Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

The Distinguished Alumni Award honors alumni who have typified the George Washington University tradition of excellence and brought recognition to the GW Nursing by their personal accomplishment, professional achievement or humanitarian service.

The criterion for nomination and selection include but are not limited to: professional achievement; personal growth and achievement; contributions to nursing, health care or society at large; military service; leadership; service to and support for GW Nursing; and clinical expertise/patient care.

2020 Recipients

Headshot of Jennifer Cooper


Jennifer Cooper

Assistant Professor, Hood College, Department of Nursing
D.N.P. ‘16, RN, PHNA-BC, CNE

Dr. Cooper is an active leader in the American Heart Association's Million Hearts Collaboration, a partnership of organizations that aims to prevent and manage heart disease and stroke by disseminating evidence-based cardiovascular disease prevention strategies and resources, promoting the use of consistent cardiovascular health messaging, and sharing best practices and evidence-based approaches among state and local partners. Dr. Cooper also remains active in the Association of Public Health Nurses and currently serves on the Board as president-elect. 


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Janet Lynn Douglass

Family Nurse Practitioner, Lake Monticello Family Practice
D.N.P. '12, FNP, BC

Dr. Douglass was instrumental in establishing a family practice as part of a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in a rural, remote county that had no prior access to care. There, she formed community partnerships to elevate the health status of the community. Dr. Douglass also established a school-based health clinic within a local school and is currently working to establish telehealth in two rural schools in her county. She is an active member of the South Carolina Nurses Association and The S.C. Coalition for Access to Care.


Headshot of Barbara Jacobs


Barbara Jacobs

Vice President of Nursing & Chief Nursing Officer, Anne Arundel Medical Center
M.S.N. ‘09, RN-BC, NEA-BC

As the chief nursing officer of Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Maryland, Ms. Jacobs supervises more than 1,000 registered nurses and is accountable for professional nursing practice, quality and safety across the medical center. She has led the development of a patient-centered model of care, incorporating hundreds of patient advisory council members into committee and governance councils. She serves as a founding member of the Beryl Institute Nurse Executive Council, examining approaches to develop more patient-centered care models at a national level. In addition, she is past president of the Maryland Organization of Nurse Executives and speaks nationally on work being done as a pioneer system with IHI and the Hartford Foundation on age friendly care.


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Carrie Jeffries

Associate Director, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General

Dr. Jeffries is a health systems executive and clinical innovator whose passion is driving value-based healthcare across populations. In her current role at the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Jeffries pro-actively oversees the clinical and administrative process for the Veterans Health Administration. In just over two years, she has provided over 200 recommendations to improve care across 19 states and over four million veterans. Prior to assuming her current role, Dr. Jeffries was a chief nursing officer at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, developing policy and conducting oversight for 600 hospital and community HIV/AIDS programs serving over 550,000 patients. Dr. Jeffries’ innovative tactical programs, training, and quality standards helped increase the nation’s HIV viral suppression rate by 2.6 percent, representing more than 14,000 people for a cost avoidance of more than $5 billion. While enrolled at the GWU School of Nursing, Dr. Jeffries was named a Jonas Veteran’s Healthcare Scholar. In her free time, she volunteers for causes supporting the medically vulnerable and homeless. 


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Simmy King

Nursing Director, Clinical Information Systems and Professional Development, Children’s National Hospital
D.N.P. ‘10, RN-BC, NE-BC

At Children’s National Hospital, Dr. King has led the implementation of clinical and administrative information systems and related technology to optimize nursing practice and patient outcomes. Dr. King has partnered with the division of information technology to develop and implement dashboards that provide nurse leaders with real-time data and reports they can use to address compliance behaviors with individual nurses and drive improvements in compliance, quality, and safety. She also partnered with an instructional designer to develop a site called RNsConnect, which enables nursing units, groups or teams to create easily accessible learning pages and foster information sharing.


Headshot of Laure Marino


Laure Marino

Assistant Professor, West Virginia University

While completing her doctoral studies, Dr. Marino opened her own practice (inspired by the Health Enterprise course she took in her first semester). Her practice has been nationally recognized for integrating primary and behavioral health and improving access to care. She held state office (West Virginia Nurses Association president) and currently serves on the ANA Nominations and Elections Committee. Upon completing GW’s D.N.P. program, she went to West Virginia University to teach. She also recently won a $500,000 grant to bring medication assisted treatment to underserved areas.


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Ann Marie Matlock

Captain, U.S. Public Health Service
Nursing Service Chief, Medical Surgical Specialties
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center
D.N.P. ‘10, RN, NE-BC

Dr. Matlock’s contributions to nursing include developing a body of evidence on nursing sensitive indicators in ambulatory care nursing as well as evolving infection control practices for novel viruses. She co-led the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing & Collaborative Alliance for Nursing Outcomes technical expert panel and oversaw logistics, planning and care for patients with Ebola Virus Disease.  Her contributions have included seminal publications in both these areas of nursing and public health. Dr. Matlock is an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service at the rank of Captain, a promotion granted following her graduation from GW Nursing’s D.N.P. program.


Headshot of Stacia Moreno


Stacia Moreno

Staff Nurse, St. Agnes Hospital
B.S.N. ‘15, RN

Stacia Moreno serves as a labor and delivery nurse in the birthing center at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.  While enrolled in the Accelerated B.S.N. program at The George Washington University School of Nursing, she served as the cohort president of her class and received the Outstanding Student Award for Excellence in Community Services. As a current M.S.N. student at GW, she serves as a graduate senator representing the School of Nursing in the GWU Student Government Association. Furthermore, she collaborated with Dr. Sandra Davis to create a multicultural workshop that promotes meaningful engagement through shared cultural experiences and explorations throughout the nursing journey. She is also an active member of the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), as well as a 20-year member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, which is a private, not-for-profit organization providing assistance and support in local communities throughout the world.


Headshot of Richard Prior


Richard Prior

Associate Professor, College of Nursing, University of Cincinnati

Before taking a position at the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Prior served in the Office of the Surgeon General as chief of the office of medical history, and as the Army Nurse Corps historian. In these two roles, he led the mission of researching and disseminating the history of the Army Medical Department and served as a subject matter expert. He co-edited the book, Answering the Call: The U.S. Army Nurse Corps, 1917-1919, in which he recounted the stories of the first three women known to be eligible to wear the Silver Star Medal, resulting in the posthumous awarding of the medal to the families.


Headshot of Mary Cres Rodrigazo-Maanaanala


Mary Cres Rodrigazo-Manansala

Stroke Coordinator, George Washington University Hospital
M.S.N. ‘19, RN, SCRN

Ms. Rodrigazo-Manansala is an expert in the field of stroke care and management. With an extensive background in neurosciences and stroke, Ms. Rodrigazo-Manansala was instrumental in building the stroke program at George Washington University Hospital. Under her leadership, the hospital has been recognized with multiple awards for stellar patient and performance outcomes. Most recently, she propelled the team to Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification, a designation held by fewer than 4% of acute care hospitals. She organizes her team to participate in health fairs and community events and believes in giving back and encouraging nursing students.