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June 2006

Release Date: June 16, 2006

ASU Nurse Receives International Award

Wrennah Gabbert, a member of Angelo State University’s nursing faculty since 1997, has received the 2006 Watson Scholar Award given by the International Association for Human Caring (IAHC) for significant scholarly contributions to the field.

Gabbert accepted the award during the IAHC’s annual meeting earlier this month in Fremantle, Australia. Gabbert’s upcoming doctoral research will explore the organizational climate in online learning and focuses on how the instructional design process by faculty can better support and humanize online learning for adults returning to school for advanced degrees.

Her research will attempt to demonstrate how concepts, first articulated in the “theory of human caring,” can improve faculty-student relationships and interaction in online education. The principles of human caring rest upon the development of helping and trusting transpersonal relationships between nurses and their patients. Gabbert sees the same need in the burgeoning field of online education.

Over the last five years, Gabbert has published 16 articles or chapters in academic journals and publications on her online and teaching experiences. The award was especially meaningful for Gabbert as she has organized the conceptual framework of her dissertation research around the human caring theory developed by Dr. Jean Watson, namesake for the IAHC honor. Watson is a p rofessor of nursing and holder of an endowed chair in caring science at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.

“I was not only able to meet with Dr. Watson individually but also with numerous recognized experts in the nursing and caring science field,” Gabbert said.

Gabbert will do the research as part of her Ph.D. work with Capella University, an online institution of higher education in Minneapolis. She expects to complete her dissertation later this year. She holds both her bachelor of science and master of science in nursing degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is certified as both a pediatric nurse practitioner and a family nurse practitioner.

At ASU Gabbert teaches nursing courses in a dvanced physical assessment, pharmacology for advanced practice, community and primary health care, and leadership in advanced practice nursing, including teaching and educational strategies in a variety of delivery formats.

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