College Community Members Honored by the March of Dimes

The March of Dimes Nebraska and Western Iowa chapter honors nursing professionals each year during their Nurse of the Year awards ceremony. In fall 2020, two Clarkson College community members earned nominations in their respective categories. March of Dimes held a virtual event on Dec. 1 to announce the award winners and celebrate all nominees and their dedication to the nursing profession.

Dr. Lori Jerina, Academic Educator of the Year Nominee

Lori Jerina, DNP, APRN-CNM, was nominated for the March of Dimes Academic Educator of the Year award. An Assistant Professor in the Undergraduate Nursing program, Dr. Jerina has been with Clarkson College since 2016. Her nomination for the award came from her colleagues at the College, which makes it that much more meaningful.

“This is such an incredible nomination that means so much more because it came from my peers,” she said. “It means so much to be recognized.”

Dr. Jerina earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She also received her Master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and her doctorate degree from Nebraska Methodist College. Her career spans a wide range of experiences in both metropolitan and rural settings in intensive care and labor and delivery units. According to Dr. Jerina, it is these experiences that made her want to enter the education field. 

“I have always loved the education aspect of nursing and come from a family of teachers,” she said. “I have had so many different roles in nursing, that I wanted to share my experiences with others and make an impact as a nurse educator.”

Nominees for the Academic Education of the Year award must demonstrate distinction in education, conducting research or providing practice expertise to nursing students. They must also promote a positive nursing image, exhibit strong leadership skills and exemplify an extraordinary level of care and compassion.

Gracie Kliegl, Student Nurse of the Year Nominee

Gracie Kliegl, who is enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at Clarkson College, was nominated for the Student Nurse of the Year award. Kliegl plans to graduate from the program in December 2021 and become a nurse in an intensive care unit. Eventually, she plans to continue her education at the College and become a nurse anesthetist.

During her years at the College, Kliegl has shown dedication to both the institution as well as the nursing profession. Her nomination by faculty demonstrates her commitment to excellence both personally and academically.  

“Being nominated for the Student Nurse of the Year award is such a great honor,” she said. “It shows that I have made an impact throughout my time here at Clarkson College. I strive to help others and show how great the school is, and I cannot thank the College enough for this amazing opportunity, I greatly appreciate it.”

Kliegl is a member of several organizations on campus including the Student Government Association, Student Ambassadors, Student Nurses Association and Residence Hall Council. It is her involvement with the College and her profession that encouraged faculty to nominate Kliegl for the award.

Nominees for the Student Nurse of the Year award must have been enrolled in a nursing program for at least one year and reflect a record of academic excellence.