MOUNT OLIVE – Dr. Joy Kieffer, assistant professor of nursing, is the 2013 recipient of the University of Mount Olive Professor of the Year Award. The award is given in appreciation to a full time faculty member who exemplifies devotion above and beyond the classroom. Students nominate faculty members. The nominations are then considered by a faculty committee which makes the final selection.
Kieffer, a Winterville resident, is chair of the RN to BSN Program at MOC. She earned her RN to BSN from the University of South Florida and her MSN in nursing administration and nursing education from the University of Phoenix. Her Ph.D. in adult education leadership was earned from Walden University.
Kieffer has been on board with the RN to BSN Program at MOC since its inception in January 2012, and is a key figure behind its success. One of her greatest strengths as an educator is patience. “It’s a necessity in this fast paced, highly participatory, writing comprehensive virtual learning modality,” explained Kieffer. “Patience is needed to overcome anxiety, fear, discouragement, and failure, and I do my best to impart patience to my students through our virtual classroom environment. I constantly tell the RN to BSN students to ‘Relax! Take a few deep breaths!’ Remind them that all things take time, and that I’m there with them every step of the way.”
Her time spent at University of Mount Olive has already become the crowning achievement of her career. “Designing this degree program (RN to BSN) for University of Mount Olive and the exponential growth of the program over my first year here are probably two of my greatest contributions and accomplishments in education,” Kieffer stated. “I have taught nursing students and nurses in formal education settings, and clinical settings, and it is always a great feeling to watch them grow clinically, and then move onto their own professional practice. But, my work here at University of Mount Olive has been my most challenging project, and I have worked really hard to give University of Mount Olive, and the RN to BSN degree students, the BEST of my best work.”
The inaugural class of the RN to BSN Program at MOC will receive their degrees in August 2013. Kieffer is looking forward to seeing her first batch of students achieve their dreams. “The biggest reward will be meeting all of the inaugural class in person as they walk across the stage at graduation in August 2013. I will definitely be wearing waterproof mascara that day!”
University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The College, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Goldsboro, Research Triangle Park, Washington and Jacksonville. For more information, visit www.moc.edu.