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Five from ECU nursing receive state awards

Clockwise from top left are Dr. Gene Tranbarger, Dr. Annette Greer, Bobby Lowery, Michelle Skipper and Dr. Elaine Scott.
GREENVILLE, N.C.   (Oct. 13, 2011)   —   Current and retired faculty members and alumni from the East Carolina University College of Nursing were honored Oct. 12 by the North Carolina Nurses Association.

The NCNA is the professional organization for all registered nurses in North Carolina. The awards were made during the association's 104th annual convention in Durham.

Dr. Russell "Gene" Tranbarger, professor emeritus, was selected for induction into the NCNA Hall of Fame.

He began his career as an operating room nurse, served eight years in the U.S. Army, which included teaching nursing during the Vietnam War, worked as a nursing administrator at three hospitals in North Carolina and later taught at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and ECU. He retired in 2003.

"He understands nursing, health care and the essential elements of both," his citation read. "Excellence has been a hallmark of his many contributions to nursing and continues to be a cornerstone of his professional work."

Bobby Lowery, clinical assistant professor and director of the adult and family nurse practitioner graduate concentrations at ECU, was named Nurse Educator of the Year.

Lowery "is accomplished in many areas of nursing – education, practice and policy – and woven throughout his numerous outstanding contributions is his ability to lead and inspire others," his citation read.

"This core competency is Bobby's strongest and enduring trait." Lowery's research interests include advanced practice registered nurse regulation, health care access, health policy and primary care. Lowery also maintains a primary care practice in rural Wayne County.

Michelle Skipper, clinical assistant professor in the adult and family nurse practitioner concentrations, was honored with the Mentorship in Nursing Award.

She has served in leadership roles with the NCNA and other nursing organizations.

She has mentored hundreds of students as well as novice and seasoned nurse practitioners.

A Great 100 Nursing recipient, she was nominated for the Max Ray Joyner Award at ECU in 2008 for faculty excellence in online teaching.

Dr. Elaine Scott, associate professor and director of the East Carolina Center for Nursing Leadership, received a Certificate of Commendation Award. Scott also served five years as director of the master's in nursing leadership concentration.

Before entering academia, Scott worked 20 years in a variety of clinical and administrative roles in nursing. She recently completed a three-year Partners in Nursing grant from the Robert Wood Johnson and North West Health foundations in which she partnered with clinical nurse leaders in small eastern North Carolina towns to identify and address workplace priorities. She emerged as a key leader in the Future of Nursing Summit held recently that brought together broad stakeholders with interest in the state's nursing workforce.

Dr. Annette G. Greer, assistant professor of bioethics and interdisciplinary studies and co-director of the Office of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Education in the Brody School of Medicine, received a Certificate of Commendation Award.

An ECU nursing alumna, Greer teaches interdisciplinary rural health, public health and adult education and collaborates with faculty from the College of Human Ecology to teach an honors seminar that combines art and health. Greer is a leader in promoting interdisciplinary models of health care in rural communities.


Contact: Crystal Baity | 252-744-2482