The $40,000 award was presented to Nguyen on May 10 during the college’s convocation at Christenberry Fieldhouse.
During her time at the university, Nguyen demonstrated compassion for others by giving back to the community and campus by collecting and donating toys to the Children’s Hospital of Georgia and raising over $3,000 for undergraduate nursing students while serving as the second vice president of the college’s Student Leadership Organization.
In the clinical setting, she devoted herself to the hospitals’ most vulnerable patients, developing treatment-specific plans for CHOG patients, providing care to new moms in the medical center’s Perinatal Unit and helping to evaluate psychiatric patients receiving care at East Central Regional Hospital.
Her passion for excellence in health care made an impression on Dr. Pamela Cook, interim associate dean for academic and student affairs in the College of Nursing, whose nomination letter states how Nguyen’s work ethic exemplifies what it means to be a high-quality health care provider.
“While in the nursing program, Dan has demonstrated a strong work ethic, determination, social aptitude, enthusiasm and flexibility,” Cook said. “She has performed compassionate service to our patients, their families and the Augusta University Health community without expectation of recognition or reward. She is a true asset to the college and the university.”
In addition to graduating cum laude, Nguyen has received several awards for her work, including the Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship and the University Nurse Alumnae Scholarship.
Nguyen has also furthered her education by earning several credentials, such as the Freshstart Tobacco Cessation Counselor Program Certification through the American Cancer Society, Strengthening Families Program Completion Certification from Augusta University and the Professional Development Certificate in Child Maltreatment through Pro-Solution Training.
The $40,000 annual John F. Beard Award is endowed by William Porter “Billy” Payne and his wife, Martha, to a graduating Augusta University student who exemplifies caring and compassion in health care. Payne, the immediate past chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club, established the Beard award in 1998 in memory of his father-in-law, who died of cancer in 1997. The award honors Augusta University President Emeritus Francis J. Tedesco and Beard’s physician, Dr. Mark F. Williams, a 1988 Medical College of Georgia graduate who treated Beard during his hospitalization at Augusta University Medical Center.