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Courage to Climb Award winner – November 2015

The Division of Student Life would like to congratulate Caroline Darlington on being selected as the winner of the November 2015 Courage to Climb Award!  Caroline is a senior from Knoxville, TN majoring in nursing.

Caroline says that she really likes that at UT students have the opportunity to “find their niche,” and she has found multiple opportunities to utilize her many talents.  During her time at UT, Caroline has been very involved in her academics and campus community.  As a member of both the Chancellor’s Honors Program and Nursing Honors Program, Caroline has not only invested herself deeply in her honors and nursing classes, but also been heavily involved in independent research.  As her nominator said, “Caroline’s level of enthusiasm and initiative for a Bachelor of Science (BSN) student is unparalleled.”  Caroline’s enthusiasm is evident through her interest in research that focuses on women’s health issues.  She is currently conducting a research project on HIV-related stigma among HIV-positive women living in Appalachian Tennessee and Alabama.  Her project has been funded as a part of a National Institute of Nursing Research investigation exploring end of life care and service needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS.  In addition, Caroline secured additional funding for her research from the Gamma Chi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International and was awarded an undergraduate summer research internship in order to work on her research project during the summer of 2015.  In September 2015, Caroline was recognized as “Highly Commended” for her innovative research by the 2015 Undergraduate Awards.  Last month, she presented a poster on her research project at the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care conference.

In addition to her academic achievements, Caroline is extremely involved in community service and helping others locally and abroad.  As her nominator said, “Caroline is one of the brightest, most mature, and self-motivated students I have advised.”  She has served as a Client Counselor at Hope Resource Center, has interned with True Light Childcare sponsorship program in Ethiopia, and volunteers at the Love Kitchen in Knoxville.  On-campus, Caroline has been involved as a UT Guide and I-Vol with the International House and volunteered as a conversation partner for international students learning English at the UTK English Language Institute.  She also served as the International Student Outreach Coordinator of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry, Treasurer of Mortar Board, and Junior Representative of the Student Nurses Association.  When describing what motivates and drives her to give back, Caroline said her “faith in Christ drives her commitment to serve.”  She credits her parents and faculty mentor, Dr. Sadie Hutson, for inspiring her to use her talents to “make it her own” and give back to others in ways that better the world around her.

Caroline plans to graduate with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree the spring of 2016 and work in an area of nursing focused on women’s health.  She plans to later pursue her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to become a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and may one day pursue her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing.  We wish Caroline the best of luck in her very bright future!