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MEDIA CONTACT: Christine Dardet

FAU Recognizes Global Nursing Scholar as Distinguished Teacher of the Year

BOCA RATON, Fla. (April 29, 2013)  – Rhonda Goodman, Ph.D., A.R.N.P., F.N.P.-B.C., N.C.S.N., A.H.N.-B.C., an assistant professor in Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, received the 2013 Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award at the 44th annual Honors Convocation.  The Distinguished Teacher of the Year is one of the most prestigious awards a faculty member can receive because it is determined exclusively by FAU students in a four-month-long process. FAU recognized Goodman for her record of involving her students in global outreach efforts.  This award was first given in 1969, and Goodman is the fifth College of Nursing faculty member to receive it.

In her keynote speech, Goodman highlighted a teacher who played a crucial role in her decision to become a nurse. 

“I was 17 and a senior in high school when I auditioned and was accepted into the music program at the University of Houston,” said Goodman, who earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in nursing from FAU.  “Two months before graduation, my sociology teacher required her students to do a service project.  I volunteered as a candy striper at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.”

After two weeks of pushing wheelchairs and delivering specimens to the laboratory, Goodman spent a day in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

“After watching those incredible and caring nurses in the NICU, I knew what I had to do,” said Goodman.  “Thanks to my sociology teacher’s service requirement, I changed my major from music to nursing.  Once I became a nursing student, I knew I wanted to become a nurse educator.  My precious students are the reason I am here.”

Recently, Goodman and her College of Nursing colleague, Lynne Palma, D.N.P., F.N.P.-B.C., traveled with 18 nurse practitioner students to spend their spring break in Guatemala as part of their clinical practice requirements.  The faculty accompanied the students to five rural Mayan villages, where much-needed health care and screenings were provided to 1,300 underserved people.  Goodman is also the founder and president of the Center for Community Wellness at Katete/St. Mary’s, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) charity that she established to promote and support community-based education and access to health care for children residing in southwestern Uganda.  

  “I am so proud of Rhonda,” said Marlaine C. Smith, Ph.D., R.N., A.H.N.-B.C., F.A.A.N., dean and Helen K. Persson Eminent Scholar for the College of Nursing. “Her dedication to the study and teaching of caring in nursing represents the passion and purpose of the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing.”

A complete listing of FAU’s Distinguished Teachers of the Year, along with each keynote speech, is available at  For more information about the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, visit


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit

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