Cook Society awardees are selected for their commitment to equity, humanity and community, valued by Dr. Cook, above and beyond the scope of their work. Dr. Cook was Duke's first black and tenured faculty member and the first African American to hold a regular faculty appointment at any predominantly white college or university in the South. He also served as a member of the Duke Board of Trustees from 1981-1993.
Dr. Powell, EdD, RN, FAAN, was nominated by Duke University School of Nursing Dean Dr. Catherine Gilliss for her commitment to increasing diversity in nursing. Dr. Powell has been instrumental in the development of programs and initiatives to increase the participation of economically disadvantaged under-represented minorities in nursing at the School of Nursing.
She is responsible for developing and facilitating educational, research, and community service programs to reduce health disparities in Durham and in countries around the world. Her international work has targeted the Caribbean, Central America, Africa, and parts of Asia. As founder of OGACHI, Dr. Powell has developed international and local opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to experience the challenges of health care delivery among vulnerable populations.
Major projects spearheaded by Dr. Powell include fostering collaboration between the School of Nursing and communities in the Caribbean to address the health care issues for the growing population of older persons in that region. She has created clinical outreach opportunities for students to work with homeless families and at-risk youth in Durham. Currently, Dr. Powell is collaborating with governmental, academic, and selected NGO officials to address the need for primary care in rural areas through the development and testing of the role of Rural Family Nurse Practitioner.
Dr. Powell is joined by fellow award recipients Dr. Lee D. Baker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Trinity College; Li-Chen Chin, Director for Intercultural Programs; Dan Kimberg, Executive Director, Student U Durham; Yuridia Ramirez, a second year PhD student in History; Charles H. West, a founding member and current board member of the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture; and Marcus Benning, current president of the Black Student Alliance.
About the Duke University School of Nursing
A diverse community of scholars and clinicians, Duke University School of Nursing is educating the next generation of transformational leaders in nursing. We advance nursing science in issues of global importance and foster the scholarly practice of nursing. In 2011, U.S. News and World Report ranked Duke among the top seven graduate schools of nursing in the nation. The National Institutes of Health awarded $4.3 million in research funding to the Duke School of Nursing (Oct. 1, 2011, through Sept. 30, 2012), making it one of the top 10 nursing schools engaged in NIH-funded research. We offer the masters, PhD, and doctor of nursing practice degrees, as well as an accelerated bachelor of science in nursing degree to students who have previously graduated from college. More than 750 students are enrolled in the Duke School of Nursing, one of the largest numbers in the school's 80-year history.