Dr Sally Thorne
Dr. Sally Thorne

Killam Award for Sally Thorne

07 Nov 2016

The richly deserved Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring 2016 will be presented to Dr. Sally Thorne during the fall convocation at UBC.  Dr. Thorne is an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of cancer and chronic illness, with an emphasis on communications and the impact of health system engagement on patient outcomes. Amid an impressive array of research, teaching, and administrative achievements, Dr. Thorne has demonstrated strong investment in, and an enormous capacity for high-quality graduate mentoring.

Dr. Thorne’s mentoring skills have been developed over three decades, shaping the careers of a generation of clinicians, scholars, and researchers, equipping them with the skills and contacts to make meaningful impact in their respective areas.  As a testament to her abilities, her list of mentees includes faculty members and emeriti of well-established nursing schools, leaders in health authorities, policy consultants, board directors, society presidents, nurse specialists, associate deans, and program heads.

Dr. Thorne genuinely embodies the essential skills, qualities and attitudes necessary to be a highly successful and sought after mentor for emerging nurse and interdisciplinary scholars and professional leaders by fostering graduate scholars in a way that generates practice-based knowledge to enhance the health of individuals, populations and health care systems while carefully and thoughtfully advancing the discipline.

Three of her students spearheaded the nomination with the following:

Dr. Thorne is self-reflective in her mentoring capacity, and consistently checks-in to make sure we are getting what we need. She is a superb listener and communicator. Graduate students have consistently remarked on her ability to engage with people from all walks of life, her caring attitude, her delightful sense of humor, and her collegial, respectful manner as qualities that have supported their learning. She cares about us as whole beings – equally supporting our heart, mind and spirit.

Due to her collegial and gregarious nature, Dr. Thorne demonstrates the remarkable ability to connect people locally, nationally, and internationally. As one of the most prolific and acknowledged nursing scholars of our day, Dr. Thorne routinely networks with her ongoing and former students to draw them into a larger nursing community. For example, the three of us have been invited to act as editorial board reviewers for a variety of peer-reviewed journals due to Dr. Thorne’s personal recommendation. Not only does this support our development in scholarly critique and manuscript review, it allows us to enact Dr. Thorne’s values for service to academia, furthering nursing’s disciplinary and health related knowledge.

But even more tellingly, the Killam Award committee, which reads through so many nominations, in their congratulatory announcement commented:

Of the many outstanding nominations received this year, [Dr. Thorne’s] was independently and unanimously ranked first by the adjudication committee members. It was tremendously inspiring to read the testimonies from [her] many students and former students.

Words simply cannot express how pleased we are that Dr. Thorne’s mentoring abilities have been recognized with the Killam Award. We heartily congratulate her and look forward with pleasure to continued personal and professional association with this remarkable woman.