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Stinson receives Julie and Ben Rogers Community Service Award

Dr. Cynthia Stinson, chair of the JoAnn Gay Dishman School of Nursing, has been honored as the 2019 Julie & Ben Rogers Community Service Award recipient.

The ceremony took place December 12 on the 8th Floor of the Mary and John Gray Library, with Juan Zabala, Service Awardsvice president for University Advancement and executive director of the Lamar University Foundation, as Master of Ceremonies.

The Julie & Ben Rogers Community Service Award was established in 1979 to acknowledge the members of Lamar University’s faculty and staff who make a lasting impact on the Southeast Texas community through an outstanding record of service and volunteer work. The Rogers family hopes the award will contribute to the recognition of those who give their time and talents to the community and encourage others to volunteer. Each year four recipients, one each from Lamar University, Lamar Institute of Technology, Lamar State College - Port Arthur, and Lamar State College - Orange, are chosen. Since 1980, 93 awards have been presented.    

Stinson has served Lamar University for 25 years but she’s been a Cardinal for much longer.

In 1975 she received her associate degree with high honors. She then went on to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at LU in 1980. Dr. Stinson graduated with her master’s degree in nursing in adult health from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in 1994 and her Ph.D. from Texas Woman’s University in Houston in 2006.

When she came back to LU in 1994, while working on her Ph.D., she served as the coordinator of nursing continuing education. Regardless of her many roles at LU, nursing continuing education has always been her passion. In fact, she served on the Texas Nurses Association State Continuing Education Committee for 22 years. She believes strongly that those in healthcare must be life-long learners to keep up with the constant changes and continual advances in medicine. She firmly believes nurses are on the front lines and must educate patients so they can advocate for themselves.

Stinson’s commitment to education in both regards became personal when in January 2007, she was diagnosed with stage 2 invasive breast cancer, endured chemotherapy, 45 rounds of radiation and three surgeries. Cancer free now for nearly 13 years, Dr. Stinson is even more committed to her mission to teach students so they can make a difference in a patient's life.

Stinson now combines her vocation with her life experience to serve others. She serves on the Board for the Pink Power Support Group for women with breast cancer and organized “Cancer Crusaders,” developing an educational series for lay people and healthcare providers in the area to enhance early cancer detection and treatment. She received the 2014 Good Samaritan Award from the Good Samaritan Foundation in Houston for this effort. She also worked with the Julie Rogers’ Gift of Life in the “Wise Woman” initiative to improve housing and the quality of life for women. She has served on the Board of Directors of the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and been a volunteer speaker for the group at local, state and national levels.

Stinson formed a collaboration between the Gift of life and the JoAnne Gay Dishman School of Nursing to teach high school students about the dangers of tobacco and risks of cancer. She organized the teaching materials and worked with community nursing faculty to begin the imitative now active in four different cities in high schools in Southeast Texas. Stinson served as an advisor to a university Christian organization for minority students, called “The Seed,” and on the planning committee for the National Conference of Modeling-Role Modeling. She continues to present on numerous topics to not just her students but to young people, community members and anyone who will listen about health and disease, treatment and caregiving. Most recently she was presenting on a teleconference to parish nurses on the topic of “compassion fatigue in healthcare workers” conveying the message that caregivers need care, too.

“Dr. Stinson is an outstanding representative of Lamar University,” said Dr. Kenneth Evans, president of Lamar University. “Her commitment to education and service is exemplary and transformative for the next generation.”

Nursing students in the JoAnne Gay Dishman School of Nursing average 6,000 hours of community services to various local agencies each year, largely attributable to their service-oriented leader, Stinson.