University of Nebraska Medical Center

Current Award Recipients

Distinguished Alumnus Award

Roxanne Stahl

Roxanne R. Stahl APRN, MSN, NNP-BC 

ADN 1984, BSN 1986

Roxanne (Kersten) Stahl has built her career as a nurse for 38 years and a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner for 28 of those years. Neonatal Nurse Practitioners are one of only a few of the Acute Care NP specialties that require intense, 

in-patient care dealing with complex patients, transports and procedures such as: intubation, lumbar puncture, chest tube insertion, umbilical line placement and arterial sticks. She received her MSN/NNP at the University of Colorado Health Science Center and her ASN (1984), BSN (1986) at the University of Nebraska, College of Nursing, Lincoln Division. Notably, Roxanne graduated 30 years after her mother Marilyn (Kroeller) Kersten BSN at UN School of Nursing. She feels that her excellent Nebraska values and education laid the foundation for her career. 

Ms. Stahl has enjoyed working with Vanderbilt University Neonatology in Nashville since becoming a NNP, currently working as a NNP in a Level II NICU autonomously and attending high-risk deliveries. She served two elected terms on the National Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (NANNP) Council, writing many policies, papers and recommendations. She wrote the textbook chapter on Case Based Learning: Pathophysiology of the newborn which showcases 5 case studies on HEENT of the neonate. Roxanne attended the Nurses in Washington Internship (NIWI) and lobbied on capitol hill for neonates and advanced practice authority. She is active in nursing organizations such as: AANP, NANN, ANA, TNA, KNA, Sigma Theta Tau and Medical Reserve Corps. She taught in the MS NNP program at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing for 4 years and has mentored thousands of nurses and NNPs. She volunteers her time to teach local nursing students their neonatal didactic biannually. 

Roxanne is married and has a 17-acre horse property in Kentucky. You can find her riding horses almost every day, usually to ride with other nurses, or traveling internationally to ride in foreign countries! Her husband is a videographer and owner of CCPROVideo. They have two daughters, Devan Stahl who is faculty PhD of Healthcare Ethics at Baylor University, and Darian Stahl who is in her postdoctoral fellowship as a PhD Arts and Humanities printmaker in Kelowna British Columbia Canada. They have 3 young grandchildren. 

Dorothy Patach Spirit of Service Award

Lindsay Huse

Lindsay Huse, MPH, DNP, RN, PHNA-BC 

BSN 2001

Dr. Lindsay Huse is the Director of the Douglas County Health Department. She holds a Masters in Public Health with concentrations in Leadership, Epidemiology, and Public Health Practice. She holds a Doctorate in Nursing Practice specializing in Public Health, and is board certified as an Advanced Public Health Nurse.

She is an Adjunct Associate Professor with the UNMC College of Public Health. She has over 20 years of experience across the field of public health both in nursing and other disciplines and has earned accolades for her leadership, public health advocacy efforts, and innovative approaches to evaluating the effectiveness of public health programming.

Dr. Huse is a passionate leader who enjoys building teams, solving problems, and strategizing new ways to build healthy communities. She believes that connection, coffee, cookies, and dogs are foundational to happiness. 






Dorothy Patach Spirit of Service Award

Patricia Lopez

Patricia D. Lopez, RN, MSN

MSN 1990

A public health practitioner for over 40 years, Pat Lopez’s passion and excellence for public health in Nebraska is unmatched. Her vision is to promote public health, develop solutions to important social and health issues, and provide prevention services and policies that improve the health of the public.  

Ms. Lopez currently serves as the Health Director at the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD). Much of her recent focus has been leading the City and County through the COVID-19 pandemic and protecting the health of the community.   

Prior to her current position, Ms. Lopez was a consultant for Public Health Association of Nebraska (PHAN) and assisted Local Health Departments in preparing for accreditation. She also was PHAN’s Board of Health Executive Director and provided training to the local boards of health in Nebraska.  

Ms. Lopez began her public health career at LLCHD as a Public Health Nurse in the Community Health Services Division and advanced within the department serving as Community Development Coordinator, Assistant Manager, and Manager. She developed health care programs for Medicaid recipients and the medically underserved, implemented a primary care clinic and a clinic for clients receiving general assistance, coordinated health stations in underserved areas of Lincoln and Lancaster County, and was a constant advocate for the most vulnerable populations in the city and county.  

Ms. Lopez promotes social justice while working with many partners and listens to all concerns and perspectives. She was instrumental in the passage of LB692, the bill that created regional public health departments in Nebraska. Her work with the state Legislature, community partners, primary care, education, and others made it possible for so many to agree on the importance of establishing a statewide local public health system with funding from the Master Tobacco Settlement in 2001. The local public health districts cover all 93 counties in the state to assure the public health of all Nebraskans. 

Nursing Excellence Award

Katie Speer

Katie Speer MSN, RN, PCCN, BSN

BSN 2014

Katie Speer received her BSN degree from the UNMC College of Nursing-Kearney Division in May of 2014. She then worked at CHI Health Good Samaritan Hospital as a Staff Nurse in the Neuro-Trauma Progressive Care Unit for a year before moving to Lincoln and starting her career at Bryan Medical Center. She started on the Cardiac Progressive Care Unit and aided in the opening of a new unit, the Cardiac Medical Progressive Care Unit where she became a preceptor and charge nurse. She served as the Nursing Professional Practice Council Co-Chair in 2017 and then Chair in 2018. She vacated this role when she accepted the dual position of Assistant Nurse Manager and Clinical Resource Nurse for the Cardiac Medical and Central Monitoring Units in May 2018. While working, she also returned to school in August of 2018 and received her MSN in Nursing Leadership from Bryan College of Health Sciences in December of 2020. When the Cardiac Medical Unit expanded in 2020, Katie had the opportunity to solely focus on being a Clinical Resource Nurse. She has remained in this position since.

Katie is the current President of the Southeast Nebraska Association of Critical Care Nurses. She has been an active member nationally and of this local AACN chapter since June of 2016. Katie has held additional local chapter leadership roles to include president elect, secretary, and board member. Through AACN, she has maintained PCCN certification since October of 2018. 

Honorary Alumnus Award

Juliann Sebastian

Juliann G. Sebastian, PhD, RN, FAAN    

Juliann G. Sebastian was appointed Dean and Professor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Nursing in October 2011.  She previously served as Dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and earlier as Assistant Dean for Advanced Practice Nursing and Professor at the University of Kentucky, College of Nursing. Dr. Sebastian earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Kentucky, College of Nursing and her doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Business and Economics.  She was inducted into the UK College of Nursing Hall of Fame in 2011. 

Her areas of expertise are organization of care delivery systems, community-based care for underserved populations, and health policy.  Her scholarly work has been published widely, including journal papers, book chapters, and three books, and she has presented scientific and professional papers extensively at regional, national, and international meetings.  She was inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 1999. 

Dr. Sebastian has been actively engaged in national academic nursing through her service on many task forces for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and as Chair of the AACN Board of Directors from 2016-18 and as Chair of the Board of the Global Alliance for Leadership in Nursing Education and Science from 2015-17.  She served as a member of the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation’s Competency-Based Education Invitational Conference Planning Committee (2016-17) and as a member of the National Academy of Science and Medicine’s Committee on The Health and Medical Dimensions of Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults (2018-20).  She also has served on numerous community boards, including the Nebraska Chapter March of Dimes (2015-18) and her current service on the board of Tabitha Health, Inc. in Nebraska (2017-present).