Released on May 29, 2020

Updated February 25, 2021

Awardees will be officially recognized at the 40th Anniversary Virtual Gala on May 15, 2021

40 Noble Knight Nurse Honorees, 2020
UCF College of Nursing 40th Anniversary Virtual Gala Logo


In celebration of the 40th anniversary, the UCF College of Nursing is honoring 40 alumni who reflect its values of excellence, innovation, integrity, compassion, service and community.

The awardees will be officially recognized at the 40th Anniversary Virtual Gala, which will be held on Saturday, May 15, 2021 (rescheduled from 2020 due to COVID-19).


Inaugural Noble Knight Nurses

The 40 Noble Knight Nurse honorees are individuals who are admired and respected for their exceptional leadership and unwavering commitment to serve others. The inaugural class of Noble Knight Nurse award recipients include direct care providers, innovators, educators and scientists.

Armed with one or more nursing degrees from UCF, these Knight Nurses have achieved great success, but most importantly, have made a profound difference in the lives of others through their contributions to the profession and community.

“All of our nursing alumni, more than 11,000 strong, are high-achievers and make a difference serving patients, students and the community every day,” said Nadine Garcia ’18MSN, RN, alumni chapter board recognition chair.

These 40 Noble Knight Nurse award recipients stood out for their extraordinary achievements. They serve as an inspiration for us all to continue reaching for the stars and be the golden example in the profession.

Nadine Garcia ’18MSN, RN, alumni chapter board recognition chair

More than 120 nominations were received online from September 12, 2019 to November 15, 2019. The finalists were confirmed based on the following criteria:

  • Graduate of the UCF College of Nursing.
  • A record of distinguished professional achievement and/or exceptional leadership in the field of nursing.
  • Reflect the college’s values of excellence, innovation, integrity, compassion, service and community.
  • Preference to alumni with direct and meaningful involvement with the UCF College of Nursing and UCF Alumni.


Congratulations to the following Noble Knight Nurse award winners, listed alphabetically by category.

Click on a category to view honorees:
Education | Leadership | Practice | Research | Service | Charge On



Recognizing nursing educators and/or faculty for sharing knowledge, creating and cultivating an environment that supports life-long learning, using innovative teaching strategies, utilizing evidence-based practice in clinical areas, and focusing on scholarly research and dissemination within clinical settings.

Dr. Kelly Allred, UCF Nursing Alumna and Faculty Member
Kelly Allred
Joyce DeGennaro, UCF Nursing Alumna and Faculty Member
Joyce DeGennaro
’03 ’09BSN ’13MSN
Sotos Djiovanis. UCF Nursing Alumnus
Sotos G. Djiovanis
’15BSN ’20MSN
Kate Dorminy, UCF Nursing Alumna
Kate Dorminy
’06BSN ’10MSN
Dr. Kelly Carlson Eberbach, UCF Nursing Alumna
Kelly C. Eberbach
’15DNP ’17Cert.
Dr. Dawn Eckhoff, UCF Nursing Alumna and Faculty Member
Dawn O. Eckhoff
’18PhD ’20Cert.
Sherrina Stewart, UCF Nursing Alumna
Sherrina Stewart
’06BSN ’16MSN


Recognizes nurses for outstanding leadership, mentorship, and professionalism while creating an environment that fosters compassionate care and inspires nurses to strive for excellence.

Trish Celano, UCF Nursing Alumna
Trish Celano
Michele Fackler, UCF Nursing Alumna
Michele Fackler
’00BSN ’12MSN
Natalie Harper, UCF Nursing Alumna
Natalie Harper
’07BSN ’20MSN
Louise Kaigle, UCF Nursing Alumna
Louise Kaigle
’01BSN ’02MSN
Dr. Edwin Loftin, UCF Nursing Alumnus
Edwin Loftin
Dr. Rosemary Notarantonio, UCF Nursing Alumna
Rosemary Notarantonio
Dr. Joy Parchment, UCF Nursing Alumna
Joy Parchment
Dr. Julie Vincent, UCF Nursing Alumna
Julie Vincent
Eugene Waterval, UCF Nursing Alumnus
Eugene Waterval ’09MSN ’20PhD
Dr. Cathleen Wheatley, UCF Nursing Alumna
Cathleen Wheatley
Arrow Up to Return


Recognizes nurses across practice levels and sites for clinical excellence, superior skills, and providing high quality, compassionate care.

Suzanne Ashworth, UCF Nursing Alumna
Suzanne Ashworth
Lori Hill-Bigelow, UCF Nursing Alumna
Lori Hill-Bigelow
Dr. Patricia Geddie, UCF Nursing Alumna
Patricia Geddie
Annabeth Huff, UCF Nursing Alumna
Annabeth Huff
Cynthia Kling, UCF Nursing Alumna
Cynthia Kling
’97BSN ’05MSN
Dr. Vicki Montoya, UCF Nursing Alumna and Faculty Member
Vicki L. Montoya
’83BSN ’01MSN ’13PhD
Dr. Lauren Morata, UCF Nursing Alumna
Lauren Morata
’09BSN ’17DNP
Sarah Rose Thornton, UCF Nursing Alumna
Sarah Rose Thornton


Recognizes nurses for generating new knowledge and innovations and disseminating research findings for use in nursing practice, education, development of patient / caregiver materials, lecturing, leadership, and advancing the profession of nursing.

Dr. Valerie Danesh, UCF Nursing Alumna
Valerie Danesh
’03 ’06BSN ’06MS ’15PhD
LTC MeLisa Gantt, UCF Nursing Alumna
LTC MeLisa Gantt
Dr. Sigrid Ladores, UCF Nursing Alumna
Sigrid Ladores
Dr. Valerie Lapp, UCF Nursing Alumna
Valerie Lapp
’99BSN ’09MSN ’16PhD
Dr. Vicki Loerzel, UCF Nursing Alumna and Faculty Member
Victoria Loerzel


Recognizes nurses for participation in local, national, or global volunteer work, community outreach activities, and military service that promotes global health and addresses disparities.

Aly Angel, UCF Nursing Alumna
Aly Angel
’03MS ’09BSN
’12Cert. ’17MSN
Chelsea Arnold, UCF Nursing Alumna
Chelsea Arnold
Dr. Jean Davis, UCF Nursing Alumna and Faculty Member
Jean Davis
Dr. Frank Guido-Sanz, UCF Nursing Alumnus and Faculty Member
Frank Guido-Sanz
Dr. Maria Stahl, UCF Nursing Alumna
Maria Stahl
’08MSN ’14DNP

Charge On

Recognizes alumni who have elevated the profession to new, extraordinary heights by using unique skillsets to implement creative or entrepreneurial ideas that advance nursing beyond the bedside.

Dr. Ken Dion, UCF Nursing Alumnus
Kenneth Dion
Lt. Cmdr. Jason Duprat, UCF Nursing Alumnus
Jason A. Duprat
Rachel Groves, UCF Nursing Alumna
Rachel Groves
’05BSN ’10MSN
Blake Lynch (Nurse Blake), UCF Nursing Alumnus
Blake Lynch
“Nurse Blake”
Cory McFarlane, UCF Nursing Alumnus
Cory McFarlane
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