Dr. Jemelene Chastain Moore: Auburn Nursing's First Faculty Member
The road that led Jemelene Chastain Moore to Auburn University is not typical by any means. She wasn't from Alabama or the loveliest village on the plains, but rather the plains of Oklahoma. She didn't follow in the footsteps of family members who attended Auburn University generations before her, but rather she was the first person in her family ever to earn a college degree. Jemelene overcame countless obstacles with resilience and determination. She may have been born into poverty, but that didn't stop her from earning three college degrees - including one from Auburn - and becoming a part of the history of Auburn University and its School of Nursing.
Dr. Kathy Jo Ellison was named the first recipient of the Dr. Jemelene
Chastain Moore Distinguished Faculty Award in the School of Nursing. The
award was established by Moore's son Hugh, daughter-in-law Ann, and
grandson David Moore to honor Jemelene Moore, the first instructor hired
in the new school of nursing in 1979. A nurse, educator, and researcher,
Ellison has had an impressive impact on her students, peers, the
school, and the profession. She has been a nurse for 43 years and an
educator for 39 years. During the 26 years she has been on the Auburn
University School of Nursing faculty, she has been a course coordinator
in undergraduate and graduate programs, research coordinator, and
interim associate dean for research. She helped develop academic
programs in the school such as the Educational Advancement for
Registered Nurses (EARN) program, Accelerated Nursing Degree (AND)
program, and graduate programs. An excerpt from a letter of support from
one of her colleagues says, "... it is clear [she] epitomizes the goals
of this Award by demonstrating excellence in all of these areas -
exemplary accomplishment in teaching, research, outreach, and service.
An extraordinary role model and partner, Ellison consistently engages
faculty from multiple disciplines. ...her community-based care focus has
improved the lives of the students, faculty, and patients with whom she
Another nominator wrote, "... [she is] an amazingly talented teacher, intelligent, forward thinking, research savvy, ... and above all, dedicated to bringing skills and talents of the School of Nursing and other disciplines to better the lives of Alabama's citizens." Through her leadership in the Inter-professional Education initiative (IPE), she is shaping the practice of nursing, pharmacy, medical, nutrition, and social work professionals. Her influence as a nurse, educator, and researcher extends beyond nursing and the Auburn University School of Nursing, and beyond the local community (Boykin Community Clinic) to international arenas (Study Abroad experience in Ecuador and Chile for nursing students). Ellison's activities also include service on the Southern Nursing Research Society Board of Directors and its Alabama State Liaison, Theta Delta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau Institutional Research Chair, the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi-Auburn University Recording Secretary, Vice President and Chapter President. She has chaired the AU Institutional Review Board since 2007, and co-chaired the AU Inter-professional Education Committee from 2016-2018. Ellison was inducted into the academic honor society Phi Kappa Phi, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville Nursing Honor Society, and Sigma Theta Tau Nu Chapter Excellence in Nursing Education Award among others. Congratulations, Kathy Jo Ellison! We are proud of you, your service and your dedication to the nursing community!
Past Award Recipients
This permanent endowment is established in the Auburn University Foundation by Hugh Charles and Ann Smith Moore for the purpose of providing funds for excellence in the School of Nursing. Because of the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Moore, the Auburn University School of Nursing is enabled to present the Dr. Jemelene Chastain Moore Distinguished Faculty Award.