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. Francine Mancuso Parker was announced as the 2020 recipient of the Dr. Jemelene Chastain Moore Distinguished Faculty Award in the School of Nursing during the Virtual Pinning Ceremony on Aug. 7.
Parker has been a nurse for more than 40 years and a nurse educator for 35 years. She came to Auburn University School of Nursing in 2006 from Auburn University — Montgomery, where she started her nursing education career. She has taught both in the undergraduate and the graduate programs. She served as associate dean for academic affairs from 2014 to 2018, and in 2018, was appointed the MSN nurse educator coordinator.
Parker is considered a gifted teacher and advisor. A former student, and fellow professional, who was influenced by her determination, diligence, and self-motivation said that she remembered Parker as a person who really cared about students and colleagues. “She connected with everyone in the profession through her many roles as mentor, teacher, administrator, colleague, advocate, and friend. She has led by example and exhibited the character and professionalism we all wish to emulate.”
Parker has authored or co-authored an extensive list of refereed publications, written articles in professional journals and chapters in textbooks. As PI or co-PI on several research and outreach projects, she has presented her research at state, regional, national, and international conferences.
In 2012 she was appointed by the Governor of Alabama to serve as a member of the Alabama Board of Nursing. She served as vice president of the Board before being elected president in 2015. She served a total of three terms as president of the Board.
A letter of support from a Board member recognized the breadth of influence she had on nursing in Alabama. “She distinguished herself both as a professional nurse and a nurse educator. As president (of the Board), she partnered with me in directing a sea change for the more than 100,000 members of the nursing profession practicing in Alabama. The result of that joint effort is a patient-care environment that is relatively free from regulatory interference, more adaptable to circumstance, and above all, more patient-friendly for all Alabamians.”
A highly valued faculty member, Parker is respected and admired by her colleagues. Faculty seek her advice and direction, which may come with honest, constructive criticism, always with the intent of improving faculty, staff, and student outcomes. As one of her nominators stated, “her democratic leadership style always ensured the team was first. She engaged faculty in decisions and projects and helped them achieve their best.”
The Distinguished Faculty Award was established by the Moore family as a meaningful tribute to their later mother and grandmother, Dr. Jemelene Chastain Moore. Moore was the first faculty member hired for Auburn’s new School of Nursing in 1979. In one of her final wishes, Dr. Moore requested family and friends combine two of her greatest loves – nursing education and Auburn University – and donate in her memory to the Auburn University School of Nursing.
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.