Students in the Practical Nursing program at the Dabney S. Lancaster Community College Rockbridge Regional Center in Buena Vista pose with their instructor, Laura Meadows. Front row, from left: Tracy Bogan of Clifton Forge; Molly Meadows of Covington; Rebecca Hall of Eagle Rock; Jenna Byers of Selma; Meadows; Courtney Spencer of White Sulphur Springs, WV; Taylor Poague of Covington; Caitlin Cannon of Staunton. Back row: Courtney Simmons of Covington; Ashley Peckham of Lexington; Hayley Blankenship of Vesuvius; Sarah Lam of Buchanan; Kateland Fridley of Rockingham; Heather Givens of New Castle, and Abigail Barkley of Sinks Grove, WV.
Laura Meadows, MSN, RN, CNN
DSLCC Interim Nursing Director Honored
Laura Meadows of Covington, lead faculty for the Practical Nursing Program at the Dabney S. Lancaster Community College Rockbridge Regional Center, has been chosen as the recipient of the first annual Excellence Award by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development. Meadows will receive the honor at an awards ceremony in Austin, TX, in May.
“I am honored and very humbled to receive this award,” Meadows remarked.
“We are so proud of Laura for receiving this award,” commented DSLCC President Dr. John Rainone. “Laura goes above and beyond in her commitment to her students and their success.”
Meadows has taught classes in both the Associate Degree Nursing and PN programs and is currently serving as the Interim Nursing Director at DSLCC.
“I am so blessed to work with a team of instructors, Carla Dobbs and Carolyn Snyder, we work so well together,” said Meadows. “And Dr. Ben Worth (DSLCC Vice President of Academic Affairs), has worked hard to update our program, he’s been so supportive. He has helped us transform the classroom” by adding new teaching equipment and cutting costs for students.
A 1991 graduate of DSLCC, Meadows worked for many years as an X-ray technician at Alleghany Regional Hospital (she completed X-ray school at the old C&O Hospital under the late Dr. George Chucker). Later, while employed at a dialysis clinic, she decided to go back to school to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from the Medical College of Virginia. She came to DSLCC in 2010 as an adjunct instructor, teaching clinicals for nursing students.
“Ann May (then director of the DSLCC nursing program) talked me into going back to school to get my masters. I found at age 65 my brain cells weren’t all dead,” she laughed. She earned a Masters Degree in Nursing Education from the University of Phoenix. Two years ago, at age 70, she took over the DSLCC PN program, and has introduced active learning and critical thinking to the curriculum.
“I’ve always wanted to be a nurse,” Meadows remarked. “I’ve known it since I was 6 years old. It took me a long time to get here, but I have a passion for nursing that is deeply rooted.”
“I love my students,” she adds. “We are all there to help them succeed, not to fail.”
In the fall, Meadows is planning to introduce a new program that will allow high school juniors to take pre-requisites for the PN program as dual enrollment students, then join the PN class at the RRC in their senior year in high school, to prepare to sit for the certification exam. The program is still in the works, but at least one area high school is on board.
“I am so proud of Laura for the leadership she has shown the PN Nursing Program,” Dr. Worth remarked. “The ongoing development of the dual enrollment opportunity for area high school students is extraordinary and promises to expand access to nursing training in the region.”
Meadows and her husband, Steve, who have been married almost 53 years, have two grown sons, Tony and Chris, and four grandchildren.
While NISOD’s Excellence Awards recognize men and women each year who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues. In 1989, in connection with a University of Texas at Austin national study of teaching excellence, NISOD hosted its first ceremony honoring NISOD Excellence Award recipients. The response to that ceremony was so positive that NISOD began what has become the largest and most inspiring gathering that recognizes the contributions and achievements of community and technical college faculty, administrators, and staff.
Excellence Award recipients will be celebrated during NISOD’s annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, May 23-26, 2020 in Austin, Texas. During the Excellence Awards Dinner and Celebration, held in conjunction with NISOD’s annual conference, each Excellence Award recipient receives a specially cast, pewter medallion hung on a burnt-orange ribbon.
“Recognizing those individuals who have contributed to student success and their colleges’ mission is something we look forward to doing each year,” said Dr. Edward J. Leach, NISOD’s Executive Director. “The extraordinary work of these men and women includes not only what they do for their students and colleagues, but what they do for the communities in which they live and work. We’re honored to be able to play a part in celebrating their achievements.”
The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) is a membership organization committed to promoting and celebrating excellence in teaching, learning, and leadership at community and technical colleges. NISOD provides budget-friendly, high-quality, and faculty-focused programs and resources for community and technical colleges that want to make the most of their professional development dollars. For over 40 years, NISOD has aligned a wide array of benefits with the needs of our members, which explains why the American Association of Community Colleges named NISOD, “The country’s leading provider of professional development for community college faculty, staff, and administrators.” For more information about NISOD, visit www.nisod.org. DSLCC joined NISOD in 2019.