Providing healing, promoting hope: LU to honor inspirational women

Each year,  Women’s History Month is celebrated in March to highlight and honor the notable contributions of women throughout history. Lamar University is proud to recognize more than 50 women who have positively impacted Lamar University, their peers, students and the local community at the annual Inspirational Woman Award Ceremony on Thursday, March 24.

Now in its 4th year, the 2022 Inspirational Woman Award Ceremony also will distinguish one woman who embody this year’s theme –– providing healing and promoting hope.  

“This year’s theme is both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and front-line workers during the pandemic and a recognition of the women who have provided healing and hope throughout history,” said Dr. Wilma Jackson, director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. “For our honorees, we are focusing on women who have served on the front lines of the pandemic and will award them with a certificate for their hard work and all of the wonderful things that they have accomplished.”

The 2022 Inspirational Woman honorees are:

Dr. Amber Adams 
Donica’ Beckett 
Dr. Beverly Buchanan 
Kacie Calloway 
Katheen Carlisle 
Dr. LeAnn Chisholm 
LaTonia Cormier 
Amy DuBose 
Dr. Lilian Felipe 
Michelle Fisher 
Abbie Flores 
Jeanell Frelot 
Stacie Granger
Jennifer George  
Dr. Gina Hale 
Rose Harding 
Caroline Heing
Kristen Helm 
Dr. Tammy Henderson 
Jennifer Huff 
Yinka Jenmy 
Rezvan Khoshlessan 
Dr. Stacey Knight 
Dr. Raouth Kostandy 
Molly Landry 
Dr. Elizabeth Long 
Shannon Marsh 
Dr. Nancye McAfee 
Dr. Nicki Michalski 
Yolanda B. Monroe 
Christina Morris 
Patti Moss 
Patricia O’Brien 
Stacey Ojemeni 
Sandra Oliva 
Linda Olliff 
Keili Peterman 
Dr. Cindy Pipkins 
Terry Rhodes 
Dr. Ruthie Robinson
Carmen Rolf 
Jennifer Rosetta 
Becky Saleme 
Nicole Schroeder 
Becky Seymour 
Sommer Shackelford 
Rene Sheppard 
Dr. Judy Smith 
Kelsey Smith 
Bethany Steely 
Jenny Thedford 
Holly Thompson 
Tiffany Tran 
Lora Verrill 
Lori Wenner 
Kelli White 
Corie Willey 
Qiang Xu

The ceremony will be held on the 8th floor of the Mary and John Gray Library at 4 p.m. with keynote speaker Dr. Cynthia Stinson, JoAnne Gay Dishman School of Nursing associate professor and department chair.


About the keynote speaker:

Dr. Cynthia Stinson, a first-generation college student who graduated in the first nursing class at Lamar University in 1975, is a Lumberton native, is a member of the Texas Nurses Association, American Nurses Association and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society. She also is a member and medical educator with the Gift of Life program. cynthia-stinson
After graduating with her associate degree with high honors, Stinson then went on to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at LU in 1980. She 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. 

While working on her Ph.D., she came back to LU in 1994 and she served as the coordinator of nursing continuing education. Stinson’s commitment to nursing education became personal when in January of 2007, she was diagnosed with stage 2 invasive breast cancer, endured chemotherapy, 45 rounds of radiation and three surgeries. Cancer free now for nearly 15 years, she is even more committed to her mission to teach students so they can make a difference in a patient's life.

Stinson 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 worked with the Julie Rogers’ Gift of Life in the “Wise Woman” initiative to improve housing and the quality of life for women. She also 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.
Just last year, Stinson was appointed to the Texas Health Services Authority Board of Directors by Gov. Greg Abbott and, with nearly 50 years of experience in the field, she serves as the only medical nurse on the board. In 2019, she was awarded the Julie and Ben Rogers Community Service Award. More recently, the department chair along with Dr. Ruthie Robinson, director of Graduate Nursing Studies, was awarded the State Research Award by the Texas Organization of Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing Education for their research focusing on “Compassion Fatigue and Resiliency During the COVID-19 pandemic.”