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First GPS Students Receive LIVE Doane Scholarships

For adult learners like Dana Jackson of Lincoln, balance is as essential to her educational journey as textbooks. The full-time respiratory therapist and mother of two moves purposefully through her days, making sure nothing falls from her crowded plate.

“I feel like I have three jobs,” she says of her career, family and coursework at Doane’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies.

That’s why the LIVE Doane Scholarship she received meant so much – not only monetarily, but motivationally. “It’s nice to feel like your efforts are recognized and rewarded.”

Dana and graduating senior Dustin Rupe are the first recipients of the $500 LIVE Doane Scholarships, which represent another first: the first recurring Doane-provided scholarships to undergraduate students of the Lincoln campus. The scholarships will be provided to regularly enrolled GPS undergraduates at the Lincoln campus. They honor School of Graduate and Professional Studies Dean Janice Hadfield, who has led Doane’s Lincoln campus for nearly 28 years.

It couldn’t come at a better time or be awarded to a more deserving group, according to Kerry Fina, advisor for the Master of Arts in Management program. “We have a population that includes single moms and single dads – students of all kinds. We see people who are really talented that could use a boost.”

“It’s fantastic that Doane can offer these scholarships. The cost of an education is quite expensive, but it’s a needed expense,” Dana said.

Both of the initial scholarship recipients exemplify the leadership qualities that LIVE Doane is about, according to Emily Heathcock, undergraduate academic advisor. “Both are driven; both are leaders,” she said. Dustin is expected to graduate with honors and both have held high GPAs throughout their time at Doane.

About Dana: Dana found her career path at a young age, trailing her stepmother throughout the Intensive Care Unit of then Lincoln General Hospital as part of a job shadow experience. “I saw what a respiratory therapist did and that’s what I wanted to do.”

The basics of the job remain the same, but the patients and challenges constantly change. Dana has worked at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital since 2005, currently in the Pediatric Unit. “It’s quite rewarding to see those patients progress and get back home. Recently a mom that I’m Facebook friends with posted that a former pediatric patient will get a trach (tube) out in July. It kind of gives me chills to realize I am a part of that.”

Dana is currently a float therapist, who trains new employees. She also is an adjunct faculty member at Southeast Community College for respiratory care students who complete their clinic hours at Madonna.

A few years ago, she decided she wanted to take her medical training a step further and become a Physician Assistant (PA). Doane’s eight-week terms and once-a-week class meetings allowed her to balance college and time with her husband and two young sons. She is enrolled in Doane’s Allied Health program and plans to apply to a PA program upon graduation.

About Dustin: A Eustis native, Dustin came to Lincoln to pursue education, completing his Associate’s Degree from Southeast Community College and then enrolling in Doane’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, selecting Doane for its format and educational philosophy. “It was designed for the working individual, and compared to the other programs around Lincoln, which are more management focused, Doane’s is about making you a better leader.”

Over the past six years, he advanced from a nursing aide to Registered Nurse at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital. He works full-time as a floor nurse and also fills in as a relief charge nurse. He is organizing a new group for male nurses, hoping to encourage other men to pursue health care and complete nursing degrees.

When not at work, health is also his hobby. “I’m a big health freak. I love working out and running races.” Dustin is training for his fifth half marathon and has finished numerous 5-and-10K races.

He will graduate May 18. “I’m hoping to use my degree to move up in my field, seek leadership roles and be seen as more valued to my work force.” His next goal is a master’s degree.

Doane plans to offer one or more LIVE Doane scholarships on a regular basis. Eligible students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above, be currently enrolled and LIVE Doane, showing a commitment to engage as leaders in and out of the classroom, demonstrating intellectual inquiry, holding strong ethical values and illustrating their potential for engagement as a student and in their future careers. Contributing donors to the scholarships include graduating seniors, alumni, faculty and staff.

Doane staff said it is fitting that the scholarships honor Hadfield, who has long been undergraduate students’ biggest champion. Angie Klasek, Director of the Lincoln Campus Undergraduate Program, remembers the first time she met Hadfield and the message Hadfield delivered about how students should be treated and how important the delivery of instruction was in their educational journey.

“..that was the beginning of Doane’s Lincoln campus you all know and love…she has taken non-traditional education at Doane to heights that make us the envy of our peer colleges,” Klasek said in a speech announcing the "LIVE" Doane scholarship.

“Janice Hadfield lives Doane in so many ways,” echoed Heathcock. “She is a leader, a mentor, a friend and a nurturer to those who are lucky enough to know her.”