Carlow University honored five notable alumni as Carlow Laureates, the University’s highest accolade, in a virtual ceremony May 26, 2021.
PITTSBURGH – Recognition as a Carlow Laureate is a tribute to an individual’s lasting contributions to their field, academics and community. Laureates, and nominees, show kinetic support for Carlow’s core values and mission of being ethical leaders committed to a just and merciful world.
“One of the historic strengths of Carlow University is its ability to transform and develop students into high-achieving, compassionate, ethical leaders in their respective fields,” said Carlow President Suzanne K. Mellon. “The honor that best recognizes these outstanding individuals is the Carlow Laureate award, the most prestigious award that can be bestowed on our alumni.”
The five women in the 2021 class of Laureates are listed below.
Kathleen (Bollen) Gaberson, PhD, RN, CNOR, SNE, ANEF, is recognized for her expertise in academic nursing education and clinical expertise in perioperative nursing. She has authored or co-authored 11 books and has more than 35 years of experience in nursing education as a faculty member and administrator in baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs.
Gaberson said her time at Carlow was a turning point in her career.
“I came for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, and what I received from Carlow was that and more — a liberal and professional education that prepared me for lifelong learning and diverse professional opportunities and experiences beyond what I could imagine at the time,” Gaberson said. “I am proud of what is now Carlow University, my alma mater, and grateful for an education that prepared me to make a difference in the lives of others through my career in nursing.”
Capt. Madelyn Reyes, DNP, MA, MPA, RN, acknowledged for more than 21 years of professional experience in public health administrative nursing, has been a transformational leader in managing and implementing innovative, cutting-edge initiatives and programs.
“I would like to thank the faculty for challenging me, and my peers for supporting me,” said Reyes. “This combination has made it possible for me to feel deserving of this award. The lessons learned helped guide my decision-making and integrity. I thank Carlow University for this prestigious recognition and will continue to exhibit the values that earned me this award.”
Nancy (Picciano) Zimmerman, PhD, MS, MLS, is honored for a distinguished 42-year career in librarianship and academia that includes prestigious awards in teaching, research and service. Zimmerman is recognized by her peers for her leadership and expertise in professional associations.
“It is always gratifying to be honored for one’s life work, but it is particularly gratifying when you are as passionate about that work as I am about libraries and their power to transform lives,” Zimmerman said. “My next thoughts were to share this great news with my very supportive husband, children, friends and colleagues and to be thankful for women ancestors at Carlow and in librarianship who paved the way for me by mentoring and supporting other women.”
Chanessa Schuler, BA, was honored as a Carlow Young Laureate. Schuler is director of programs for SLB Radio Productions Inc., producers of the award-winning “Saturday Light Brigade.” The radio series amplifies youth voices and members of communities whose stories are often marginalized; its goal is to educate, empower and build community. Schuler also led “Girl Talk,” a career-based oral history program that connects generations of Hill District girls and women through conversation.
Barbara L. Gilles, BA, was honored posthumously with the Alumni Award for Distinguished Service to Carlow University. Gilles served the Office of the President for more than 30 years. While in this role, she enrolled as a part-time student, earning a bachelor’s degree in communication.
In a statement, Gilles’ family said, “We, and our respective families, are appreciative of this award for Barbara. Carlow was her life and we are sure she would have thought that such recognition was unnecessary, but at the same time pleased to stand with the other awardees. We thank the nominator and those that supported her.”