The College of Nursing has no shortage of remarkable graduates, with three alumnae receiving University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Alumni Association awards this fall.
Christine Ludwig ’97, will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award while Amber Carriveau ’09 MSN and ’12 DNP, and Nardalyn Johnson ’05 and ’06, will both receive the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.
The three alumnae have helped pave the way toward improving healthcare in their respective fields and are among the exceptional graduates who will be recognized at the Alumni Awards Celebration Oct. 18 in conjunction with Homecoming Weekend.
Christine Ludwig: Distinguished Alumni Award
Ludwig, of San Antonio, Texas, completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing at UW Oshkosh and has since become a diplomat for healthcare within Army clinics.
Following her 1997 graduation, she’s held an exciting career serving in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps—not only as a professional nurse, but also as a soldier and leader. Her career has allowed her to live and work in five different states and two countries. Her most recent achievement is a new role as director of patient care integration for the Office of the Surgeon General at Defense Health Headquarters in Virginia.
In the award nomination, MaryAnn Monteith, an instructional academic staff member in the College of Nursing, said that Ludwig quickly climbed the ranks. She was selected, generally ahead of her peers, to take on greater responsibilities and to run and improve the care provided within Army clinics. She also recalls that Ludwig served as a Gold Bar Recruiter for the UWO Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC) brigade, saying that it was a rare honor for her as a nurse lieutenant.
“She is an expert clinical nurse, educator and consummate leader and officer. Her career of military positions is distinguished by innovation,” Monteith said. “Colonel Ludwig is a credit to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and is most deserving of the Distinguished Alumni Award.”
During her 26 years of service, Ludwig has used her achievements and prestigious career background to help improve Army healthcare practices. She has implemented policies and programs as well as established the Warrior Transition Unit at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Ludwig attributes her success to the solid foundation that UW Oshkosh helped build for her.
“The UWO Nursing program was phenomenal and provided me with a strong nursing skill set and knowledge base that really started my nursing career off on the right path,” she said. “I am very thankful for the knowledge and skills the UWO organizations, the Army ROTC program and the College of Nursing imparted on me. There is no doubt the education and experiences UWO provided has led to my success.”
Amber Carriveau: Outstanding Young Alumni Award
After graduating with her bachelor’s degree from UW-Madison, Carriveau of Holt, Michigan, completed her education at UW Oshkosh, receiving her Master’s of Science degree in Nursing (MSN) in 2009 and Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) in 2012. From there, she used her education to help teach and inspire college students during their journey of becoming healthcare professionals.
Upon graduation with her MSN, Carriveau obtained full-time employment as a Family Nurse Practitioner at Bellin Health Emergency Department and continued working there full-time as she completed her DNP.
In 2014, she transitioned her practice to focus on women’s health and providing holistic, comprehensive care. Also during that time, she began her career in academics as a part-time adjunct faculty member in the family nurse practitioner program at Bellin College. It was there that she discovered her interest in the academic nursing field. She worked her way to a full-time faculty member before stepping into the role of director of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program.
As she advanced her career, Carriveau made it a point to maintain her clinical practice in women’s health. According to her, it’s imperative for nurse practitioners in an academic environment to maintain their clinical skills and patient relationships in order to successfully lead and teach students.
“The reality of continuing practice in an ever-changing healthcare arena, role models to students the mission and vision of being a professional nurse,” Carriveau explained.
Currently, Carriveau has relocated to Michigan and is working as the director of the family nurse practitioner program at the research-intensive Michigan State University. It is there that she helps create an innovative, student-based curriculum that embraces evidence-based practice in primary care.
“I cherish and am thankful for the great educational opportunities and experiences I was provided while a student at UW Oshkosh,” said Carriveau. “My goal is to take my foundational education and the relationships established with nursing faculty to my current position and beyond.”
Nardalyn Johnson: Outstanding Young Alumni Award
Jamaica native, Nardalyn Johnson of McHenry, Illinois, has used her two very different degrees to her advantage in securing a successful career and helping to improve the use of health records within healthcare practices.
In 2005, Johnson graduated from UWO with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in management information systems. She went on to complete the accelerated nursing program, earning a Bachelor of Nursing degree in 2006.
Johnson received a scholarship and an offer of employment with Mercy Medical Center before graduating. She relocated to Milwaukee, where she worked with the Medical College of Wisconsin as a research nurse in nephrology and the transplant clinic, then with Froedert Health as a nurse informatics specialist. When the informatics field took off, there was a high demand for nurses with IT background throughout the U.S.
Today, Johnson is a certified nurse informaticist and works as a senior epic clinical consultant, assisting hospitals throughout the United States with the implementation, upgrade and maintenance of their electronic health record system in emergency departments and urgent care settings.
Johnson commends UWO as being the foundation that she needed for her career success.
“My background in IT and nursing directed my decision to become a nurse informaticist; thereby successfully integrating nursing science, information science and computer science to manage and communicate clinical data and information throughout various healthcare organizations,” she said.
Through the years, Johnson has given back to the UWO community by working as an academic instructor for the UWO College of Nursing for several years and has funded the Johnson Reece Nurse Caring Scholarship for students.
Ludwig, Carriveau and Johnson will be among those honored at UWO’s Alumni Awards Celebration on Friday, Oct. 18, at the Culver Family Welcome Center. The cost is $40 per person and includes dinner. For more information or to RSVP for the event, call (920) 424-3449 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.