Renowned faculty member posthumously honored with McLain Award
The legacy of Dr. Karen Nabors, a cherished and devoted faculty member, lives on as she was posthumously awarded the McLain Family Award for Extraordinary Faculty. The prestigious accolade recognized Dr. Nabors’ passion and commitment to teaching, scholarly achievement and service.
“I am thankful for the generosity of the McLain Family that allows us to recognize outstanding faculty in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Dr. Nabors was certainly deserving of this honor, and I’m pleased her family was here to receive this award,” said Mississippi University for Women President Nora Miller.
Established in 2022, the McLain Family Award for Extraordinary Faculty is an annual award that recognizes a nursing faculty member in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. The recipient must have served a minimum of two consecutive years as a nursing faculty member in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and must exhibit an extraordinary passion and commitment in teaching, in scholarly achievement and in service– preferably both on campus and in the community, as a representative benefiting the University.
“Dr. Nabors had a passion and commitment to our profession, university, programs and students that was like few educators I have ever seen. She truly set the standard for both nurses and nurse educators. Those who were lucky enough to have trained under her or alongside her can attest to her unwavering dedication, faithful integrity and willing spirit. Our college and profession has surely lost a legend,” said Dr. Brandy Larmon, dean of the College of Nursing & Health Sciences.
The award was presented to Nabors family during the College of Nursing and Health Sciences pinning ceremony for the Associate of Nursing program and the Bachelor of Nursing program. The ceremony signifies the completion of education and is an initiation into the nursing profession.
Nabors passed away peacefully on March 1 surrounded by her family. With a career spanning three decades, the professor of nursing left a lasting impact on faculty, staff and students. She was described as kind, endearing, passionate, dedicated and genuine by fellow faculty members when they recommended her for the award.
“Her commitment to excellence was evident in everything she did. She was passionate about nursing, nursing education, providing patient centered care, creating an environment of professionalism and structure for first year nursing students and so much more,” said Allison Caston, instructor of nursing.
Nabors was a Mississippi Nursing Association Faculty of the Year nominee in 2019 and was named an International Nurses Association Top Nurse in 2016. She served on numerous university committees, including Faculty Senate, MUWAA Scholarship Committee, and the University Promotion, Tenure, and Post-Tenure Review Committee.
Nabors demonstrated a commitment to community service throughout her career by volunteering for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Helping Hands Food Pantry, the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, the American Institute for Cancer Research and more.
Her dedication to the nursing profession, students and the university was constantly recognized by award nominators and fellow faculty members. Each one highlighted Nabor’s determination to contribute and support students and the nursing program.
Nursing instructor Lynsey Baker said, “Throughout her time away, she only thought about being here with her students and doing what she loves best, which was and is making the nursing profession better by molding the future of nurses of today.”
The McLain Family Award for Extraordinary Faculty is an endowment established by the Ralph McLain Family. Dr. Alena Groves was the inaugural recipient of the McLain Family Award for Extraordinary Faculty at the 2022 Spring Commencement.