Donna L. Hartweg Endowed Student Leadership Award

The Donna Hartweg, Ph.D., RN Endowed Student Leadership Award honors Hartweg, who served as director of the Illinois Wesleyan School of Nursing from 1990-2009. The award reflects the value that the School of Nursing places on leadership. One of the school’s primary goals is to prepare nurses who “provide professional leadership in a global community to promote access to quality health care.” The award also honors the profound impact that nursing majors continue to make as leaders in the larger campus community.

A plaque listing the winners is displayed on the first floor of Stevenson Hall, home of the School of Nursing.

Past Winners include:

Dr. Vicki Folse and Tania Silva, both wearing face masks, pose with Hartweg Award plaque.2020: Tania Silva. As a Hispanic Studies minor, Tania studied abroad in Barcelona. As a first-generation college student, she helped other students transition to college as a Resident Assistant for the Office of Residential Life. She has immersed herself in leadership activities including serving as the Student Affairs Committee Representative and Student Laboratory Assistant in the NIL. Tania is the Secretary of the Spanish and Latino Student Association as well as the Community Service Chair for newly formed Alpha Psi Lambda National, Inc.


Emily Lezcano and Vicki Folse pose in front of Jarvis Center for Nursing Excellence building, holding Hartweg Award plaque2019: Emily Lezcano. Among Emily’s leadership roles, she is vice-president of the College Diabetes Network and president of Global Medical Training (a transition from her leadership role in Global Brigades). Her academic and leadership potential has been recognized with membership to Sigma Theta Tau International, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Beta Delta. She has taken full advantage of study abroad and study away, delivering care in Honduras, being culturally immersed during a semester in Barcelona, Spain, as well as participating as a Freeman Asia intern this past summer in the Philippines.



Donna Hartweg, Marissa Smith, and Vickie Folse smile and pose with Hartweg Award plaque2018: Marissa Smith. Among Marissa’s leadership roles, she is a member of Sigma Theta Tau and Black Student Union, Illinois Wesleyan Dance Team Senior Captain, and Student Nurses’ Association Treasurer. Marissa delivered the Convocation keynote address last year with Kelly Connor on African American nurses. With Dr. Kooken, they went on to present their findings at the 5th Annual Human Rights Undergraduate Research Workshop and 2018 Midwest Nursing Research Society Conference.



2017: Siobhan Geraghty. Siobhan’s leadership blends executive positions with Sigma Kappa and Global Medical Brigades. While holding presidential roles in both, she works with the Office of Admissions . Siobhan has been on the Dean's List each semester at Illinois Wesleyan University and is a member of multiple honor societies including Sigma Alpha Pi, Phi Beta Delta, and Order of Omega. Siobhan is a Health minor and studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain, 2 of Dr. Hartweg’s passions. She continues to work with Drs. Hopkins and Kooken to explore issues of diversity and social justice. Siobhan exemplifies what it is to be a nurse leader.

2016: Taylor Nimrick has been on the Dean's List each semester at Illinois Wesleyan University. She is a member of multiple honor societies including Alpha Lambda Delta National Honors Society, Sigma Delta Pi National Collegiate Hispanic Honors Society, and the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Taylor has been a board member of Student Nursing Association since 2014 and is currently serving in the role of SNA President this year.

Taylor is a returning student laboratory assistant in the Nursing Interventions Laboratory (NIL). She served as a volunteer in Honduras through Global Medical Brigades in the summer of 2014 and in the spring of 2015, as an extension of her Hispanic Studies minor, she studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain.

2015: Mary Kate Schmidt. Mary Kate’s leadership skills have already had an impact on many different groups. She is a member of the Spanish club and Sigma Theta Tau International. She is a part of the National Society of Leadership and Success. She is on the Women’s soccer team, and has served as the captain. She has volunteered with Special Olympics of Illinois, and has volunteered at a soccer clinic for adults and children with special needs. She has given talks on and also demonstrated the importance of balancing athletics and academics. This student truly makes a difference in the lives of others. And she leads by example through the demonstration of preparation, work ethic, and sportsmanship

2014: Shannen McCrory. Shannen’s leadership skills have already had an impact on global healthcare issues. She was among the second cohort of nursing majors to study in the IWU Spain Program in Barcelona. Her international travels continued with Global Medical Brigade in Honduras. This year’s recipient serves as a student laboratory assistant in the NIL, an Anatomy and Physiology lab tutor, and an elected class representative for Curriculum Committee. She is active in Student Nurses’ Association, Kappa Delta Sorority, and was recently elected to Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society.


2013 winner Hannah Smith ’14 graduate showed her passion for nursing on an international scale. In 2010 she helped with earthquake relief on a medical mission trip to Haiti. Two years later she worked in a hospital in Barcelona while studying abroad through the IWU Spain Program.

After graduating, Smith wanted to continue her observations of international healthcare systems. Smith spent three weeks this summer as a midwifery intern at Mount Meru Regional Hospital in Arusha, a city of 1.2 million people in Tanzania, through Work the World. The organization provides healthcare students with hospital placements in Africa, Asia and South America. On campus, she served on Student Senate and was voted senior class president. Read more.


2012 winner Sarah Yount ’13 was active in the Student Nurses Association, and served as biology teaching assistant, tutor, and is treasurer of the Theta Pi Chapter of SigmaTheta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Minoring in Hispanic Studies, Sarah took part in trips to Honduras as part of the Global Medical Brigade and volunteered for a medical mission trip to Chappas, Mexico. She was able to utilize her nursing training and to learn from other doctors and nurses while traveling to other countries.


As a student, 2011 winner Kelly Cantlin ’12 volunteered for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and helped members of Washington, Ill., after that community was devastated by a tornado. She took part in a May Term class to Hawaii and delivered transcultural healthcare. Kelly used her clinical experience at Carle and OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, where she focused on rehabilitation, and turned it into a full time position at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center as a charge nurse.


Jocelyn C. Martinez ’11 was named the first recipient of the Donna L. Hartweg Endowed Student Leadership Award in 2010. As a student, Jocelyn served as President for Student Nurses Association and has been a part of an executive board that has increased membership to close to 50. A Hispanic Studies minor, she is the co- founder of Radio Latino, the first Spanish radio show in Bloomington.

Read more about her leadership award.


Jocelyn Martinez
Donna L. Hartweg Endowed Student Leadership Award recipient Jocelyn C. Martinez, center, is flanked by Donna L. Hartweg and President Richard F. Wilson.

About Donna Hartweg:

Now a professor emerita, Hartweg joined Illinois Wesleyan's faculty in 1978, and served as director of the School of Nursing from 1990-2009. She was named the Caroline F. Rupert Professor of Nursing in 1998. She has published and presented extensively on topics including nursing theory and perceptions of health and physical activity of Latinas in the Midwest and the Mexican border.

In 2006, she was appointed by the governor to the Illinois Center for Nursing Advisory Council to address the growing shortage of nurses in Illinois. Hartweg chaired the BroMenn Healthcare Hospitals Board of Directors, Community Health Care Clinic Board of Directors, and the Illinois Association of Colleges of Nursing. She is also founder of the International Orem Society for Nursing Science and Scholarship.