Theresa Kessler, Ph.D., RN, ACNS-BC, CNE, who has been a member of the faculty at Valparaiso University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions for more than two decades, received the University’s Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Work for 2017.

Kessler, a professor of nursing, teaches courses throughout the College’s bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral nursing programs, continually emphasizing the importance of research and creating opportunities for students to engage in research projects.

“Terry has an extensive record of scholarly work and professional presentations,” said Janet M. Brown, RN, Ph.D., dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions. “While her record is remarkable in itself, her history of involving students in her work is extraordinary.”

In her teaching, Kessler specializes in adult health, management/leadership and advanced practice. Her clinical area of expertise is adult health nursing, and she is certified as an Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Kessler has an active consulting practice, is a parish nurse and is a certified nurse educator through the National League of Nursing.

Kessler was inducted as the Kreft Endowed Chair for the Advancement of Nursing Science in December 2015. The position was established in 2005 to attract and retain high quality faculty for the College of Nursing and Health Professions and to further develop the academic, spiritual and moral qualities of the current faculty. Raising endowed funds to support and shape Valparaiso University’s faculty of the future is one of the key priorities of Forever Valpo: The Campaign for Our Future, a $250 million endowment campaign focused on raising permanent support for student scholarships, faculty development and programs that prepare students for lives of leadership and service.

Her research interests include cognitive appraisal and quality of life for individuals facing cancer, the health status of underserved adults and smoking cessation among underserved pregnant women and college students. She has published book chapters as well as articles in a variety of journals including Journal of Professional Nursing, Research in Nursing and Health, Nursing Leadership Forum, Oncology Nursing Forum, Journal of Community Health Nursing and Journal of Nursing Education.

The Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Work recognizes a tenured faculty member who has made significant scholarly achievements to his/her discipline and/or to public discourse over the course of his or her career. The awardee is engaged in the national or international conversation within his/her domain of study, demonstrating notable accomplishments and recognition in scholarly, artistic or other relevant communities. The award comes with a $3,000 prize.

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