The College of Nursing announces 2020 CGNE Student Award winners

Mary Elizabeth Davis, left, and Jyotsana Parajuli. Credit: ProvidedAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The College of Nursing and the Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence (CGNE) has announced the 2020 CGNE Student Award Winners, Mary Elizabeth Davis and Jyotsana Parajuli.

The student champion award winners are affiliated with the CGNE, having a high level of participation in throughout their educational program. Their gerontology study and research focus inspired their dissertations and final projects that relate to the CGNE’s vision — striving to improve the lives of older adults in positive and person-centered ways.

Davis, a DNP graduate, recently completed her DNP project, "Capability and Comfort with End-of-Life Care: A Quality Improvement Project in a Comprehensive Cancer Center." She has worked at Memorial Sloan Kettering for over 20 years and has extensive experience working with cancer patients, using and building her oncology nursing skills.

Davis is certified as a Hospice and Palliative care and Advanced Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist and has been recognized for her excellence in oncological nursing by the ONS foundation and received the Mary Pazdur Excellence in Advanced Practice Oncology Award. She has 18 publications, including 14 as the lead author, and numerous presentations nationally and internationally on caring for cancer patients.

Parajuli, a doctoral graduate, completed her dissertation, "Oncology Nurses’ Confidence in Providing Palliative Care." Parajuli began as a nurse in her native country of Nepal, and then moved to the United States to further her education. She began her journey at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, earning her master of gerontological studies degree and then her doctorate at the Penn State College of Nursing.

While at Penn State, Parajuli received the Robert W Graham Endowed Graduate Fellowship, as well as having her dissertation supported through the Laurie Gunter Research Fund. She has five publications, including three as the lead author, and has presented at numerous professional organizations related to palliative care and care for older adults. Recently she was hired as a new member of the University of North Carolina Charlotte School of Nursing where she has brought her talents, knowledge and experience as an assistant professor during fall 2020.

The two 2020 recipients were chosen by the CGNE Leadership Team, selected from thirteen student affiliates, based on selection criteria including area of gerontological focus as well as participation with the center’s educational, research, and service activities.

CGNE Administrator Janice Whitaker said, “Our graduate students are the future of gerontological nursing and we value their involvement with our center, which provides them with various types of support to promote their learning and contributions to best practice approaches that improve care and quality of life for older adults.” 

Graduate nursing students with a gerontological course of study and/or research interest, can learn more about becoming affiliated with the CGNE by emailing Benefits of receiving the award include educational opportunities to enhance expertise in gerontology, pilot project and research support, networking and other professional collaborations, and consideration for scientific conference travel support.

Last Updated November 10, 2020