School of Nursing celebrates alumni and friends with special weekend
Kathie Ingram, MSN, RN (left), associate professor, School of Nursing, presents the Alumna of the Year Award to Mildred Spadoyama Higa, MPH, RN, member of the class of 1957A.
In celebration of its alumni, the School of Nursing hosted its annual alumni weekend March 30 to March 31.
The weekend celebration, titled “Nursing: The Art and Science of Caring in a High-Tech World,” began with a scholarly lecture on Friday morning.
Dale Halsey Lea, MPH, RN, health educator, National Institutes of Health, National Human Genome Research Institute Education and Community Involvement Branch, presented “Incorporating Genetics and Genomics into Nursing Education and Practice.”
On Saturday, the golden anniversary classes of 1957A and 1957B hosted first service at University Church, with the class of 1982 hosting Sabbath school, and the class of 1997 hosting second service. This was followed by an alumni luncheon at the campus cafeteria.
Sabbath evening featured “Nursing Through the Ages.”
Zelne Zamora, MSN, RN, assistant professor of nursing, presented a slideshow featuring the highlights of each of the honored years.
Saturday evening was the alumni banquet held at Wong Kerlee International Conference Center.
Several awards were also presented, including three Alumna of the Year Awards, which were given to Mildred Spadoyama Higa, MPH, RN, class of 1957A; Frances Nelson Foster, RN, class of 1957B; and Keri Kuniyoshi Medina, DNSc, RN, class of 1982.
Mildred Spadoyama was born in Oahu, Hawaii. When Mildred’s brother, Jimmy Spadoyama, was taking medicine at Loma Linda University, her parents decided that nursing might be a good option for Mildred. So Mildred, following her brother’s example, went to Walla Walla Col
Ms. Ingram presents the Alumna of the Year Award to Frances Nelson Foster, RN, a member of the class of 1957B.
lege, College Place, Washington, for her pre-nursing classes and then on to Loma Linda for nursing. In 1957, Mildred and her brother graduated from Loma Linda University at the same time.
Following graduation, Mildred did not stay away from Hawaii long and after marrying Harry Higa, the couple moved back to Oahu. Mildred spent her entire nursing career on the island and states that she always enjoyed the diversity within nursing. Her varied experiences include surgical nursing, psychiatric nursing, and oncology nursing. The last 27 years of her career before retiring, Mildred worked among the elderly at a state skilled nursing facility.
Seeing the burden of disease on the country and the crucial need for prevention and health promotion, Mildred desired to further her education in this area. Before her retirement, she attended the University of Hawaii and in 1992 received a master’s degree in health education. Due to her husband’s illness, Mildred was unable to actually work in this area but continues to value the importance of health promotion and prevention in the areas of childhood obesity, diabetes, etc.
Mildred currently lives in Oahu, Hawaii, and attends the Aiea Seventh-day Adventist Church where she continues to be involved as head greeter, deaconess, and in parish nursing. For all her years of leadership and service in nursing, Loma Linda University School of Nursing alumni association is proud to recognize Mildred Spadoyama Higa as Alumna of the Year 2007.
Frances Nelson Foster was born in Los Angeles, California. She attended the College of Medical Ev
A. Marjorie Whitney, MSN, RN (front), a class of 1932 graduate, is given special recognition by Patricia Foster, PhD, RN, emeritus professor of nursing, School of Nursing.
angelists and graduated in 1957—Class B.
During her nursing education, along with a great deal of nursing content, Frances and her classmates learned about health education and non-drug therapeutics including hydrotherapy—fomentations, compresses, hot and cold treatments, etc. Missions were also an emphasis. In taking a close look at Frances’s life and career, we can see that in many ways, Frances has lived out the mission of this University—“to make man whole.”
Following graduation, Frances went immediately to Capetown, South Africa, where her husband-to-be, Ray Foster, was studying medicine. In Capetown, she completed a midwifery course. The new couple then went to Maluti Mission in South Africa. For a year and a half, Frances was teaching nursing by day and delivering babies by night.
Frances and Ray then went to White Memorial Medical Center in order for her physician husband to complete an orthopaedic residency. During this time, Frances taught obstetrical nursing for the College of Medical Evangelists School of Nursing at the White Memorial Campus. In 1966, in preparation for mission service to Africa, the couple went to India for her husband to complete a year of leprosy training.
The couple served in Africa from 1967 to 1978. During this time, Frances focused on the education of her children while taking the occasional “before and after surgery” pictures for her orthopaedic surgeon husband.
Upon returning to the United States, the couple spent a year at Wildwood Lifestyle Center. During this time, Frances used her nursing skills in caring for clients. This was the beginning of her career focusing on health promotion and lifestyle education. After 15 years in the Loma Linda area, the Fosters moved to Seattle where they established the Seattle NEWSTART Health Care Center. They worked there for nine years—teaching health promotion and health education, using the NEWSTART model of the “eight laws of health.”
In 2004, the couple moved to South Dakota to the Black Hills Health and Education Lifestyle Center. At present, Frances is still involved in health promotion and continues to assist in the lifestyle program there with health education and non-drug therapeutic interventions for individual clients.
For her dedication to providing nursing and spiritual care to those both nationally and internationally, Loma Linda University School of Nursing recognizes Frances Nelson Foster as Alumna of the Year 2007.
Keri Kuniyoshi Medina graduated from Loma Linda University School of Nursing in 1982. She was the recipient of the President’s Award for Academic Excellence in that year.
Keri began her career in nursing as a float nurse full-time at Loma Linda University Medical Center. This provided her with experience in many areas including neurology, oncology, general medicine, endocrinology, rheumatology, gastrointestinal, and psychiatry. By 1983, she had begun to specialize in neurology and neuro-rehabilitation.
In 1987, she earned the master of science degree in nursing with a specialty in nursing education. She began teaching in the LLU School of Nursing and later spent time in staff development for Loma Linda University Medical Center. From 1992 to the present, Keri has been a faculty member at Loma Linda University School of Nursing.
By 1996, she had also earned her doctor of nursing science degree from the University of San Diego. Her dissertation research was titled “The Journey from Nonexerciser to Exerciser: A Grounded Theory Study.”
Since 1997, Keri has taken the responsibility for teaching LLUSN students the course in pathophysiology for nurses. Hundreds of students have benefited from her ability to make scientific principles of anatomy, physiology, and pathology clear to them as they prepare for their roles as professional nurses.
Keri has functioned on several important committees for the School of Nursing. Among these are safety, curriculum, and spiritual life and wholeness.
She is recognized as a true professional, teacher, and colleague.
Loma Linda University School of Nursing alumni association is proud to recognize Keri Kuniyoshi Medina as Alumna of the Year 2007.
For many years, the alumni association has had as one of its goals to recognize excellence in students and alumni through awards. An Alumna of the Year Award has been presented to deserving alumni since 1967.
The alumni board was concerned that the organization’s goal was not being fully met, since students achieving excellence were not being recognized. A committee was formed and the description, criteria, eligibility, nature of the award, and procedure for application were created in 1995. The first Merit Scholarships were given in 1996.
The Merit Scholarship is conferred annually to a minimum of one undergraduate student, one graduate student, and one doctoral student who best demonstrate excellence in their respective programs. The award criteria are based on the purposes of Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing.
Undergraduate nominees for the award must have completed 45 units, and graduate and doctoral nominees must have completed 20 units in residence of their respective programs; have achieved a GPA of 3.7 or higher; be committed to completing their respective programs; and be able to meet the award criteria. This criterion is intended to identify students who demonstrate excellence in their academic professional preparation.
Receiving Merit Scholarships for 2007 are Alisha Houser, Cecille Lamorena, and Janice Nyirady, RN.
A missions report was also presented during the banquet highlighting the mission work that was supported by the alumni during 2006 and 2007.
The alumni association had available funds of $7,000, which made it possible to provide support for alumni working in missions outside the United States, for sponsoring international projects, and for students needing financial assistance for international mission service. Examples of projects included funds for audiovisual materials for nursing schools, supplies for income-generating projects for adults with HIV, a teacher’s salary for a village elementary school, and supporting nursing journal subscriptions for international posting.
Following the missions report was the House of Thrift report. During the past fiscal year, the association received $8,900 from House of Thrift profits. These funds will be used for alumni association projects.
In addition, clothes, bedding, food, and other items exceeding $500,000 were donated to several organizations including: ADRA; Banning and LaSierra Community Services; House of Mercy, Mexico; Loma Linda Romanian Church; and the Banning School District.
By Dustin R. Jones, MA