Leadership Profile

Cedar Crest Nursing Faculty Member to be Honored for Excellence in Teaching

Congratulations to Cedar Crest assistant professor in nursing, Joan Timalonis, who is a finalist in the Nightingale Awards of Pennsylvania in the category of Nurse Educator—Academia. The award recognizes "an individual who is an inspiration to students and cultivates a supportive learning environment."

Professor Timalonis is one of two finalists to be honored in this category at the Twenty Fourth Annual Nightingale Awards of Pennsylvania Gala. The gala will be held on Friday, October 25, 2013 in Harrisburg.

Wendy Robb, chair of Cedar Crest’s Nursing Department and director of the graduate nursing program, nominated Timalonis citing her commitment to the students and their overall education.

“The strong work ethic exhibited by this phenomenal individual and nurse educator motivates students and faculty to work harder, while caring for self, in order to reap the most positive outcomes,” Robb wrote in her nomination. “A remarkable educator who embodies Florence Nightingale’s vision of the nurse, this candidate is worthy of recognition for all the contributions to nursing science and the deep impact on the lives of nurses when they were tenderly navigating the maelstrom of nursing school - an experience made better and more impactful and meaningful by this caring professional.”     

Professor Timalonis has made a deep impact in the nursing department through the incorporation of new teaching strategies and curriculum. She led the implementation of Assessment Training Institute (ATI) resources for the department, recognizing its lasting and positive impact on students’ overall education. Additionally, her dedication to technological and methodological innovation includes the merger of cooperative testing strategies in the classroom in as a direct response to student feedback on their testing experience.

“She is remarkable in her unwavering enthusiasm and passion for innovation in the classroom,” said Amy Edgar, assistant professor of nursing. “She constantly works to find and incorporate the latest most effective teaching strategies, to engage her students in meaningful and challenging ways and to encourage her peers to do the same.” 

Professor Timalonis teaches the fundamentals of nursing, medical surgical nursing, health assessment and the final practicum for senior nursing students. She has been teaching since the mid-1990s, and has known she wanted to be a teacher since working with new nurses and nursing students in the hospital. She wanted to be a role model for others, and thoroughly enjoys seeing the growth and progress her students demonstrate as they progress through their courses. Professor Timalonis believes teaching is an integral part of the nursing profession, as nurses teach patients in every encounter.

“Joan has a heart of gold,” said Lisa Lacko, assistant professor of nursing and another close colleague of Timalonis. “She comes across as firm and strict, but underneath that she truly cares about each and every student. She listens to their problems, attends funerals and celebrations, brings candy to tests and finals, and keeps in touch after they graduate. She goes way above the norm.”