Perspective Online

DAISY Award Presented to Two UWG Nursing Faculty Members

by Sheryl Marlar

DAISY Award Presented to Two UWG Nursing Faculty Members

Front (l-r): Dr. Rita Mahmoud, Melissa Downs; Back (l-r) Tena Barnes Carraher, Doris Nielsen

In 1999, Tena Barnes Carraher’s husband, Patrick, passed away after complications from Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP.) After that, Tena and her family began searching for ways to remember him. They looked for something positive to turn them away from their grief. The one positive factor they found was his nurses and the care they gave to him throughout his illness, and they wanted to thank them for that.

As a result, they started a nonprofit organization and named it the Disease Attacking the Immune System (DAISY) Foundation. The DAISY Award was created so that nurses would see how deserving they were of society’s respect. Eventually, as the foundation grew, a board member who was a former nursing school dean had the idea of extending the award to nursing faculty as well. Faculty can be nominated by students, administrators, and other faculty members.

Two nursing faculty members from the Tanner Health System School of Nursing recently received the DAISY Award. Dr. Rita Mahmoud, assistant professor, and Melissa Downs, clinical assistant professor, were honored to receive the award recently from Tena Barnes Carraher and her mother, Doris Nielsen, who came to campus to present the awards.

“Dr. Rita Mahmoud and Melissa Downs exemplify what we are all about at UWG’s Tanner Health System School of Nursing—academic excellence in a caring environment,” said Dr. Jenny Schuessler, dean of the school. “I am so pleased that their students and the DAISY Award selection committee honored them in this way.”

“The DAISY Award represents both an inspiration for faculty members to demonstrate excellence in teaching as well as a motivation to aspire for those qualities that the students look for in a nursing professor,” said Dr. Mahmoud. “I consider it an honor to receive this award, and I dedicate this award to current and aspiring nursing professors.”

“I was humbled to be nominated and receive the DAISY award my first year as anNurse educator,” said Melissa. “The transition from clinical nursing into academics has been a challenging one. I have learned so much from these amazing students and fellow faculty at the University of West Georgia this past year. The DAISY award is a reminder of the 'difference' we as educators can make in the lives of our nursing students and future nurses.”

For more information about the DAISY Foundation, visit


Do you have a comment or opinion about this story's topic? Perspective Online wants to hear from you. Submit a letter to the editor today.

Letters to the Editor Policy

Posted: June 22, 2016

Share this story!

FacebooktwitterLinkedInYouTubePinterestInstagram Give WestUniversity of West Georgia