Five Scholarship Awards to be presented at 17th Annual TWU Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon
Honoring Dale Petroskey for his leadership in the community
Texas Woman’s University is helping graduate students achieve their dreams even if they do not live near one of TWU’s campuses. Two outstanding TWU graduate students, Amie Bedgood, MSN, RN, (College of Nursing), who resides in New Braunfels, Texas, and Janice Kishi Chow (College of Health Sciences-Occupational Therapy), who lives in Northern California, will be recognized as two of the five TWU graduate students who will receive Virginia Chandler Dykes Scholarships at the 17th Annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon. The luncheon, presented by Bank of Texas, Texas Woman’s University, and the Texas Woman’s University Foundation, will take place on February 27, at the Belo Mansion and Pavilion and will honor Dale Petroskey, president and CEO, Dallas Regional Chamber, with the annual leadership award.
Since she was old enough to know what a nurse was, Amie Bedgood wanted to be one. With a passion for working with women, children and youth, Bedgood has focused her experiences in maternal child health working in labor and delivery, postpartum, and newborn nursery for more than 20 years. Bedgood knew while pursuing her bachelor’s at Stephen F. Austin University that she wanted to pursue a career in nursing academia. She is currently in the final phases of earning a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing from Texas Woman’s University, with a 3.8 GPA and plans to graduate in December. Bedgood’s research focus is patient safety with an emphasis on teamwork and communication.
“My parents were always intrigued by my interest in nursing because I did not have any one person in my background that influenced this decision,” said Amie Bedgood. “However, I always had a heart for people and helping them. My mother was an elementary educator for 43 years, and I never imagined that I would want to teach. But as I learned more about what nurses did and their role in impacting future generations, I grew to understand their importance and how they make a difference and empower the lives of patients and students.”
A resident of New Braunfels, Texas, Bedgood has worked as an instructor of nursing at Texas Lutheran University since 2014. She is also a mentor and advisor for undergraduate students.
Bedgood received her master’s from the University of Texas at Tyler in 2001. Prior to teaching at Texas Lutheran, she worked as the camp nurse at T Bar M Camps and as associate professor at Austin Community College. She has worked as a registered nurse at Central Texas Medical Center in San Marcos, Texas; Therapeutic Communities in Staples, Texas; and Seton Family of Hospitals in Kyle, Texas.
Bedgood would like to earn tenure at her current institution of employment by September 2020. Her goal is to contribute to the body of nursing knowledge through research, publications and speaking engagements.
She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, Texas Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, Association of Teachers of Maternal Child Health, and the National League of Nursing. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors including multiple scholarships and received the graduate nurse excellence award while at UT Tyler. Additionally, she has been an active campus and community service volunteer throughout her career and held numerous leadership positions. During her undergraduate studies she maintained the Dean’s List all semesters and graduated from her master’s program with a 3.7 GPA. In 2017 her abstract on a pre-nursing boot camp that she developed and implemented at Texas Lutheran University was accepted for a podium presentation at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Baccalaureate conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
“Amie’s performance in the classroom and in clinical settings is exemplary,” said Sandra Cesario, PhD/DNP Program Coordinator and Professor, College of Nursing, TWU-Houston. “She has the academic ability, clinical skills, research experience, and the self-motivation to become a noted scholar and researcher in the nursing community. She is truly an asset to the profession.”
Bedgood and her husband have been married for 21 years and have three children, 18, 15, and 10.
“It is truly an honor to receive this scholarship,” added Bedgood. “It has helped me significantly in my academic endeavors and this final phase of my dissertation work. I often think back to the advice of my advisor Ann Young. In August 2014 she said that this program was a marathon and not a sprint, and this excellent advice has helped me to learn to be patient and pace myself. It’s important for any student undertaking a PhD in nursing to not look too far into the future, but take it one day at a time, be organized, and think about the big picture of what you are trying to accomplish. You can do anything you are committed to!”
Janice Kishi Chow has been an occupational therapist for 23 years with 15 years as part of a multidisciplinary team at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospice and Palliative Care Center in Palo Alto, California. During that time, she has seen the importance of occupational therapy services at the end of life. She is pursuing a PhD in Occupational Therapy through Texas Woman’s University’s hybrid online program, with a 4.0 GPA and a completion date of December 2019.
“Often people who are dying are not seen as living and not provided supportive services, such as occupational therapy, to help them still participate in valued activities,” said Janice Kishi Chow. “Helping people compensate, adapt, or rethink an enjoyable and self-defining activity through occupational therapy may mean all the difference in the last weeks and days of their lives.”
Chow’s family life had a significant influence on her career direction. Her mother, a retired nurse, has always had a heart for helping older adults, especially at the end of life. When Chow was a child, her mother would take her along to visit and help elderly friends and family in the community. Additionally, her mother went back to school while Chow was in high school.
“Observing my mother as parent, nurse, and student exemplified to me how I could make a difference in multiple life spheres and gave me the desire to work in end-of-life care,” added Chow.
It is Chow’s goal to contribute research on the effectiveness of occupational therapy in end-of-life care to support greater utilization and funding of hospice occupational therapy services. Chow shared a story about a patient at the VA named John whom she fit with a power wheelchair.
“John had metastatic prostate cancer and consequent paraplegia and was resigned that nothing could be done for him. He had declined our repeated efforts to get him out of bed,” added Chow. “He finally relented and figured out how to maneuver the wheelchair down the hallway. As staff greeted him, surprised to see him out of bed, he shyly looked down, smirking with pride. At the end of our session he proclaimed his goal – to independently drive the power wheelchair to the hospital retail store downstairs. We made plans for additional training to help him meet his goal. Through occupational therapy, he was able to connect with others, expand his world outside of his hospital room, and set a plan for the immediate future.”
Chow feels that occupational engagement throughout the lifespan is essential and warrants advocacy. Further work is needed to increase access to occupation-based interventions among people living with life-limiting illness. To increase professional awareness, Chow has given oral and poster presentations at state and national level conferences on the role of occupational therapy in hospice and palliative care, occupation-base interventions for chronic and terminal illness, and capturing interventional outcomes in end-of-life care. She has also written a textbook chapter on hospice and palliative occupational therapy and contributed to the 2016 American Occupational Therapy Association position statement on hospice care.
Chow received her clinical doctorate in occupational therapy in 2014 from Temple University, her master’s in occupational therapy from Tufts University in 1995 and her bachelor’s from the University of California-Davis, graduating Cum Laude, in 1991. She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the Occupational Therapy Association of California.
“Since starting her PhD program, Janice has demonstrated a thoughtful approach, depth of commitment to her studies, and a passion for occupational therapy in end-of-life care,” said Noralyn Pickens, OT, PhD, Professor, Associate Director, Dallas Center, School of Occupational Therapy, T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences. “Her work has the potential to solidify our profession as critical to quality care in hospice through physical, psycho-social, and spiritual-emotional interventions.”
“I am deeply honored and grateful for the generosity of Virginia Chandler Dykes, her family, and the scholarship committee,” added Chow. “Many overlook the needs of the terminally ill, seeing the lack of life span synonymous with lack of long-term investment. The investment of the Virginia Chandler Dykes family and scholarship committee in hospice occupational therapy research reflects a passion to make a difference in people’s lives, no matter what the life expectancy, and a visionary investment for our future.”
Chow lives in Northern California with her husband and two daughters.
In addition to Bedgood and Chow, one graduate student from each of the remaining three TWU colleges will be honored at the luncheon as recipients of Virginia Chandler Dykes scholarship funds: Patricia Flint, College of Professional Education (COPE); Paramita Basu, College of Arts and Sciences; and Meghan Labiak, College of Business.
In the past 16 years, more than $700,000 has been raised for scholarships from the proceeds of the Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon. Tickets for the February 27 luncheon are $175 for silver patron; $250 for gold patron. For more information, call 940-898-3865, visit www.twu.edu/vcd, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Texas Woman’s University is the nation’s largest public university primarily for women with 15,500 students at its three locations in Denton, Dallas and Houston. Texas Woman’s is known for its contributions and leadership in the fields of education, nutrition, business, the arts and sciences, and especially in the nursing and health care professions. The university offers the student support, class sizes and campus esthetics more typically found at a private university. For more information, visit www.twu.edu or call 940-TWU-2000.