Sigma Announces 2021 International Award Recipients and Honorary Members

Awards will be conferred during the 46th Biennial Convention in Indianapolis, IN, USA.

INDIANAPOLIS —The Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma) is proud to announce the nurses and healthcare professionals being honored for their contributions to professional excellence with the 2021 International Awards for Nursing Excellence, Board Awards, and Honorary Membership. The awards will be presented during Sigma’s 46th Biennial Convention, 6-10 November 2021 in Indianapolis, IN, USA.

Sigma’s International Awards for Nursing Excellence reflect the organization’s dedication to fostering high professional nursing standards, recognizing superior achievement, developing leadership, and encouraging creative work.

“These recipients of Sigma’s International Award for Nursing Excellence recipients have been nominated and recognized by their peers for superior achievement and dedication to the advancement of global health. I offer my profound thanks and sincere congratulations to these honorees for their contributions to our profession, the Sigma organization, and the world,” said Sigma President Richard Ricciardi, PhD, CRNP, FAANP, FAAN.

2021 Sigma International Board of Directors Awards

Archon Award

The Archon Awards—from the Greek word meaning “first to lead”—are bestowed biennially by the Sigma Board of Directors to individuals and groups who have shown exceptional leadership in advancing health and welfare throughout the world. Previous recipients include Her Royal Highness Princess Muna Al Hussein, The DAISY Foundation, World Bicycle Relief, and Dr. David Suzuki. 

Diana Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN
Senior Policy Service Professor, Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement
George Washington University
Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Dr. Mason is being recognized for her extensive work in policy, nursing education, and scholarship. She continues to advocate for improvement across the healthcare continuum by focusing not only on downstream impacts, but also seeking to understand how upstream inequities impact health and well-being of individuals, challenging others to be accountable for recognizing that human rights are critical to global sustainability and to encourage individuals to find their voice.

Nursing Now Global Campaign
Nursing Now is being recognized for creating a global campaign designed to promote the visibility of nursing worldwide. There are Nursing Now country groups in more than 100 countries, a significant achievement as this is the first non-trade union group of nurses from many of the low or middle-income countries. Sigma is proud to be a supporter of the Nursing Now Campaign.

Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award

The Sigma Board of Directors presents this award to recognize those whose good works have enhanced the human condition globally. This award has only been bestowed six times previously, beginning with the late Audrey Hepburn in 1992 for her work with UNICEF.

Anthony S. Fauci, MD
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Dr. Fauci is being recognized for his lifetime of leadership, advising, and ongoing support of research in infectious diseases – including COVID-19 and HIV – and many other domestic and global health issues. His work has supported team-based science and development of interprofessional approaches to evidence-based care delivery, and his commitment to global public health and health equity is aligned with the Sigma mission and vision.

Chetna Sinha
Founder & Chairperson
Mann Deshi Bank and Mann Deshi Foundation
Maharashtra, India
Ms. Sinha is being recognized for her work as a social activist and banker, championing land rights and empowering women. She has been instrumental in driving significant policy changes, such as advocating to relax stringent norms so low-income customers could open bank accounts, advocating with the Reserve Bank of India to increase collateral-free lending to support low-income customers, and advocating with the State Government of Maharashtra to create a more comprehensive drought policy.

Lord Nigel Crisp, MA, KCB
Member of House of Lords
Co-Chair, Nursing Now
Co-Chair, UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health
London, England, United Kingdom
Lord Crisp is being recognized for his continued contributions to global health. He has been front and center in the Nursing Now campaign and a vocal proponent of nursing globally. As a non-nurse and a recognized expert in global health, he has worked to prove that empowering nurses will improve global health, increase gender equality, and strengthen economies.

Nell J. Watts Lifetime Achievement in Nursing Award

2021 Nell J. Watts Lifetime Achievement in Nursing Award, one of the most prestigious honors bestowed by the Board of Directors, this award is given to a Sigma member who has demonstrated exemplary achievements in nursing throughout their lifetime.

Peter Buerhaus, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAANP
Professor of Nursing
College of Nursing, Montana State University
Bozeman, Montana, USA
Dr. Buerhaus is being recognized as the preeminent nursing economist of our time. His forecasts have influenced the direction of the nursing profession in addressing both cyclical and chronic shortages, and his work has been instrumental in advancing the role of the Advanced Nurse Practitioner across the United States and the globe.

Doris Grinspun, PhD, MSN, BScN, RN, FAAN, FCAN, LLD(hon), Dr(hc), O. ONT
Chief Executive Officer
Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Dr. Grinspun is being recognized for her long and distinguished career as a nurse leader, health system influencer, policymaker, administrator, researcher, educator, international evidence-based practice program visionary, and philanthropist. She is a champion for enriching nursing and improving health systems and outcomes for all.

Mary Naylor, PhD, RN, FAAN
Marian S. Ware Professor in Gerontology
Director of the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Dr. Naylor is being recognized as a pioneer in the design, evaluation, and spread of healthcare innovations that have significantly improved the outcomes of chronically ill older adults and their family caregivers, while reducing healthcare costs. She has been a leader in building the evidence linking nursing to the quality of care delivered by nurses.

Sr. Callista Roy, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor Emeritus
Mount Saint Mary's University Los Angeles
Boston College
Los Angeles, California, USA
Sister Callista is being recognized for her extensive contributions to nursing scholarship, spanning over 50 years of esteemed service. She has made a significant global impact that has had long-term significance in nursing pedagogy, theory, and evidence-based clinical practice.

Joyce A. Verran, PhD, RN, FAAN (Posthumous) to be accepted by Lisa Heltemes
Dr. Verran is being recognized for her expertise in systems research and dedication for preparing the next generation of nursing systems researchers. She was a pioneer in advancing the understanding of contemporary systems research design and measurement. Dr. Verran was a pathfinder in studying care delivery in ambulatory care settings at a time when healthcare leaders were just beginning to recognize the need to bolster care outside of the hospital setting.

2021 International Awards for Nursing Excellence

Sigma’s International Awards for Nursing Excellence are based on the society’s dedication to fostering high professional nursing standards, recognizing superior achievement, developing leadership, and encouraging creative work.

Amy J. Berman Geriatric Nursing Leadership Award

Jennifer L. Pettis, MS, RN, CNE
Acting Director of Programs
Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders, NYU Meyers College of Nursing
New York, New York, USA

Audrey Hepburn Award for Contributions to the Health and Welfare of Children

Rhonda Goodman, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC< AHN-BC, FAANP, FAAN
Retired Associate Professor of Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner
Boca Raton, Florida, USA

Capstone International Nursing Book Award

Veteran-centered Care in Education and Practice: An Essential Guide for Nursing Faculty
Brenda Elliott, Katie Chargualaf, and Barbara Patterson
Springer Publishing (USA)

Daniel J. Pesut Spirit of Renewal Award

Susan Speraw, RN, PhD
Retired Research Professor
Signal Mountain, Tennessee, USA

Dorothy Ford Buschmann Outstanding New Member Award

Sheryl Garriques-Lloyd, MSc, BSc, RN
Omega Kappa Chapter
The University of the West Indies School of Nursing, Mona Campus
Kingston, Jamaica

Founders Award - Dorothy Garrigus Adams Award for Excellence in Service

Olayide Ogunsiji, RN, BN(Hons), B.Sc (Sociology), M.Sc (Sociology), PhD
Western Sydney University
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Founders Award - Edith Moore Copeland Award for Excellence in Creativity and Innovation

Laurie Kennedy-Malone, PhD GNP-BC FAANP, FGSA
Professor of Nursing
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro, North Carolina, USA

Founders Award - Elizabeth McWilliams Miller Award for Excellence in Research

Lynn Kemp, PhD, MBus, BHSc, RN
Distinguished Professor
Western Sydney University
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Founders Award - Elizabeth Russell Belford Award for Excellence in Education

Jennifer R. Timm, DNP, RN, PHN
Associate Professor
Winona State University
Winona, Minnesota, USA

Founders Award - Marie Hippensteel Lingeman Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice

Reynaldo R. Rivera, DNP, MA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN
Director of Nursing Research and Innovation
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
New York, New York, USA

Founders Award - Mary Tolle Wright Award for Excellence in Leadership

Elizabeth Anne Rosser, DPhil, MN, RN, RM, DipN Ed, Dip RM, RNT, PFHEA
Professor Emeritus
Bournemouth University
Bournemouth, England, United Kingdom

Helen Henry Excellence in Interprofessional Care Award

Tracheostomy Thursday Team
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
New York, New York, USA

Lucie S. Kelly Mentor Award

Ruth Kleinpell, PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN, FAANP, FNAP
Associate Dean for Clinical Scholarship
Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Melanie C. Dreher Award for Outstanding Chapter Support

Janet Scammell, DNSci, PFHEA, MSc, BA, PGDip, NEd, RN, SCM
Phi Mu Chapter
Associate Professor
Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bournemouth University
Bournemouth, England, United Kingdom

Research Dissertation Award

The Association of Patients’ Analgesic Treatment Beliefs and Trade-Offs with Analgesic Adherence Behaviors Among Outpatients with Cancer Pain
William E. Rosa, PhD, MBE, NP-BC, FAANP, FAAN
Chief Research Fellow, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, New York, USA

Virginia K. Saba Nursing Informatics Leadership Award

Suzanne Bakken, PhD, RN, FAAN
Alumni Professor of the School of Nursing
Columbia University
New York, New York, USA

Honorary Membership

Honorary membership is conferred by Sigma’s Board of Directors on individuals throughout the world who are not eligible for regular membership but have demonstrated sustained superior achievements that have contributed to the advancement of nursing and healthcare at the national or global levels.

Dr. Haya M. Al-Fozan, MD, ABOG, SBOG, FRCPSC
Vice President of Female Affairs, Associate Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology, College of Medicine King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences Consultant of Reproductive Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC), Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Giuseppe Aleo, PhD
Lecturer, Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa
Research Assistant, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Genoa, Italy

William E. Conway, Jr., MBA
Co-Executive Chairman, Co-Founder
Carlyle Group
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Ivo Dinov, PhD
Professor of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences, and Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Vicki Stover Hertzberg, PhD, FASA
Emory University
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Heather J. Kelley-Thompson, MA, BS
Department Administrator/Director, Biobehavioral Health Sciences
Deputy Director, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars Program
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Brandon Qualls, MPA
Coordinator, Clinical Nursing Research Center
Strong Memorial Hospital
Rochester, New York, USA

Felicia Schanche Hodge, DrPH, MPH
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California, USA

Rob Stephenson, PhD, MSc, MA
University of Michigan School of Nursing
Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Elizabeth Vandewaa, PhD
University of South Alabama
Mobile, Alabama, USA

Julie Watson, BFA, MA, CCEP, FRSA
Executive Director
Watson Caring Science Institute
Boulder, Colorado, USA

Sigma’s Biennial Convention brings together Sigma members and global leaders in nursing to celebrate our heritage over the last 100 years, build upon our successes, and embrace the 2019-2021 Presidential Call to Action, Infuse Joy. The 46th Biennial Convention features outstanding plenary speakers, networking opportunities and more than 800 oral and poster presentations. To view details or register for the event, visit