In recognition of her extensive clinical knowledge and work as an accomplished educator, School of Nursing faculty member Leah Vota Cunningham has earned a 2013 Cameos of Caring Award in the Nurse Educator category.
The Cameos of Caring awards, which are presented by the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, are designed to spotlight nursing role models and to impact nursing retention as well as recruit talented and committed members of the profession. Cunningham, an assistant professor and assistant dean for student services, will be presented with her award on Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Cameos of Caring Program and Awards Gala.
A member of the nursing faculty at Duquesne for 26 years, Cunningham has played a critical role in creating rigorous and transformational undergraduate and graduate student experiences. Among her many other accomplishments, she was instrumental in creating a freshman seminar that ensures early nursing student successes, and her colleagues and former students attest to her willingness to offer assistance and mentoring.
For more than two decades, along with other members of the nursing faculty, Cunningham has been working with a leading Nicaraguan nursing school on projects that have had an enduring impact on health care in that nation.
In addition, Cunningham helped to envision and implement a fundamental curriculum redesign and to develop a program that delivers basic health care services—including an education and screening program for cervical and breast cancer—to at-risk women in a Managua barrio. For the past 18 years, she has guided Duquesne students on trips to Nicaragua, where they gain field experiences that enrich their educational experience and help them become better nurses.