Alumni Awards - 2013

Alumni Award for Excellence in Nursing
Doreen Wise BSN 68

Doreen Wise, BSN '68, is the founder, chairman and former chief executive officer of Medical Research Consultants (MRC).  MRC is a certified women-owned business, and is preferred vendor for several major manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies, including DuPont and Pfizer.  Prior to founding MRC, Wise spent six years as an assistant professor at the University of Texas School of Nursing.  Wise worked as a psychotherapist in private practice for 12 years and as a nurse on the pediatric floor of a Southern California hospital while attending California State University. 

Wise founded Gabriel's Gifts, a foundation that provides support and assistance to families who have a missing person. 

In memory of a nursing classmate, Wise helped to establish the Janice Ambrey Stalcup Memorial Scholarship at VUSN, and in 2004, she was a co-founder of the Pass It On Scholarship. 

"When I started the consulting company, I recall sitting in a Sandler Sales System classroom, thinking I would learn something new.  About halfway through the first hour, I realized I was hearing the nursing process repackaged as sales strategy and delivery.  I thought, I already know how to do this!  And so it has been all of my career, and my personal life." 

"I owe Vanderbilt an inestimable debt.  The scholarship package generously offered paid for the bulk of my undergraduate education.  The faculty influenced my practice; my friends have influenced every aspect of my life.  And the mentor I have in the ever dauntless Clo McGill, Class of 1947A, is PRICELESS!  What a gift of grace for me to have been blessed with a Vanderbilt education.  I am deeply grateful each day for the treasure that is Vanderbilt."


Alumni Award for Clinical Achievement in Nursing
Ellen Davis, BSN'63

Ellen B. Davis, BSN'63, has a passion for making a difference.  As a diabetes clinical nurse specialist and certified diabetes educator, David has, through the Duke University Health System, taught and supported thousands of people with diabetes, for 35 years.  Her desire to help people live a quality like led her to use and promote individualized communication ling before "patient-centered" became the norm.  She knew early in her career that all patients with diabetes need education that is unique to their particular diagnosis and circumstance. 

Davis' work does not stop at her patient interactions.  In her position at a teaching hospital, Davis has the opportunity to coach, mentor and teach countless healthcare provides, from staff nurses to resident physicians to endocrinologists, in the more effective ways to support their patients. 

Her passion for improving the lives of those living with diabetes has moved Davis to foster research and increased knowledge in the medical field.  Her work has caused a ripple effect on the entire medical community.  Her publications in over 100 venues have helped nurses, doctors, administrators, dietitians, pharmacists, and others succeed in reaching thousands through their own publishing and presenting at national conferences.  

Davis serves as an adjunct faculty member at the schools of nursing at Duke, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and East Carolina University, where she continues to spread knowledge and improve skills working with undergraduate and graduate students.  At Duke, she has presented grand rounds to many groups including nurses, endocrinologist, psychiatrists and physicians. 

Davis has received awards from the American Diabetes Association, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, Duke University, and the State of North Carolina.  Her passion for patients makes Ellen Davis extraordinary. 


President's Award of Distinction
J. Michael Briley, MSN'94

J. Michael Briley, MSN'94, graduated Cum Laud with a B.S. in Biology/Chemistry in 1990 from Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee.  In 1994, he graduated Summa Cum Laud from VUSN as a family nurse practitioner.  He completed a doctoral residency at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Nursing, graduating in May 2006. 

Since 1996, Briley has been the director of Primary Care Services in Jackson, Tennessee, and has served his community in many ways: 

  • With student health at Youth Town of Tennessee
  • With campus health at Freed-Hardeman
  • As past chairman of the Health Policy and Governmental Affairs Committee for the State of Tennessee
  • As a member of the faculty at the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy
  • As a former member of the Board of Directors of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee.