Carlow University's highest academic honor, the Joseph G. Smith Award, was presented to Devan Stanko, a nursing major, Forest Hills resident, and one of the valedictorians of the Class of 2018.
Marketing and Communications
For Immediate Release
Drew Wilson, Director, Media Relations
May 15, 2018
Forest Hills Resident and Nursing Major
Receives the Joseph G. Smith Award
Pittsburgh, Pa. – Carlow University has presented its highest
academic honor, the Joseph G. Smith Award, to Devan Stanko, a nursing major and
one of the valedictorians for Carlow’s Class of 2018.
Every year, a
graduating senior is nominated for The Joseph G. Smith Award. The candidates
for the Smith Award have distinguished themselves in their college careers academically, in community
service and in service to the Carlow Community. The award itself is named
in honor of a former Chairman of the Board of Trustees, who died in 1977, after
forty years of dedicated service to Carlow University.
Stanko, a Forest Hills resident and
2014 graduate of Woodland Hills High School, received her bachelor of science
in nursing degree at Carlow’s Commencement on Saturday, May 12, 2018. She was nominated for the Joseph G. Smith
Award by the entire nursing faculty, who believe she embodies excellence in all
that she does and because she has an impressive record of academic success and
service to others.
One of the honors
given to the Smith Award winner is to deliver the student address at
Commencement. Stanko spoke from the
heart about her Carlow education and, most importantly, the values she received
while attending her alma mater.
“I have realized
on multiple occasions that our Carlow University values are just as essential
to my career as the textbook knowledge I have gained,” she told the audience of
an experience during her nursing clinicals when she was able to calm a patient
by taking the time to talk with him. “My
message to you today is to never lose your dedication to making the world a
better place. We can practice and
promote mercy, service, and hospitality even in the smallest acts of kindness.”
In addition to having the highest
GPA in her nursing class and being one of the valedictorians for the Class of
2018, Stanko was selected as a “Future Nurse Educator,” a designation that
requires her to secure faculty recommendations and complete an application and
interview process. She has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Student Nurses
Association as an excellent student who excels in her academic and non-academic
During her time at Carlow, her learning opportunities extended
beyond the Carlow campus, as she traveled with the Carlow Cares program to
Sligo, Ireland, where she worked in a nursing facility for women with
disabilities. She also took part in
Alternative Spring Break by traveling to Nicaragua to work in health care
clinics and conduct health assessments in schools.
Locally, she has been the President of the Carlow Chapter of
the Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania, providing outstanding
leadership and organization skills, and in that role has provided blood
pressure screenings and flu shots, among other services.
Stanko has also worked as a peer tutor, where she was flexible in that
role in meeting student needs and faculty requests. She has led exam reviews for groups of
students and worked with individual students from the traditional and second
degree nursing programs.
Beyond nursing, she has participated in the “Stop the Bleed”
and Human Trafficking Identification programs that were offered on campus for
those who are willing to step up and help should the need arise to prevent
trafficking and abuse.
Following graduation, Stanko will begin her career as a
registered nurse in the emergency department at Children’s Hospital of
Pittsburgh. At some point in the future,
she plans to pursue a master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner, and one
day hopes to earn her doctorate in nursing practice.
About Carlow University
Carlow is a private,
co-educational, Catholic university located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s “Eds,
Meds, and Tech” district. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy, Carlow’s graduates,
curricula, and partnerships reflect its strong commitment to social justice;
ethical, forward-thinking and responsible leadership; and service to the
community that has a meaningful impact. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are
offered in three colleges: Health and Wellness, Leadership and Social Change,
and Learning and Innovation. Carlow graduates are in demand for their
professional expertise, in fields ranging from nursing, the sciences, and
perfusion technology to counseling, education, and forensic accounting; their
entrepreneurial spirit and creative mindset; and their ability to manage
change. Carlow’s 13 athletic teams are known as the Celtics, a reflection of the
university’s Irish heritage and roots.