Carolina Nursing recognizes Alumni Award recipients

Outstanding Alumni Award recipient

Alyshia Wood Smith, BSN ‘89

This award recognizes a Carolina Nursing graduate who is known for their outstanding leadership and service to the field of nursing, either through scholarly efforts in research or teaching, promotion of health care or excellence in patient care and practice. 

Dr. Alyshia Smith is a North Carolina native and alumna of UNC School of Nursing who has served as the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Durham VA Health Care System since May 2022. As the Executive Director/CEO, Dr. Smith provides executive leadership and strategic direction for this complex healthcare system that provides a full array of clinical services to nearly 80,000 enrolled Veterans over 12 sites of care and 27 counties in North Carolina. She has direct responsibility for a $1.1 billion operating budget and over 3,700 employees. The Durham VA has several major medical education affiliates with over 1,700 trainees and an innovative and robust research program.      

Before joining the Durham VA Health Care System, Dr. Smith served as the Executive Director for the Phoenix VA Health Care System. Vietnam Veterans of America acknowledged Dr. Smith’s leadership contributions in 2020 by awarding her the Vietnam Veterans of America Achievement Medal. In May 2022, she was recognized with a Red Jacket from Tuskegee Airmen, Archer-Ragsdale Arizona Chapter, and inducted as an at-large member.    

Before Dr. Smith was appointed Executive Director of Phoenix VA Health Care System, she was their Associate Director of Patient Care Services and Chief Nurse Executive from 2015 to 2019. From 2010 to 2015, she was the Deputy Chief Nurse Executive of the Washington DC VA Medical Center. She also held a 90-day assignment as the Acting Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for VA’s national program office in Washington, DC.   

As a daughter and a niece of four Vietnam Veterans, service to others has been in Dr. Smith’s family legacy, and from a young age, she knew that she wanted to carry on that tradition of service in her life. Before starting with VA in 2010, Dr. Smith made her way through the nursing leadership ranks from 1989 to 2010 at a not-for-profit, 900-bed academic and research center and one of the largest and busiest level 1 trauma hospitals in the greater Washington, D.C., metropolitan region.  

Dr. Smith holds both a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a Master of Science from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has served as clinical faculty with nursing programs at Georgetown University and the University of Maryland. She is board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Nurse Executive, Advanced, and is an active member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.  

Outstanding Alumni Service Award recipient  

Angelo Moore, PhD ‘10

This award recognizes a Carolina Nursing graduate who has demonstrated outstanding voluntary leadership or public service on a local, national or global level. 

Dr. Angelo Moore received his BSN in 1995 from Winston-Salem State University, MSN in 2002 from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and PhD in 2010 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He served 25 years in the U.S. Army and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel earning numerous awards and decorations. He has more than 28 years of nursing experience and is a board-certified Nurse Executive.  

Dr. Moore is the Director, of the Office of Health Equity at the Duke Cancer Institute where he provides the overall direction, coordination, and implementation of DCI’s community impact-designed projects to reduce cancer outcomes disparities in the DCI community and across its Catchment Area. He is a member of the National Navigation Steering Committee for the American Cancer Society, an adjunct faculty member at the UNC School of Nursing, and a former Alumni Association board member. He also serves on the America250 Health & Wellness Advisory Council, National Black Nurses Association Board of Directors, NC Advisory Council Cancer Coordination Control Early Detection Subcommittee, NC Historically Marginalized Populations Workgroup, and numerous other committees.     

Angelo has been recognized for his contributions to nursing with several awards. Recently, Angelo was awarded the Presidential Award by Duke University. He has been recognized by his nursing peers at Winston Salem State (Alumni Achiever Award in 2013) and UNC-Chapel Hill (2012 Graduate of the Last Decade), the National Black Nurse Associate and the Central Carolina Black Nurses Association. In 2023 he was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing and recognized as one of the Great 100 Nurses of North Carolina.  

Outstanding Early Career Alumni Award recipient

Joshua Gill, ABSN ‘19

This award recognizes a recent Carolina Nursing graduate who has exhibited excellence as an emerging nurse leader. 

Joshua Gill earned his BSN from the UNC School of Nursing in 2019. He was hired into the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Duke University Hospital, where he went on to become a preceptor and charge nurse. He served on the Clinical Practice Councils, both unit‐specific and hospital-wide, helping institute new policies and amending old policies with current evidence‐based practice.   

Before becoming a nurse, he worked as an EMT with Wake County EMS. After several years at the Cardiac ICU, he decided to merge his love of pre‐hospital medicine and critical care medicine by becoming a Critical Care Transport Nurse with Duke Life Flight. He is both in awe of and thankful for, the opportunity he has in this role to operate with a huge amount of autonomy and at the very pinnacle of his nursing license. Because of this responsibility, he is dedicated to continuous education and has earned his CCRN certification as well as certificates in BLS, ACLS, PALS, NRP, TNCC, and TPATC.  

He is working towards getting his Certified Flight Registered Nurse certification. Joshua was recently invited by the UNC SON to give the alumni speech at the Oath Ceremony for the ABSN Class of 2024 and BSN Class of 2025 and he has previously spoken at alumni panels put on by UNC SON for current students of the nursing program. 

Outstanding Nurse Innovator Alumni Award recipient  

Lauren Douglass, BSN ‘18

This award recognizes a School of Nursing graduate who is applying new ideas and methods to the field of nursing to improve patient experiences, health outcomes and nursing practice, research and/or education. 

Lauren Douglass is a Tar Heel born and bred. She grew up in Chapel Hill, NC and received her BSN degree from the UNC School of Nursing in 2018. She started working in the Cardiac/Neuroscience ICU at Inova Alexandria Hospital as a new graduate nurse, where she also completed a year-long Nurse Residency Program. After finishing her residency and passing her CCRN in 2019, she transferred to the region’s Level 1 Trauma ICU at Inova Fairfax Hospital. During her five years of working in the TICU, Lauren passed her TCRN, obtained her RN4 status, and served as her unit’s Education Committee Chair, Core Preceptor, Trauma Responder, and Charge Nurse. In 2021, she was selected for Inova’s Nursing Research Fellowship, in which she received funding to design and implement her nurse‐led research study on traumatic brain injuries.   

After starting in the ICU in 2018, Lauren quickly realized that many of the critical care education resources offered for new nurses were outdated and lacking. She took her learning into her own hands and began creating updated, evidence-based visual education resources for herself and her coworkers. Eventually, she went on to create her own nursing visual education company, ScrubLifeNotes in 2020. Since becoming a nursepreneur, Lauren’s mission has always been to support new graduate nurses entering the ICU. Specifically, she strives to make complex critical care topics easily accessible and understandable. In March of 2023, she launched her first-ever hard‐copy product, “New to ICU: A Visual Guide for Critical Care Nursing.” Since her launch, she has delivered tens of thousands of packets to nurses and critical care units across the United States, including 14 countries!  

Lauren continued her educational journey by obtaining her MSN‐FNP from George Mason University in 2022. She now works at an outpatient primary care pediatrician’s office as a nurse practitioner. She resides in Falls Church, VA with her husband, Luke, and their dog, Colby. She continues to support new graduate nurses (and new graduate nurse practitioners!) with visual education resources to address gaps of knowledge between nursing school and “real-world” nursing. She’s a proud Carolina nurse and loves to say that it’s always a GDTBATH!


It is an honor to recognize all of our esteemed Carolina Nurses nominated for a 2023 Alumni Award:

T. Robin Bartlett, PhD ‘03 
Holly Covington Boals, BSN ‘98 
Pamela Criscitiello, BSN ‘93 
Louise Fleming, PhD ‘16 
Lauren R. Hill, BSN ‘08, DNP ‘19 
Shawne Llewellyn, BSN ’96, MSN ‘99 
Shannon Blackwelder Matthews, BSN ‘92 
Linda Knott Strother, BSN ‘62 
Erik Andersen, BSN ‘12 
Stephanie DeVane Johnson, PhD ‘16 
Allen Gray, MSN ‘73, PhD ‘83 
Emily Murray, ABSN ‘21 

For a list of past recipients, please visit our Alumni Awards page.