Cheryl Nelson Earns ACM's Community Engagement Award

Kristin Kehrwald 301-784-5152


Cheryl Nelson and President Bambara

Dr. Cheryl Nelson, a professor of nursing and director of the Nurse Managed Wellness Clinic, is shown with Dr. Cynthia Bambara, college president.


Student and Cheryl Nelson at a clinic

An ACM nursing student and Professor Nelson prepare COVID-19 vaccine doses for a vaccination clinic. 




Dr. Cheryl Nelson honored for extraordinary efforts during the pandemic

CUMBERLAND, Md. (Sep. 8, 2021) – Cheryl Nelson was honored with Allegany College of Maryland’s 2021 Community Engagement Award for her work organizing community clinic rotations for allied health students at local COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics hosted by the Allegany County Health Department and UPMC Western Maryland during the spring semester. Through her efforts and those of her colleagues, students and faculty donated thousands of volunteer hours to the community’s efforts to combat transmission. In addition to scheduling students, Nelson coordinated allied health faculty to monitor students onsite during their clinical hours, frequently working shifts herself and offering hands-on instruction, according to one of her nominators, Brenda Owens, a nursing professor and Nurse Managed Wellness Clinic instructor. “Her dedication to students, the college, and the community shines through every day in all of the work she does,” said Owens. 

“Students remarked about how good it felt to be part of a process that was making the community a safer place and were surprised by how much they loved this type of community work. They worked at the Allegany County Health Department’s Community Room, UPMC Western Maryland, the Barton Business Park Shell Building, and also at local Senior Housing. This met a great need for the Health Department as they had many vacancies to fill for nurses to administer vaccines,” said Owens. 

Drawing on those experiences, Nelson and Owens presented on the topic of “Alternative Clinical Education Opportunities for Undergraduate Nursing Students During COVID-19” during the Maryland Action Coalition’s Meeting Challenges Head On: Maryland Nurses Respond virtual conference in May. 

David Jones, the college’s vice-president of Advancement and Community Relations and director of the ACM Foundation, also nominated Nelson for the Community Engagement Award. “Cheryl, through her community engagement efforts, ensured that students were provided hand-on, practical service to further serve and provide healing for our community,” said Jones.

Nelson was also recognized for serving as the COVID Command Team’s contact for allied health students experiencing a possible COVID-19 exposure and/or a positive test. 

A graduate of the college, Nelson received a doctor of nursing practice from Johns Hopkins University, post-master’s certificate in women’s health from West Virginia University, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Shenandoah University. A family and women’s health nurse practitioner, Nelson directs the college’s Nurse Managed Wellness Clinic and has been a nursing faculty member since 2008. 

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