Tara Vaughn

Tara Vaughn

A University of Houston-Victoria assistant clinical professor of nursing spent the spring supporting nursing students as they navigated the COVID-19 pandemic and the summer establishing the UHV COVID-19 Operations Center. Now, she has been named the M.G. and Lillie A. Johnson Foundation Endowed Professor of Nursing.

Tara Vaughn, the interim director of nursing at UHV, recently received the endowed professorship thanks to a grant from the foundation. The professorship is intended for a doctoral-prepared Registered Nurse who has a Master of Science in Nursing and is a full-time faculty member at UHV.

“I am honored to receive this professorship,” Vaughn said. “It’s wonderful to be a part of UHV, and I look forward to helping the nursing program grow and further preparing our students for leadership in the field of nursing.”

The award consists of a $5,000 stipend for the 2020-2022 academic years and the ability to use the term “Johnson Foundation Endowed Professorship in Nursing” in credentials.

“The M.G. and Lillie A. Johnson Foundation has supported academic excellence at UHV for many years, and we appreciate the foundation’s continued support,” said Jesse Pisors, UHV vice president for advancement and external relations. “We are thrilled to learn that Dr. Vaughn has been named to this prestigious professorship.”

The recipient of the award must also have five or more years of successful college teaching experience, excellent faculty performance and maintain a commitment to excellence to the nursing profession. In addition, the individual must be recommended by the director of nursing and the dean of the school or college.

“Dr. Vaughn has shown great care and leadership in the nursing program and within the UHV community,” said Rachel Martinez, interim dean of the School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development. “She is a wonderful educator and has been instrumental in helping our nursing students. She truly deserves this award.”

Vaughn has been with UHV since 2017. She holds several degrees and certifications: a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from the University of Central Oklahoma, a Master of Public Health in health education and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, a doctorate in nursing from the University of Texas at Tyler, and board certification in Advanced Public Health Nursing. She also serves as a nurse in the Army Reserve.

In addition to teaching, Vaughn also has experience working in public health with public health departments. Vaughn helped establish and continues to assist the UHV COVID-19 Operations Center, which was created this summer to support university students, staff and faculty by advising, communicating and educating the campus community about COVID-19 in Victoria and at the UHV Katy instructional site.

The nursing field has become even more important during the era of COVID-19, Vaughn said. As patients turn to clinics and hospitals for help, nurses are there at the frontlines making sure patients receive the care that they need.

“As an educator, is it my responsibility and honor to be their servant leader and help them advance their education,” Vaughn said. “I am excited for the future of the nursing program here at UHV.”

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