Elizabeth Kemble Alumni Awards

The Elizabeth Kemble Nursing Alumni Award, one of the highest honors bestowed by the College of Nursing, recognizes the college's notable alumni achievements in research, practice and leadership.

Elizabeth Kemble Alumin Awards recipients 2023

Elizabeth Kemble Alumni Awards | 2023 Recipients

Nominate a Nursing Alumna/Alumnus

Do you know a nursing alumna/alumnus who has gone above and beyond in nursing research, practice or leadership? Nominate them for the Elizabeth Kemble Alumni Nursing Award by March 18, 2024.

Honorees will be celebrated during the college's annual Pinning Ceremony.

2023 Honorees

Deasa Dorsey

Deasa Dorsey, RN, BSN, a community educator and patient advocate, is the founder of iCan Health Inc, an organization built to empower people to reach their optimal state of health, and the author of the "iCan Manual: My Simple Manual For Living With Diabetes." DEspite having worked in various health care institutions and organizations across the country, Dorsey has always maintained a presence in the Cincinnati community. In addition to iCan Health, Dorsey is the visionary and co-founder of Black Nurse Network, a network of professional nurses with the goal of ensuring that Black students graduate from nursing programs.  

Leslie Evers

Leslie Evers, MSN, CS, LMFT, RN, PMHCNS-BC is the founder of the Family Therapy Center of Old Town in Alexandria, VA, where she employs a bio-psycho-social model to provide psychotherapy for individuals, couples, and families. To contribute to the education of psychiatric nurse practitioners, she provides clinical placement and supervision for students from several universities, as well as mentorship after graduation. Throughout her career, Evers has proactively developed nursing's role in various settings, acted as a change-agent and provided innovative support for nursing and the importance of the nurse-patient relationship.

Tammy Lockhart

Tammy Lockhart, MSN, RN, COHN-S is the site lead, Global Health Services at Ethicon Endo Surgery in Cincinnati, OH. Throughout her extensive nursing career, Lockhart has strived to develop and promote a culture of health through a wide variety of health and wellness, disease prevention, resiliency and safety programs so that employees are functioning at a holistically, optimal level.  


Susan Newell

Susie Newell, DNP, CRNA, a nurse anesthesiologist specializing in obstetric anesthesia, is currently the Chief of Obstetric Anesthesia for Sound Anesthesia. Newell is an established lecturer, teacher and author, and her work experience includes anesthesiology, advocacy and policy, obstetric anesthesiology and mental health. Research on coping mechanisms led to the published book, "The Path 365." Her work in obstetrics in the heart of the opioid crisis includes running the national online group Recovery Path for Mothers and Others.


Lu Ann Reed

Lu Ann Reed, DNP, RN, BC-Gero, LNHA, WCC, DWC, CNE, an assistant professor at UC College of Nursing, has held a variety of positions throughout her career, from staff nurse to program director in a variety of Cincinnati Hospitals. She is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator and certified in rehabilitation, geriatrics, wound care, diabetic wound care and nurse educator. Reed is the current president of the Kentucky League of Nursing, historian for the Mideast Region Wound Ostomy Continence organization and a member of Beta Iota Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International. She is also a board member of the International Alliance for Wound Care Scholarship Foundation and of the Cincinnati Nurses Honor Guard.

2022 Honorees

  • Ashlie Cramer ’10
  • Heather Eckstein ’12
  • Rachel Smith-Steinert ’01, ’07, ’16

Who was Elizabeth Kemble?

Elizabeth Kemble and students

Elizabeth Kemble and students

As the founding dean of the UNC School of Nursing, UC alumni, and a Nursing trailblazer, Elizabeth Kemble dedicated her life to serving others. “There is no such thing as a menial task in caring for a human being,” Kemble once said.

After earning her nursing diploma in 1927 from UC, she earned a master’s in nursing and a doctorate in nursing education by 1948, a feat unheard of for a woman of her day.

At North Carolina, Kemble was given one year to hire faculty, develop a curriculum, oversee construction of the school of nursing building and dorms, find additional scholarship funding and recruit high school seniors to start the following fall. Her first class, in 1951, was made up of 27 women, a big deal for North Carolina which had only admitted female students as transfer students up to that point.

By the time the school celebrated its 10th anniversary, Kemble had guided it through the accreditation process for the bachelor’s  and master’s programs and enrollment had increased to 235 students.

Kemble’s work caught the eye of the U.S. Air Force, which brought her on as the national consultant to the surgeon general in 1959. She became the first professional nurse to be ranked a brigadier general. 

For questions, please reach out to Gage Woolley, program director for alumni engagement.