The Pauline W. Brown Diversity Scholarship Award is open to any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled at the UNC School of Nursing.

Students are asked to submit work that analyzes its subject using the lens of race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality and culture, or that focuses on the contributions of women and men of all colors to society, history, culture or thought. All winners will receive a plaque and a monetary award.

The 2017 Pauline W. Brown Diversity Scholarship Award

Susan Cáceres Araya, MSN class of 2018, is the 2017 recipient of the Pauline W. Brown Diversity Scholarship Award. Cáceres won the award for her submission entitled Overcoming Communication Barriers to Provide Family-Centered Care for Spanish-Speaking Mothers in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: An Interactive Curriculum for Continuing Education in Nursing. The aim of the project is to provide nurses in the NICU at UNC Children’s Hospital with a continuing education seminar on overcoming communication barriers to provide family-centered care for Spanish-speaking mothers. The objective of this seminar is to heighten nurses’ sensitivity to the strains communication barriers put on Spanish-speaking mothers. The curriculum is designed to promote self-reflection and elicit group discussions. Cáceres plans to work in a community health setting as a bilingual psychiatric mental health practitioner with a focus in perinatal moods disorders.

View award winning submission in PDF format.

Previous Award Winners



Suzanne Brown Daly, PhD Class of 2016, is the 2016 recipient of the Pauline W. Brow Diversity Scholarship Award. Daly won the award for her dissertation study titled Racial differences in the quality of home health care: What are the contributing factors?. The dissertation study was guided by the theory of institutional racism. The overall purpose of the study was two-fold: to document whether there are racial differences in the quality of home health care between home healthcare agencies that serve a high percentage of African American patients and those that serve a low percentage of African American patients and, should racial differences be found, explore the relationship between specific factors (market, community, organizational, nurse staffing) and racial differences in an effort to provide information needed to affect policies to decrease racial differences in the quality of home health care. Results from the study provided mixed evidence for racial differences in the quality of home health care. Where racial differences were found, community and organizational characteristics were more likely to be associated with observed racial differences than were market and nurse staffing characteristics. Additional studies are needed to further our understanding of racial differences in the quality of home health care. After graduation, Daly plans to continue to pursue research focused on racial differences in the quality of care, specifically focusing on potential underlying causes of racial differences in quality of care between high and low minority serving healthcare organizations.

View the award winning submission in PDF format.


Elizabeth Cotton, Accelerated BSN Class of 2015, is the 2015 recipient of the Pauline W. Brown Diversity Scholarship Award. Cotton’s winning submission was her project, “I Have: CancerAn Educational Tool for Pediatric Patients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and an Oncological Diagnosis. The project includes an interactive booklet that includes an explanation of cancer, chemotherapy, and side effects written specifically for pediatric patients with an intellectual/developmental disability (I/DD), as well as a letter to a caregiver or nurse. It was her intention with this research and project to promote appropriate language and terminology, advocate for pediatric patients with I/DD and their families, and above all, to educate these patients about the process of having cancer and being hospitalized. Cotton hopes to continue the “I Have:” series and expand and encompass more diseases and conditions with more booklets as she continues her career and education.

View the award winning submission in PDF format.


Ethan Cicero, BSN Class of 2014, is the 2014 recipient of the Pauline W. Brown Diversity Scholarship Award. Cicero won the award for his work educating UNC School of Nursing Faculty and Staff on Teaching Students to Care for Transgender Patients and Families. In addition, Cicero also held multiple continuing education seminars for UNC Campus Health providers, nurses, and staff on Communicating and Caring for Transgender Patients. Both presentations provided introductory concepts of transgender identities and functional knowledge healthcare members can incorporate into their respective roles. Introducing and illustrating a portrait of transgender identities, terminology, and multiple aspects of societal stigmatization became the foundation of the presentation. Once this groundwork was delivered, the sessions transitioned into educating others on patient-centered, compassionate, safe, and comprehensive care for transgender patients. After graduation, Cicero plans to work as a nurse at UNC Hospital’s Medicine Progressive Care Unit.

View the award winning submission  in PDF format.



Nancy Gentry Perkins, MSN Class of 2013, is the 2013 recipient of the Pauline W. Brown Diversity Scholarship Award. Perkins won the award for her paper Childhood Obesity in Rural Latinos: Implications and Interventions for its Assessment, Prevention, and Management. The paper provides a comprehensive review of the interventions and implications for the assessment, prevention and management of childhood obesity in rural Latinos. It also discusses the policy-setting role of clinicians and the cultural implications important to providing the best possible care for the rural Latino pediatric population. Perkins plans to work as a family nurse practitioner in rural North Carolina upon graduation.

View the award winning submission in PDF format.



MSN student, Mary Clay Federspiel, is the 2012 recipients of the Pauline W. Brown Diversity Scholarship Award. Federspiel’s winning submission was the paper Discussing Sexual Orientation with Adolescents in a Pediatric Primary Care Setting. She wanted to find a way to take what she had learned back to her chosen population.The manuscript explores aspects of the health care encounter that provide opportunities for building trust and rapport with sexual minority youth including the physical environment, provider attitude, confidentiality, and word choice during the medical interview.

View the award winning submission in PDF format


Accelerated BSN student Mary Carter and MSN student Christine Weeks are the 2011 recipients of the Pauline W. Brown diversity scholarship award. Carter’s winning submission was the paper “Exile and reintegration among rape survivors in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Factors influencing rejection and acceptance.” She performed a secondary analysis of data to examine the cultural factors that influence whether women that experience rape are then exiled or accepted by their husbands. Weeks won the award with her review paper “Factors influencing self care behaviors of African American adults with type 2 diabetes.” She examined research in which the study population contained at least 15% African Americans and directly addressed factors affecting self care behaviors.

View Mary Carter’s award-winning submission in PDF format.

View Christine Weeks’ award-winning submission in PDF format.


Cherie Smith-Miller, RN, BSN, MEd. and Ashley Leak, RN-BC, MSN, OCN, John A. Hartford Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity (BAGNC) Scholar, current SON PhD students, received The Pauline W. Brown Diversity Scholarship Award, 2010 (formerly the Kindred Spirits Achievement Award for Excellence in Multicultural Scholarship) for raising awareness of how short term global health experiences foster nurse’s cultural competence in clinical practice.

Smith-Miller and Leak’s project, entitled Leaving the Comfort of the Familiar: Fostering Workplace Cultural Awareness through Short-Term Global Experiences, was a poster presentation at the Southern Nurses Research Society and a published article. Their work demonstrates how short-term global health experiences facilitate the development of nurse’s cultural awareness and are an effective mechanism for enhancing cultural competence for nursing students’ at all academic levels.

View the award-winning submission in PDF format