The Moore Distinguished Faculty Award


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 College of Nursing. 


The Dr. Jemelene Chastain Moore Distinguished Faculty Award presented annually, serves to recognize a faculty member who has demonstrated exemplary accomplishment in teaching, research, outreach, and service, and who represents the educational vision of the Auburn University’s College of Nursing. The award was established by Dr. Moore’s son Hugh, daughter-in-law Ann, and grandson David to honor Dr. Moore, the first instructor hired in the new school of nursing in 1979. The family’s generosity has enabled the Auburn University School College of Nursing to commend a faculty member for service and dedication.

The 2024 recipient, Dr. Tiffani Chidume, exemplifies Dr. Moore’s passion for education. This award is a testament to her unwavering dedication, passion, and exceptional contributions in simulation education. It is a recognition not only of individual achievement but also a reflection of the high standards of excellence that the College of Nursing upholds.

Chidume received her undergraduate degree in nursing from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a master’s degree from Troy University and her DNP from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. As a Registered Nurse in Alabama and Georgia, she worked in respiratory care and in emergency rooms in Huntsville, Alabaster and Opelika. Her recent attainment of the advanced-level certified healthcare simulation educator and certification as a healthcare simulation operations specialist underscores her dedication to maintaining the highest standards in the field. One of the most remarkable achievements is her dual certification in simulation, a distinction held by only three individuals globally.

Prior to teaching in Auburn, she taught at Chattahoochee Valley Community College and Southern Union State Community College. At Auburn, she has organized outreach and professional community service activities, served as advisor to student research, served as either a principal investigator or co-principal investigator in several research projects. She has brought in nearly $500,000 in research funding! She has presented her research at local, regional, national and international conferences.

Chidume is an active member of several professional organizations, where she has served as chair, content expert, collaborator and peer reviewed writer. She has served on editorial boards of several journals as invited co-editor, reviewer and editor-in-chief. She is an effective member in university and college activities. Tiffani is certified in Simulation Education, critical care, cardiac life support and pediatric life support.

She has received soaring endorsements from her colleagues in Auburn and from universities across the country, for her dedication to her profession.

“As a colleague and an outstanding faculty member, Tiffani has consistently demonstrated exemplary performance and unwavering commitment to both AUCON and the field of nursing education,” says a colleague. “Her commitment to excellence is evident in her innovative, engaging simulation-based teaching methods, responsive to the ever-evolving needs of our nursing program. Through her innovative approach, she has significantly enriched the academic environment at the College of Nursing.”

Chidume spearheaded the incorporation of virtual reality experiences for nursing students, using grant funds to develop the College’s first virtual simulation program using high technology virtual reality headsets and software. Her scholarship focuses on each step of the simulation experience and the use of technology to expand the modality and fidelity of simulation.

A colleague from another department across campus highlights student and faculty feedback following each simulation experience as exemplary. “The feedback confirmed the notion that the interprofessional simulation experiences have changed their perceptions of the allied profession. Tiffani positively affected the students’ education and perspective of the other disciplines, improving health care for an infinite number of patients.”

“It is achievements like these that truly define the extraordinary commitment Tiffani has to our students and the entire academic community,” said Dean Gregg Newschwander. “As we celebrate Tiffani Chidume today, we also look forward to the future with great anticipation. We are confident that she will continue to inspire, lead, and contribute to the excellence that defines our institution.”

On behalf of all the students who have benefited from her guidance, the colleagues who have been inspired by her leadership, and the institution as a whole, we express our deepest gratitude and congratulations to Tiffani Chidume!

Past Award Recipients

Dr. Kathy Jo Ellison, East Alabama Medical Center/Dr. Bill Lazenby Professor

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.   

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