Associate Dean Receives Statewide Recognition
Jennifer Gray, associate professor and associate dean, at The University of Texas at Arlington, has been awarded the Piper Professor Award. The award, which includes a certificate, gold pin and $5,000 honorarium, was established by the San Antonio-based Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation in 1958 to annually recognize 15 outstanding college professors across Texas.
Selection is made on the basis of nominations submitted by each college or university, public and private, statewide.
Gray has taught at UT Arlington since 1989, the same year she earned her master’s degree in the College of Nursing. She earned her doctorate from Texas Woman's University in 1997.
College of Nursing Dean Elizabeth Poster said Gray demonstrates the outstanding qualities that being a Piper Award winner requires.
“As an associate dean and chair, she has provided leadership to the College of Nursing that contributes to our reputation of excellence,” Poster said.
Gray is committed to promoting health for persons around the globe, especially persons who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. Early in her career, she practiced in a mobile health clinic in Cameroon, West Africa. In recent years, she has traveled to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania to provide nursing education workshops.
Gray said, “I do not go to other countries as an expert- rather I go as a partner and a fellow learner. Approaching people in their culture with respect and curiosity creates connections that facilitate learning- am approach that works equally well for nurses in Uganda and students in Arlington. Working with patients and nurses in Africa energizes me and makes me more sensitive to culture in all settings."
In collaboration Allusine Jalloh, director of UT Arlington’s Africa Program, Gray is leading the North Texas Africa Health Initiative. As the Hazel M. and George W. Jay Professor, she travels to Uganda each summer to develop the research capacity of nurses and provide in-service education for nurses in rural areas.