Zorn wins Wisconsin Professor of the Year award
recognition of her exceptional achievements in nursing education,
CeCelia Zorn, a professor in the department of nursing systems in
the UW-Eau Claire School of Nursing, is the 2002 Carnegie Foundation
for the Advancement of Teaching Wisconsin Professor of the Year.
The award is given annually by the Council
for Advancement and Support of Education to recognize the importance
of undergraduate instruction at all types of higher education institutions.
am awestruck by this award. I owe a great deal to my colleagues, who
have been fantastic mentors," Zorn said.
colleagues and students describe Zorn as a true master teacher, one
who advocates for students, creatively teaches using a variety of
methods and firmly grounds her teaching in the most recent research
I think of CeCelia, I think of the words of Emerson, ‘Our chief
want in life is somebody who shall make us do what we can.'
For a generation of nursing students CeCelia is that somebody,"
said colleague Mary Ellen Stolder.
began her teaching career at UW-Eau Claire in 1980. In 1996, she received
the UW-Eau Claire Excellence in Teaching Award, one of the highest
awards presented to faculty and determined by a university alumni
vote. In the School of Nursing, she also received awards for excellence
in clinical instruction and for faculty creativity and scholarliness.
observe Dr. Zorn in the classroom is as if one is watching a well-choreographed
ballet," said Mary Zwygart-Stauffacher, chair of the nursing
systems department. "The discovery, the encouragement and the
challenge to students to expand their thinking are all done with great
ease, composure and refinement."
believes continued student and teacher scholarship is the goal of
teaching and learning. To that end, for example, she developed a course
with an English professor to help undergraduate nursing students improve
their thinking and writing skills.
writing-to-learn is not a new idea, linking it so closely to a professional
discipline, carefully shaping the approach to individual and small
groups of students, and developing trusting and enduring student-teacher
relationships pushed the idea to new levels," Zorn says.
Ronald Satz, who nominated Zorn for the award, cites her recent sabbatical
as an example of her continuous search for new and better teaching
methods. "Even though Dr. Zorn has received many acknowledgments
of her teaching excellence, she continues to seek educational and
experiential opportunities to enhance her teaching," Satz wrote.
of the results of that sabbatical, which focused on using the humanities
to help students learn nursing, is a manuscript titled, "All
the Voices in the Room," co-authored by Zorn, five graduate
students and her sabbatical mentor, an internationally recognized
expert who uses drama as a teaching approach in higher education in
project, which will be submitted for presentation next summer at a
national professional nursing education meeting, describes an assignment
in which nursing education students and Zorn each selected a piece
of art and described how it reflected their theory of education. A
display of the art pieces in class became the catalyst for in-depth
reflection and discussion about educational theory.
on in my career I wouldn't have been sure it was OK to try this
approach to teaching," Zorn said. "Now I trust the students'
ability to learn in any situation as long as we focus on the educational
goal, always reflecting on personal and professional growth and learning."
keeps up her clinical skills by working several shifts each month
in the medical/neuroscience unit at a local hospital. "Patient
contact strengthens my teaching and helps me stay grounded,"
she says. "I learn firsthand what nurses are facing and can
better prepare students for practice."
Zorn is one of the most amazing professors I have had the pleasure
of learning from," wrote Melyssa Heintz, a nontraditional nursing
student. "She is a mentor and a counselor, an educator and an
inspiration. She is one of those people that come into your life and
leave a piece of themselves with you forever, and you feel truly blessed."
is the daily and ordinary teaching and learning, walking side-by-side
with students, where both develop a deeper role as scholars. It is
in this daily-ness that scholarship lives and grows," Zorn said.
received her bachelor's degree in nursing from UW-Eau Claire,
her master's degree in nursing from California State University-Los
Angeles and her doctorate from UW-Milwaukee.
is the fourth UW-Eau Claire professor to be selected as the state's
top undergraduate teacher. Chemistry professor Jack Pladziewicz received
the award in 1993; psychology professor William Frankenberger in 1995;
and chemistry professor Scott Hartsel in 2001. Judges evaluate nominees
in the following areas: impact on and involvement with undergraduate
students; scholarly approach to teaching and learning; contribution
to undergraduate education in the institution, community and profession;
and support from colleagues and current and former undergraduate students.
national and state winners of the U.S. Professors of the Year program
were honored Nov. 21 at an awards luncheon at the National Press Club
in Washington, D.C.
Nursing professor inducted into American
Academy of Nursing
Mary Zwygart-Stauffacher, professor and chair of the department
of nursing systems at UW-Eau Claire, received one of the nursing profession's
highest honors earlier this month when she was inducted as a fellow
in the American Academy of Nursing.
Academy, which provides visionary leadership to the nursing profession
and the public in shaping future health care policy and practice,
has some 1,500 fellows, many of whom sit on policy-making boards,
head professional associations, are involved in international activities,
work in health care planning and are at the forefront of human rights
and minority issues affecting health care. Seventy nursing leaders
from around the country were inducted this year.
is considered nursing's highest honor for a lifetime of nursing
achievements," said Elaine Wendt, interim associate dean of
nursing. "It reflects very highly on Mary's commitment
to both the discipline and the profession and upon our School of Nursing."
has more than 25 years in gerontological nursing practice, particularly
in the nursing home arena, where she has implemented new advanced
practice roles and clinical best practice models. She has held a variety
of faculty positions in schools of nursing and is an investigator
with the University of Missouri-Columbia MDS and Quality Research
is a frequent presenter on topics related to gerontological nursing
and advanced practice nursing, care of frail elderly, nursing home
quality of care issues and Minimum Data Set/Quality Indicators. She
has co-authored or authored numerous publications on these topics,
including two award-winning books on quality care in the nursing home
spent most of my practice in nursing homes, working with the frailest,
oldest patients. Election to the Academy means a great deal to me
because it validates this work and brings honor to nursing homes and
nurses who work with such a deserving, but challenging group of patients,"
joined the nursing faculty at UW-Eau Claire two years ago. She previously
was on the nursing faculty at the University of Minnesota. She also
is employed as a gerontological nurse practitioner for nursing home
services with the Red Cedar Clinic/Mayo Health System in Menomonie.
She holds a master of science with specialization in gerontological
nursing and a post-masters gerontological nurse practitioner preparation
from Rush University. She earned her doctoral degree in nursing from
In Brief Calendar
of Events Faculty/Staff News
Liz Wolf Green, Editor
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
· Diane Walkoff,
Editorial Assistant ·
November 25, 2002