved in interdisciplinary research in the field of developmental pediatrics for more than 25 years. Her research program examines the developmental outcomes of premature infants in a series of longitudinal studies funded by the National Institutes of Health. It is one of the longest U.S. studies of premature infants with a recently completed project of a cohort at age 23 years. The latest study examines the impact of prematurity, medical history, and environments on young adult health, function, behavior and achievement. Assessments included biomarkers of blood chemistry, pulmonary function testing, cardiopulmonary response to exercise and metabolic functioning, and HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) function by salivary cortisol. The intent is to show whether prematurity impacts health and whether early disease onset can be explained by alterations in HPA function.

Dr. Sullivan has held academic positions at URI, most recently as Interim Dean. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, Past President of the Eastern Nursing Research Society (ENRS), a member of the American Academy of Nursing, the American Nurses Association, the Rhode Island State Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau, and the Council for Advancement in Nursing Science. She has been a scientific reviewer on numerous panels at the National Institutes of Health. She is a research scientist at Women & Infants Hospital and adjunct professor of pediatrics at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University both located in Providence, RI.

She earned her BS in nursing from Salve Regina College in Newport, RI, a MS in nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and a PhD in nursing from the University of Rhode Island.

Most importantly, she is married to Michael Sullivan who earned his PhD in Agronomy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Both completed graduate school from the University of Nebraska while chasing a toddler, and welcoming a new son in time for graduation in 1981! Their family includes 3 wonderful adult ‘children’, a talkative and very busy 1-year old grandson, and a new grandchild expected in December.

Nursing Excellence Award

Douglass Haas, MSN, APRN-NP, AGACNP-BC, CCRN '09, '15

Douglas Haas

Douglass Haas, graduated from Garden County High School in Oshkosh, Nebraska in 2005.  He received his BSN degree from the UNMC College of Nursing-Kearney Division in December of 2009.  He then worked at CHI Health Good Samaritan Hospital as a Staff Nurse in the Progressive Care & Intensive Care Units as well as the Emergency Department until January of 2015.  He received his MSN as an Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner from UNMC CON in May of 2015.  After completion of his APRN degree he worked as a Cardiology Nurse Practitioner at the Nebraska Heart Institute – Kearney Campus from June 2015 until July 2017.  He is currently employed as a Nurse Specialist/Instructor at the UNMC College of Nursing-Kearney Division and is working toward a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree as well as a Post Masters Certificate as a Family Nurse Practitioner from UNMC.

Douglass is very active in his professional nursing organization and finds fulfillment in advocating for the nursing profession.  He is the current President Elect of the Nebraska Nurses Association and is slated to take over the Presidency in January of 2019.  He has been a member of the American and Nebraska Nurses Association since his RN attainment in January of 2010.  He then sat on the Commission for Advocacy and Representation for 1 year, and the Nursing Professional Development Committee for 5 years and was chair of the committee for 4 of those years.  He was a constituent to the American Nurses Association membership assembly and represented Nebraska nurses as 1 of 2 voting members in 2013.  Douglass is also a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and Sigma Theta Tau International, Gamma-Pi at large chapter.

Douglass is the oldest son of Kelly and Larry Fiesterman of Scottsbluff, Nebraska and Ed and Ronda Haas of Torrington, Wyoming.  His younger brother Dustin and wife Amy live in Torrington, WY as does his half-brother EJ.  Douglass enjoys time with his family especially at big holiday get-togethers.  Free time is spent bike riding, running, and he recently started a weight training program with CrossFit.  He also enjoys time with a good book or evenings out with close friends.  Douglass is extremely blessed and is very thankful for this award.  He hopes to continue to lead and represent nursing at all levels, and this award really affirms that the work he is doing is important and must be continued.

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