The MUSC College of Nursing had the distinct honor of awarding six new scholarships this fall in fulfillment of our Take Nursing Higher scholarship campaign. The campaign aims to raise $1 million in scholarship funding to help our state’s best and brightest nursing students achieve their dreams of becoming nurses. Thank you to our faculty, staff, alumni, and donors who have participated in the Take Nursing Higher campaign. The following scholarships are made possible through your generous support!
Olivette Garr Smith Scholarship - This merit based scholarship was awarded for the first time in August to Madison Wuller, a BSN student from Overland Park, KS. Olivette Garr Smith graduated from MUSC’s College of Nursing in 1947 and went on to work at both St. Francis Hospital and The Citadel. She passed away in February 2018 leaving behind an incredible nursing legacy and several loving friends and family members. One of those friends is Mervyn Juchartz, also from the class of 1947, who was so moved by her friendship with Smith that she began the Olivette Garr Smith Scholarship that awards an incoming or returning College of Nursing student enrolled in any program.
Eleanor Shealy Adeimy Scholarship - Inspired by the events of September 11, 2001, Toyanna McElhenny wanted to spend her adult years in service to others. She began her health care career as an EMT and later attended Midlands Technical College, graduating with with her nursing license in 2016. Afterwards, she worked in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital in Columbia, SC, but decided to enroll in MUSC’s RN to BSN program in order to further her education and practice at a higher level of nursing care. She is the first recipient of the Eleanor Shealy Adeimy Scholarship, a merit based scholarship available to students in the RN-BSN program. Dorothy Taylor, daughter of Adeimy (a 1943 graduate), started this scholarship in her mother’s honor earlier this year as a way to celebrate her many career accomplishments.
Dr. Heidar A. Modaresi Nursing Scholarship - This scholarship was established in the fall of 2017 by both Heidar A. Modaresi, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, and his daughter, Anahita Modaresi, the director of development in the College of Nursing. Inspired by the quality nursing care Modaresi received throughout his life, this scholarship is one of the college’s first aimed at helping underrepresented minority students achieve their dream of pursuing a career in nursing. It’s first recipient is Danielle Ravenell, a BSN student, from Maplewood, NJ. Ravenell received her undergraduate degree in 2014 from the University of South Carolina in athletic training before enrolling in the BSN program. She is the president of the college’s Student Government Association and is one of this year’s Dean’s Scholarship Reception speakers. Ravenell’s interest is in acute care and she plans to pursue her DNP and work as an acute care nurse practitioner.
Dr. Deborah C. Williamson Nursing Scholarship - Deborah Williamson, DHA, MSN, RN, is no stranger to MUSC. After 46 years in nursing and 31 years in the college she retired in June. For many years, she served as the faculty leader for the Hispanic Health Initiative Scholars, an honors clinical group of BSN students who explore health issues in the local Latino community. Her passion for serving our state’s Latino community led her to lead a statewide initiative for improving the health and well-being of young Latino families in South Carolina. During her academic career at MUSC, she served in numerous roles, most recently, she served as the associate dean for practice.
In honor of Williamson’s many accomplishments in the field of nursing, David Garr, MD, began a scholarship in his wife’s name. The Dr. Deborah C. Williamson Nursing Scholarship is given to a DNP student in their second year who has an interest in primary care in underserved populations. Lenora Butterbaugh is the inaugural recipient of this award. Butterbaugh is from Orange City, FL and is enrolled in the DNP program in the FNP track. She has an interest in serving under resourced communities through primary care. She received an associate’s degree from Daytona State College, her BSN from Bethune-Cookman University, and is on track to graduate with a DNP degree from MUSC in 2021.
Gail W. Stuart Scholarship - This scholarship was established in 2017 in honor of the college’s former dean, Gail W. Stuart, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, and her many contributions to the field of nursing and to the college. Stuart, the College of Nursing’s longest serving dean, led the nursing school from 2002 until 2018 until her retirement in June. She made significant contributions to psychiatric mental health nursing during her 47 year nursing career. While at MUSC she taught in undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in nursing and served on numerous academic, corporate and government boards. She also has represented nursing on a variety of National Institute of Mental Health and National Institute of Nursing Research policy and research panels.
Imani Fickling is the Gail W. Stuart Scholarship’s first recipient. She is from Oakland, CA and is pursuing her Ph.D. in nursing science. Fickling is no stranger to Charleston or MUSC as she received her undergraduate degree in 2009 from the College of Charleston and her BSN in 2012 from the College of Nursing. She went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of California in 2017. From there she enrolled in the college’s Ph.D. program and is scheduled to graduate in 2020.
Amelia Kaasa Rowland Scholarship - Tamara Washington entered the BSN program in fall 2017 while working as a patient care technician at Roper Hospital. Washington’s focus is to bridge the communication gap between doctors and minority patients, and she has worked diligently to alleviate anxiety for minority patients who may not understand medical terminology. She has a heart for helping others especially diverse populations with medical needs. For this very reason, Washington was awarded the first Amelia Kaasa Rowland Scholarship. This scholarship is in honor of Amelia Kaasa Rowland, a 2005 graduate, and is given to a student who is a single parent in good standing with the college. Rowland’s parents, Dr. and Mrs. Laurin Kaasa, began this scholarship as a way to acknowledge their daughter’s hard work and success as a nurse midwife and to help nursing students achieve their dreams of becoming a nurse. During her time in the college, Rowland received scholarship money to help ease the financial burden of tuition. This year the family decided it was time to pay it forward and return the generousity that was shown to Rowland.
A huge thank you to these donors and their newly formed scholarships and too all our scholarship donors for their continuous support! The MUSC College of Nursing awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships this fall due in part to the generosity of our supporters. If you would like to learn more about the Take Nursing Higher campaign or would like to contribute to a nursing scholarship, visit our website or call our Office of Development at 843-792-8421.