Newswise — The Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing honored two alumni and two students at the Sixth Annual Alumni Awards Mass and Brunch on Sunday, April 27 at the University’s Lake Shore Campus.

Mary Ann Draye, BSN ’64, MPH, APRN, FNP-BC, received the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award, the most prestigious acknowledgment of Loyola nursing alumni accomplishments. Kathleen Kindelin Pender, MS, BSN ’73, RN, was honored with the Spirit of Ignatius Award, given to a graduate who best characterizes curas personalis or “care of the person.”

Kara Podjasck was given the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Student Award and Ann Tadas received the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Student Award. The Nursing Alumni Student Awards are presented to undergraduate nursing students in their last semester who best exemplify a commitment to excellence, value-based leadership and service to Loyola and its communities, while promoting fellowship among nursing peers.

Mary Ann Draye, BSN ’64, MPH, APRN, FNP-BCDistinguished Alumnus Mary Ann Draye served as director of the top-ranked Family Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of Washington (UW), Seattle for 13 years and was instrumental in transitioning the curriculum to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Draye has continued in a teaching and advisory role in the UW FNP DNP Program. She also is a nationally certified family nurse practitioner and an accomplished teacher, mentor, researcher and writer who has published papers on health promotion, behavior change, NP pioneers, NP practice and transforming education and practice with the DNP. Draye was honored in 2013 with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the UW School of Nursing.

“The legacy of my Loyola nursing education is being prepared to think critically, compassionately and to find the sacred in everyday service,” Draye said. “Loyola was a life-changing experience for me, sustained by faculty, residence life and inspiring classmates.” Kathleen (Kindelin) Pender, MS, BSN ’73, RNSpirit of Ignatius Award recipient Kathleen Pender began her career as a staff nurse where she encountered the societal, economic, cultural and health disparities that drove her commitment to the principles of Jesuit, Catholic social teaching practiced at Loyola. Later in her career, Pender worked as a discharge planner and home care nurse and assisted a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This request became the catalyst for years of exploration, development of nursing interventions, writing, board work and professional presentations to support individuals and families with this disease. Pender also served in a variety of clinical and academic settings, including working as a nurse practitioner in shelters and outreach programs providing health care to the homeless population in Chicago. She has received numerous honors for her work.

“Loyola was my only choice when I finally responded to God’s vocational call to serve as a nurse,” Pender said. “My Jesuit education taught me to think critically and develop a worldview, to see into the hearts of my patients honoring their emotional and spiritual needs in promoting health.”

Register for reporter access to contact details