National Black Nurses Association Honors Bryant, Graham-Perel
On August 5, 2023, the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) bestowed two Columbia Nursing professors with major awards honoring their extensive professional achievements and community service. Founded in 1971, the NBNA represents 308,000 Black registered nurses, licensed vocational/practical nurses, and nursing students in 108 chapters and 34 states. Recipients convened at a reception held during the NBNA’s 51st Annual Institute and Conference in Atlanta.
Kellie Bryant, DNP, associate professor and assistant dean of clinical affairs and simulation at Columbia Nursing’s Helene Fuld Health Trust Simulation Center, received Nurse of the Year for Community Service.
Bryant’s service contributions at Columbia include a wide range of activities. She was selected to serve on the university President’s Community Advisory board and Faculty Academy of Community and Public Service board. She also was appointed co-chair of a university-wide antiracism task force and chair of the school’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion community service committee. At the simulation center, Bryant organizes global simulation workshops, conferences, and educational sessions for middle school, high school, and college students. She also acts as medical director of Columbia Nursing’s Opioid Overdose prevention program, which aims to save lives by distributing and teaching individuals how to use naloxone. And Bryant is one of the primary investigators for Columbia’s 6-week Summer Health Profession Education program, which provides 80 college students with academic support, clinical experience, academic advisement, and mentorship.
Bryant’s service also extends beyond the Columbia community. She serves as the second vice president of the greater New York City Black Nurses Association and oversees the chapter’s community service committee. Bryant is also an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., where she coordinates community service projects.
“I am grateful to the selection committee for this recognition. Community service has always held a special place in my heart, and I promise to continue my commitment to improving the lives of marginalized communities,” Bryant said.
On the same day, Assistant Professor and Interim Director of Cultural Affairs Ashley Graham-Perel, EdD, received the Under 40 Award and Nurse Educator of the Year Award. According to NBNA, the Under 40 Award is given to “young notables under 40 who are rocking the nursing world through professional and educational achievement, leadership, and civic involvement in their NBNA chapters and in the communities they serve.” Graham-Perel was one of 12 individuals chosen for this distinguished award. The Nurse Educator of the Year award is provided “to recognize outstanding contribution to professional and/or patient education.”
Graham-Perel has been an active member of the Columbia Nursing community. Her research has focused on diversity and inclusivity in nursing education and the admission, retention, and success rates of diverse nursing students. She also has been investigating the historical impact of the training of Black women in nursing at New York City’s Lincoln School for Nurses and the persistence of health care disparities in Black communities. An example of Graham-Perel's work includes a film highlighting the life and legacy of renowned nurse leader Bernadine Mays Lacey, EdD ’91. Graham-Perel acted as the film’s executive productor and historian. Before joining the Columbia Nursing faculty as an assistant professor, she worked as a clinical instructor at New York University and as a clinical nurse educator in an acute hospital setting.
“Leadership and nursing education are two of my greatest passions. It is particularly meaningful for me to be recognized by the National Black Nurses Association and my nursing peers. I am honored to continue this building on these two passions with the mission of health equity for all,” says Graham-Perel.