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Hopkins Nursing Student, Mentor Earn Community Service Awards

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Posted: 5/20/2010

Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) preceptor Sister Barbara "Bobby" English and student Frank Mataska were recognized for their commitment to helping others with community service awards from the Hopkins Student Outreach Resource Center (SOURCE). JHUSON's Isaiah Wellness Team received the Student Group Award.

Sister English has served as a preceptor for Hopkins nursing students for more than 20 years. She is the director of the Julie Community Center, a multi-purpose, non-profit community organization involved in advocacy, education, and organizing, with special dedication to the poor, according to the center's website.

"Sister Bobby is adored by all of the students who work with her from the School of Nursing Community Outreach Program, as well as by the faculty and the community," says Lori Edwards, MPH, RN, APRN, BC, a faculty member who nominated Sister English for the award. "She is everyone's hero! She is the most enthusiastic person I have ever met and she always lifts everyone up."

Hopkins nursing students work with Sister English at the Julie Community Center for two rotations during their community nursing courses. "I don't feel like a preceptor, I feel like I'm watching magic every time [the students] come. I just cheer them on while they do their thing," she explains. "In lots of ways I feel like turning the award around to the students, say 'You won this award.' How could I not possibly be encouraging to a group of people so magnificent?" 

Mataska, a member of the accelerated 2010 class, volunteers at the Wald Community Nursing Clinic and Isaiah Wellness Center, and organizes weekly men's health groups for individuals in senior housing. He led the community service committee of the School's Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) group and organized a monthly volunteer opportunity for them.

Meghan Greeley, a graduate student at JHUSON, nominated Mataska for the award. "Frank has shown incredible dedication to working with the community. He has taken on a great deal in addition to an already rigorous course load." She adds, "He does everything with amazing calmness and a wonderful, giving spirit!"

Mataska chose Hopkins for the community service opportunities. "The focus on service is still my favorite thing about attending Hopkins and has greatly influenced my desire to pursue a career in Public Health Nursing," he explains.

The SOURCE Community Service Awards have been presented for five years with the purpose of recognizing and showing appreciation for the work of students, faculty, and mentors at JHUSON, the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.