Tavs honored as the 2018 Lucyanna Hitch Award for Excellence recipient

At the spring commencement ceremony, a graduating student is recognized for his or her exemplary commitment to the Bellin College values of excellence, integrity, community and caring with the Lucyanna Hitch Award for Excellence. The name Lucyanna Hitch aligns with excellence. She was a leader in the development of the baccalaureate nursing program, served on the board of trustees, and co-chaired one of the most successful endowment campaigns. Hitch’s legacy lives on through her many contributions to Bellin College. In 1998, the Lucyanna Hitch Award was established for an outstanding graduate who best exemplifies mastery of the values of the College. The 2018 Lucyanna Hitch Award for Excellence was awarded to Kelsey Tavs, BSN, from Waupun, Wis. During her time at Bellin College, Tavs represented all four values. 

Tavs understood early on the importance of spending the time to prepare for class and clinical. As one would expect, a college does not assign “study seats,” yet Tavs did so on her own! It was rare not to find Tavs at a particular table reviewing notes and using resources as needed. She made time to be significantly involved in almost every student organization at the college. As a member of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement leadership team, she helped develop quality improvement projects that were selected and presented at a national conference two years in a row. One project focused on providing access to healthcare services for the homeless population in Brown County and the other addressed communication issues between new graduates and providers. Tavs also had the opportunity to work as a nurse extern at St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac last summer.

Tavs appreciates that the essence of nursing exhibits honest and ethical behavior. She recognizes the importance of acknowledging and learning from mistakes and that cutting corners is not acceptable. Tavs understands the importance of investigating information to the fullest extent possible, which allows for honest client education. Her nursing practice will be one in which she provides care for her patients as if they were her own family members.

Throughout her four years at the college, Tavs developed an impressive sense of community. This development began close to home, having experienced a keen sense of community within Bellin College through her leadership roles and involvement in organizations at Bellin College and within the Greater Green Bay community. Tavs was instrumental in gaining approval for a new student organization called Bellin College InterVarsity (BCIV), which strives to provide students with practical tools to incorporate spirituality into their care. Tavs’ sense of community grew to include working with young, old, seriously ill and vulnerable populations both locally and internationally. Tavs involvement in a mission trip to Guatemala inspired her decision to become a family nurse practitioner so she can expand her knowledge base and passion for health promotion and disease. She demonstrates the ability to place needs of others before her own. She gives freely of her time and talents whenever she has a chance, and she never misses an opportunity to reach out to someone in need. Nursing truly is a personal calling for Tavs.

“Bellin College has prepared me to be the best version of myself from a knowledge standpoint, but more importantly to maintain a foundation of love, respect and genuine care. This is what true excellence looks like to me,” exclaimed Tavs.

After graduation, Tavs will be attending Bellin College’s Family Nurse Practitioner program and has secured employment at Aurora Medical Center in Grafton on a medical-surgical unit.

The college is honored to have Tavs join the ranks of its alumni.

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