Choose the topics of most interest to you to follow under "My Headlines".
A Watts School Instructor Combines Humanitarian Service, Excellence in Teaching
Durham, NC - Barbara Dotson works as a nursing faculty instructor for the Watts School of Nursing, but her peers say her real job goes beyond her official duties: She's a role model who encourages others with her selfless heart and community service.
"Seeing her on the floor one year sorting through winter clothes to make sure the right sizes went to the right families is a favorite memory of mine," said colleague Elizabeth Carver, referring to a clothing and school supply drive last winter to benefit a local Durham public school.
On May 4, Dotson received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, a university honor that recognizes Duke employees and students for their humanitarian service and excellence of character. Several colleagues nominated her, citing her devotion to her students and being "silently and unendingly generous."
"She lost a son a couple years ago and in his honor, gives less fortunate children a special Christmas," Watts Nursing School colleague Gail Peace said. "She makes sure that toys and clothes are purchased if others don't have the time."
Dotson said she was honored by the Sullivan Award, but she said she views what people would call going the extra mile as "a part of my job." The Pennsylvania-born mother of two has been nursing for 35 years and spent six of them at Watts School of Nursing.
"I love my job and seeing my students progress," Dotson said. "I remember when I was little and seeing how hard my parents worked to provide. It was occasionally a struggle, so I like to help others so they won't have as much of a hard time."
Dotson is not the only one who notices her students progressing. According to Peace, "under her leadership, our students are employed throughout the Duke University System as well as nationwide in other health care settings; they perform consistently above national average on their standardized licensing exam and their employers' surveys reflect high satisfaction with the new graduates, thanks to Barbara Dotson."
JoAnna Gontarz and Shirley Murray, the administrative and curriculum chairs of Watts, say they hold high esteem for Dotson's actions. "Barbara never says 'no' and is the first to volunteer for everything, covering when others are ill, organizing baby showers and special functions of the school," they wrote in a letter nominating Dotson for the Sullivan honor. "Barbara possesses not only a 'can do' attitude but a 'will do' attitude, always volunteering to lead the charge to assist others in achieving their goals."
Gabriel Aikens is a student at North Carolina Central University who is working this summer as an intern with the Duke Office of News and Communications.
© 2013 Office of News & Communications
615 Chapel Drive, Box 90563, Durham, NC 27708-0563
(919) 684-2823; After-hours phone (for reporters on deadline): (919) 812-6603