Harrison, Hudgins, Lecznar, McDonald
Fifteen UVA alumni, including four faculty members Harrison, Hudgins, Lecznar, and McDonald, will be honored by the VNA Sept. 9, 2023.

Clinical instructors Brittany Harrison (MSN ’13, CERTI ’20, DNP ’23) and Christoph Lecznar (MSN ’22), post-doctoral fellow and family nurse practitioner Maria McDonald (PhD ’23) and clinical instructor and simulation debriefer Samantha Hudgins (BSN ’13) are among 15 UVA alumni to be named among the Virginia Nurses Association’s “40 Under 40” awardees for 2023 at the organization’s Sept 9 gala.

"Through rich experiences and innovative simulations, she’s helped reinvent how we prepare nurses across a host of academic programs. Her optimistic energy has added a great deal to how we teach, collaborate, and the ways in which our students learn."

Ryne Ackard, simulation director, in his nomination of Sam Hudgins for the VNA "40 Under 40" award

Also honored will be:

  • Charles Bulling (MSN ’14), a nurse practitioner at Carilion Clinic
  • Centra clinicians Morgan McDowell (DNP ’22) and Carrie White (BSN ’10)
  • UVA Health team members Tyree "Ty" Ashworth (BSN ’16), Jermaine Clayborne (MSN ’20), Matthew Houston (BSN ’16), and Seth McElroy (MSN ’17), and Ainsley Polson (MSN ’12)
  • Sentara Health nurse practitioner Amber Campos (MSN ’22) and Melissa Proffitt (BSN ’14, MSN ’16)
  • Department of State nurse practitioner Stasia Kodadek (MSN ’15)

Each year, the VNA receives dozens of nominations for the annual award honoring young nurses. Those chosen comprise Virginia’s outstanding young nurse leaders “because of their achievements in professional practice, leadership, and positive promotion and advancement of the nursing profession beyond the practice setting.”

"Given Ms. McDonald’s unique contribution to research and her determination to positively influence healthcare and nursing education, we firmly believe that she is an exceptional candidate for the 2023 40 Under 40 Award."

Deborah Trautman, president and CEO of the American Associate of Colleges of Nursing, and McDonald's nominator

“Brittany, Sam, Christoph, and Maria bring a unique combination of vision, intellect, astute leadership, energy, and fun,” said Marianne Baernholdt, dean, the Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor of Nursing, and UVA Health’s Dean of Professional Nursing. “We are thrilled to have faculty members like them who bring vibrancy to the classroom, science, and our shared profession, and such a strong showing among our exceptional alumni as well.”

Congratulations to all the winners!