Professional Achievement Award

WikelmanDr. Chris Winkelman, Nurs ’77
University Heights, Ohio

When reflecting on her more than 40 years in nursing, Dr. Chris Winkelman doesn’t like to talk about how she helps her patients and students, but rather how they have helped her. She says, “Patients inspire me to learn, teach and strive for optimal outcomes. My students are amazing. I learn so much from their focus, questions, and engagement in learning.” As an associate professor in the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, Chris has found a fulfilling career balance in the interaction between practice, education, and research.

Through her research, Chris is working to help patients who are at risk for stroke. She is collaborating with Dr. Grant O'Connell on a HiRes (High Resolution) federally funded project to identify biomarkers for acute stroke. Just as troponin, a protein found in the muscles of your heart, revolutionized the approach to early and accurate diagnosis of heart attacks, serum biomarkers for ischemic stroke could reduce missed opportunities to save the brain and decrease disparate care by providing an early, accurate diagnostic test to minimize the disability from stroke.

Chris has been recognized by her peers as a nursing leader, receiving awards from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, the Society of Critical Care Medicine, and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Chris is dedicated to making progress in achieving equity and justice for her patients and students, values she attributes to her Marquette education. Chris thrives on supporting her students in finding their paths to serve others. Although her future plans include retirement and travel, Chris is also dedicated to continuing to nurture the next generation of nurses and scholars, the sign of a true servant leader.

Fun Facts:

Name a Marquette faculty or staff member who had an impact on you, and how.
Irene Schreck, my senior med-surg clinical faculty who provided a rotation in the ICU at the VA. This rotation led to a 35-year commitment to providing care to critically ill adults.

I would also like to give Suellen Meister, Nurs ’77, Grad ’83, one of my fellow students, a shout-out. She drove me to clinicals for four semesters! I am not sure I would have completed my course of studies without her. And she introduced me to my husband of more than 40 years. Thank you, Suellen!

Please explain what this Marquette University Alumni National Award means to you:
My parents instilled a solid appreciation of higher education in me and my siblings. My parents established a scholarship for an undergraduate in the business or nursing school who is also an athlete. They had season tickets to MU basketball games and loved attending. While I am not an athlete, I appreciate the challenge of embracing and blending multiple commitments to achieve a variety of life goals. MU helped me to build the confidence to pursue a lifetime of personal and professional growth. The recognition of professional achievement from Marquette alumni at the College of Nursing is unexpected, meaningful, and kind.


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