Carlow University’s Highest Academic Honor Awarded to Devan Stanko

Carlow University’s highest academic honor, the Joseph G. Smith Award, was presented to Devan Stanko, a nursing major, Forest Hills resident, and one of the valedictorians of the Class of 2018.

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Forest Hills Resident and Nursing MajorReceives the Joseph G. Smith Award

Pittsburgh, Pa. – Carlow University has presented its highest academic honor, the Joseph G. Smith Award, to Devan Stanko, a nursing major and one of the valedictorians for Carlow’s Class of 2018.

Every year, a graduating senior is nominated for The Joseph G. Smith Award. The candidates for the Smith Award have distinguished themselves in their college careers academically, in community service and in service to the Carlow Community. The award itself is named in honor of a former Chairman of the Board of Trustees, who died in 1977, after forty years of dedicated service to Carlow University.

Stanko, a Forest Hills resident and2014 graduate of Woodland Hills High School, received her bachelor of science in nursing degree at Carlow’s Commencement on Saturday, May 12, 2018.  She was nominated for the Joseph G. SmithAward by the entire nursing faculty, who believe she embodies excellence in all that she does and because she has an impressive record of academic success and service to others.

 One of the honors given to the Smith Award winner is to deliver the student address atCommencement. Stanko spoke from the heart about her Carlow education and, most importantly, the values she received while attending her alma mater.

“I have realized on multiple occasions that our Carlow University values are just as essential to my career as the textbook knowledge I have gained,” she told the audience of an experience during her nursing clinicals when she was able to calm a patient by taking the time to talk with him.  “My message to you today is to never lose your dedication to making the world abetter place.  We can practice and promote mercy, service, and hospitality even in the smallest acts of kindness.”

In addition to having the highestGPA in her nursing class and being one of the valedictorians for the Class of2018, Stanko was selected as a “Future Nurse Educator,” a designation that requires her to secure faculty recommendations and complete an application and interview process. She has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Student NursesAssociation as an excellent student who excels in her academic and non-academic work.

During her time at Carlow, her learning opportunities extended beyond the Carlow campus, as she traveled with the Carlow Cares program to Sligo, Ireland, where she worked in a nursing facility for women with disabilities.  She also took part inAlternative Spring Break by traveling to Nicaragua to work in health care clinics and conduct health assessments in schools.

Locally, she has been the President of the Carlow Chapter of the Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania, providing outstanding leadership and organization skills, and in that role has provided blood pressure screenings and flu shots, among other services.

Stanko has also worked as a peer tutor, where she was flexible in that role in meeting student needs and faculty requests.  She has led exam reviews for groups of students and worked with individual students from the traditional and second degree nursing programs.

Beyond nursing, she has participated in the “Stop the Bleed”and Human Trafficking Identification programs that were offered on campus for those who are willing to step up and help should the need arise to prevent trafficking and abuse.

Following graduation, Stanko will begin her career as a registered nurse in the emergency department at Children’s Hospital ofPittsburgh.  At some point in the future, she plans to pursue a master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner, and one day hopes to earn her doctorate in nursing practice.

### About Carlow University

Carlow is a private, co-educational, Catholic university located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s “Eds, Meds, and Tech” district. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy, Carlow’s graduates, curricula, and partnerships reflect its strong commitment to social justice; ethical, forward-thinking and responsible leadership; and service to the community that has a meaningful impact. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in three colleges: Health and Wellness, Leadership and Social Change, and Learning and Innovation. Carlow graduates are in demand for their professional expertise, in fields ranging from nursing, the sciences, and perfusion technology to counseling, education, and forensic accounting; their entrepreneurial spirit and creative mindset; and their ability to manage change.  Carlow’s 13 athletic teams are known as the Celtics, a reflection of the university’s Irish heritage and roots.

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