Thomas-Hawkins, assistant professor at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, was honored for her research contributions to the care of individuals with chronic kidney failure.
"Winning this award is important because I was nominated by a nephrology nurse researcher peer. In addition, a majority of the association members are nurses in clinical practice, and I think it is important for them to see researchers awarded for their work and to value the use of research findings in clinical practice," she said.
Thomas-Hawkins is currently focusing her research on the study of illness perceptions and interpretations of elderly individuals with chronic kidney failure.
The Burlington, N.J. resident is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Nephrology Nursing Journal research manuscript award in 1998 and 2004, the first Rutgers University College of Nursing Hurdis M. Griffith tenure-track faculty research award in 2003, and the American Nephrology Nurses' Association research manuscript award in 2000 and 2001.
She is also the recipient of the prestigious Emerging Nursing Star in Health Disparities Research award from Howard University Division of Nursing in 2004. The Emerging Star honor is awarded annually to nurses across the country who hold a doctorate degree in their discipline and who are "nationally recognized for contributions to research in nursing, especially as it relates to African American health problems and issues."
Thomas-Hawkins earned a Ph.D and Master's degrees in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her undergraduate degree at Thomas Jefferson University.