The Aaron Junior Geriatric Award was created in 2015 by Dr. Charlene Aaron, who is an assistant professor at Illinois State University Mennonite College of Nursing. The purpose of this award is to recognize an outstanding junior nursing student who has demonstrated compassion and caring toward older adults in the nursing home setting, while going over and above to make all interactions with the elders truly resident-centered. Students who are fully engaged by preparing for their clinical experience, eager to learn, have a positive attitude and bright/comforting affect during interactions with residents, peers, staff and instructor, deserve extra support. Learning to care for older adults requires a maturity, patience and a sense of humor. Recognizing students who excel during learning opportunities with elders, promotes a positive outlook on gerontological nursing and may further student interest in community or research projects concerning older adult health outcomes. As the award recipient moves through the program, clinical and research faculty are available to mentor and guide the student to ensure successful completion of the nursing program.
Dr. Aaron has a passion for geriatrics. She received awards from both MCN and the University of Iowa in recognition of her contributions to gerontology and long-term care. She also received the Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Pre-Doctoral Scholarship From the John A. Hartford Foundation for the 2010-2012 period and is designated as a Patricia G. Archbold Scholar.
Dr. Aaron is dedicated to the Illinois State University Nursing program and students and it is her hope that this award provides support, assistance and encouragement.