DUNMORE, Pa. -- An integral campus presence for the past two decades, Michael M. Evans, assistant dean for undergraduate nursing education at the Commonwealth Campuses and associate teaching professor of nursing in Penn State University’s College of Nursing, has been named the Penn State Scranton Alumni Society’s 2019 Alumnus of the Year.
Evans will be honored beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20 at a special reception in the campus’ K. Bruce Sherbine Lounge, in the Study Learning Center.
“This is one of my favorite events because it allows us to spotlight campus alumni who have not only made their mark professionally and through volunteering in our community but serve as outstanding ambassadors for their alma mater,” said Deborah Brandt Johnson, campus alumni and stewardship coordinator. “Mike is a wonderful guy who was very active in campus organizations as a student and continues to be involved as a Penn State alumnus. He is certainly deserving of this award!”
News of the award left Evans “beyond excited and also humbled,” he said.
“I am honored to be receiving this prestigious award, as this is where I began my college education and earned my A.S.N and B.S.N., and also where I started my career as an adjunct faculty member and eventually a full-time faculty member and then administrator,” Evans said.
“I am so fortunate to have worked at Penn State Scranton with the best colleagues and students anywhere. It has been my honor and privilege to work here for over 15 years, as I was able to help educate many nursing students into the nursing profession, while also working to improve the campus through my work on various committees and as an administrator. I am fortunate to say that I never felt like I had a ‘job’ at Penn State Scranton.”
It’s been a busy past few months for Evans, who received his associate and bachelor’s degrees in nursing from Penn State Scranton in 2002 and 2003, respectively.
In September, he left his longtime post as the campus’ assistant chief academic officer upon being promoted to his current position in the College of Nursing. In his new role, he oversees the operations of the undergraduate nursing program at various Penn State campuses.
Despite the promotion, Evans retains an office at Penn State Scranton, where he continues to teach baccalaureate and graduate courses within the nursing program. A full-time faculty member since 2008, he is a past recipient of the University College Teaching Award and George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Evans said he’s especially proud that the award is from the Alumni Society, given how crucial it is to the continued advancement of the campus.
“The society plays a critical role in helping to fund student scholarships, along with other important initiatives such as building renovations, etc.,” he said. “They also play an important role in helping to mentor our current students through special academic and career programming, and provide them with social opportunities, such as the annual Back to School Barbecue that kicks off the school year.”
In addition to his degrees from Penn State Scranton, Evans earned a master’s degree in nursing with a specialization in adult health and a sub-specialization in nursing education from Misericordia University; a master’s degree in education with a focus in professional studies from Capella University; and a doctorate in nursing from Penn State’s College of Nursing.
Evans is board certified in medical surgical nursing and nursing education. He has also published in the areas of nursing education and clinical practice, and particularly enjoys sharing his love of research with students. Meanwhile, his many professional affiliations include Sigma Theta Tau and the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses.
Evans lives in Archbald with his wife, Stephanie; their son, Finn Michael; two dogs, Duncan Hines and Sweet Polly Purebred; and two cats, Andrew Michael and Prairie Dawn.
And, of course, there’s his home away from home.
“Penn State Scranton is home and always will be, no matter where I journey during my career,” Evans said. “It is a wonderful place to not only earn an education but also to work. Everyone treats each other with respect and kindness and works together to ensure the success of each other and our students. We are truly a family.”
RSVPs are required to attend the invitation-only Alumnus of the Year reception. For inquiries, call 570-963-2537 or email [email protected].