Alumni Advisory Council
The Alumni Advisory Council primarily serves the School of Nursing to support its vision:
To be nationally recognized as leaders in health, addressing the needs of diverse populations.
- Educate others about and actively advocate for the school and its academic programs, community service and outreach, and research.
- Increase public relations and visibility of Auburn Nursing.
- Build a communication network among alumni about events including alumni activities, alumni-student initiatives, and school events where volunteers are needed.
- Attend two yearly meetings (spring semester and fall semester)
- Serve as a link between the school and alumni.
- Nominate alumni for school as well as university awards, among them the School of Nursing’s Distinguished Alumna/us Award and the Auburn Alumni Association Black Alumni Achievement Award.
- Offer recommendations and/or make introductions for the lecture series, continuing education, and lifelong learning.
- Actively support alumni engagement
- Help build philanthropic gifts to the School of Nursing.
2019 Distinguished Alumna Award
The School of Nursing’s 2019 Distinguished Alumna Award was awarded to an alumna from the BSN program, class of 1991, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Dr. Caralise Weeks Hunt.
After graduation from Auburn, Dr. Hunt’s career has been one of increasing responsibility in both clinical and academic leadership roles. Simultaneous with her roles in clinical agencies, she began her path in academia. She began her professional career as a Registered Nurse (RN) at East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) and, later at Baptist Memorial Hospital. After serving as CPR Instructor at The Brookwood Medical Center in Birmingham, she returned to Lee County to work at EAMC as an RN. In 1993, she served as a nursing instructor at Southern Union Community College in Opelika. In 2000, she became a clinical associate at Auburn University, quickly followed by promotions, to a nursing instructor, an assistant clinical professor, assistant professor, associate professor, and in 2018, Hunt was elevated to Associate Dean.
More than a year ago, two individuals nominated Hunt for Auburn Nursing’s Distinguished Alumna Award. A nominator stated, “Dr. Hunt has made outstanding contributions to Auburn University School of Nursing. She currently serves on the research committee, is chair of the curriculum committee, and as of January 1, 2018, became the Associate Dean. She is a wonderful teacher, leader, and advocate for nurses and for the School of Nursing. I have had the pleasure of working under Dr. Hunt for the past 6 years and I believe that Dr. Hunt makes a difference daily in the practice of nursing by providing the foundation for future and current) nurses. She truly is an outstanding alumna of the AUSON.”
The other nominator wrote, “…I had the pleasure of working with Caralise and was always impressed with her commitment to the profession and to the school. It was clear that she was an excellent teacher and had the potential to become a nursing scholar as well. Now that she has earned her Ph.D. there is no doubt that she has realized her potential and is making a major contribution to the nursing students at Auburn and to the health of rural Alabamians. Caralise’s clinical focus is type II Diabetes. With her work using technology to help people with diabetes understand and manage their disease she is making it possible for rural people with limited access to health care providers to live healthier and more productive lives. This is important work because diabetes is one of the leading causes of premature death in our country and significantly influences quality of life for those living with it. Her impressive list of publications testifies to her expertise.”
Hunt has received numerous honors and awards in her tenure including recipient of Duke University Technology Integration Program for Nursing Education and Practice Grant in 2009. She is a member of many professional organizations including Sigma Theta Tau, and is active in several university as well as departmental service activities. Her published articles as either lead PI or with other nurse researchers are numerous. In addition, with her nursing colleagues, Hunt has co-authored books and book chapters on simulation for nursing practice and clinical specialties, and integrating mental health nursing in the undergraduate nursing program. She has received a number of grants to advance nursing research. Her completed and active research projects are many, as are her presentations at national, regional, or state level.
“Teaching is the other area where Caralise excels,” said Dean Newschwander. “Not only has she been selected twice as the outstanding faculty in the School of Nursing but she also explores innovations in teaching. The use of the simulation laboratory and mentoring are specialties where she has both published and excelled. … among the exceptional graduates of Auburn Nursing, she clearly is among the very best of the best. It’s interesting to ponder what her future impact in the school, within the communities that benefit from her research, and on the nursing profession, will be.”