Madisonville Community College (MCC) is pleased to announce the selection of Loretta
Elder for the 2015 Acorn Award sponsored by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary
Education (CPE). The Acorn Award, first given in 1992, is presented to outstanding
faculty members at Kentucky s public or independent colleges and universities and
includes a $5,000 honorarium. The award was presented during a luncheon program
of the Governor s Conference on Postsecondary Education Trusteeship on Monday, September
In her acceptance speech, Elder thanked the Council on Postsecondary Education for
the honor of receiving the award. She shared, I believe, as educators, we are servants
to others and are constant role models for all those around us. Elder named MCC
President Dr. Judith Rhoads, former MCC Nursing Division Chair Dr. Linda Thomas, and
MCC nursing faculty member and former Surgery Director at Baptist Health Madisonville
Barb Schnapf as great mentors in her life. Their kindness and caring inspired her
to want to give and care for others as well as to embrace change.
Nominated by MCC President Dr. Judith L. Rhoads, Elder, of Providence, is a Professor
in the college s Integrated Nursing Program. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate
of Nursing Practice in Organizational Leadership (DNP) degree from Eastern Kentucky
University. Anticipated graduation date is May 2016. She holds a Master of Science
in Nursing Education (MSN) degree from the University of Southern Indiana, a Bachelor
of Science in Nursing degree (BSN) from Murray State University, and completed her
Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree from MCC. She is credentialed as a
Certified Nurse Educator in addition to her Registered Nurse licensure.
Elder is a member of the National League for Nurses, the American Nurses Association,
the Kentucky Nurses Association, the National Organization for Associate Degree Nurses,
and Sigma Theta Tau International. She has served as President for District 11 of
the Kentucky Nurses Association and as the State Elected KNA Professional Practice
and Advocacy Cabinet member.
In the award nomination packet that was submitted in late June, Elder shared that
she chose teaching as a profession after serving many years in the role of staff nurse,
nurse manager, and nursing education coordinator. Nursing is a career full of teaching
moments. As a nurse, her goal was to help other succeed. Teaching fulfilled her
ultimate passion of helping students begin successful careers.