DAISY Faculty Award Given to Augustana Alumna: 'It just made me feel that I was impacting these students.'

December 17, 2019

December 16, 2019

Written by Public Relations & Communications Strategist Jill Wilson


Ashley Heupel '16 is the 2019 recipient of the Augustana DAISY Faculty Award, an honor recognizing nursing faculty who provide exceptional instruction and inspiration for nursing students. Heupel is a registered nurse in the field of medical oncology at Sanford Health and is a clinical adjunct instructor at Augustana.

When asked what it was like to once again be tied to Augustana, the Clark High School graduate responded, “It was awesome because I haven’t been out of school that long so many of the professors were the same that I had and so it was just kind of nice to connect with the students in that way."

Heupel initially received the DAISY Faculty Award in November, during a meeting at work. She says she was taken by surprise when several Augustana professors and past students came to present her with the award. 

"It filled my bucket. It just made me feel that I was impacting these students and just made me want to keep doing what I’m doing," said Heupel.

Beginning in 2017, the nursing department has presented one DAISY Faculty Award each year to honor a nurse who goes above and beyond and makes extraordinary differences in health care. They consider the following criteria: 

  • Excitement and enthusiasm for teaching, learning and nursing that inspires and motivates others to reach their full potential. 
  • A dedication and love for the art and science of professional nursing education. 
  • A commitment to excellence in nursing education, which extends beyond the classroom to improve patient outcomes. 
  • The embodiment of qualities and characteristics of a professional nurse.

In nominating Heupel for the award, nursing students and colleagues detailed the impact she has made in the lives of students, patients and families.

“Ashley embodies the definition of what it means to be a teacher with patience. She goes out of her way to show she cares for every student.” They went on to say, “She goes out of her way within the hospital to get us into an experience we will truly remember. With her empathy, she reaches the student at their level and helps them achieve their goals.”

One student wrote, “Ashley made my junior med-surg. experience truly exceptional. She was able to foster a respectful, nonjudgmental environment for us.”

“I know that if I can be half of the nurse that Ashley is, I will be a great nurse. Ashley is the best clinical instructor, and she is more than deserving of this award," said another student nominator.

Heupel was presented the award again at the accelerated class of 2019 nursing pinning ceremony on Friday, Dec. 13. 

Past DAISY Faculty Award Recipients

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