Recipients of the award must meet several criteria that include working with librarians to create assignments that will ensure a positive research experience for students, scheduling information literacy sessions for students and encouraging students to work closely with librarians to further their research.
“I am honored to receive the Fleming Thomas Award,” said Darfus. “Nursing students need to be able to access information quickly and from reliable sources for the evidence based practice guidelines they need to care for patients. I have been awed by the librarians, especially (Director of Libraries) Mrs. (Abbie) Landry, who guides my students in using the library resources for that very purpose. I go with my students each semester to the classes and I learn something new each time.”
Darfus has been a member of Northwestern State’s faculty since 1995. She has also served as program medical consultant for the ADVANCE Program for Young Scholars, a summer residential academic program hosted by Northwestern State.
Her nursing career began at Fort Polk Army Medical Center as a staff and charge nurse. Darfus has worked at medical facilities and clinics in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and Louisiana. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Vanderbilt University and a master’s in nursing at the University of South Alabama.
Thomas was director of libraries at Northwestern State from 2005 – 2009 and interim director in 2004-05.
A 1955 graduate of Northwestern State, Thomas earned a graduate degree in library science at LSU and completed post-graduate coursework at Rutgers University. He worked in various capacities in libraries at The Citadel, Indiana University and Miami-Dade Junior College and served as chairman of the Division of Learning Resources at Burlington County College in Pemberton, N.J., while earning a certificate in library management at the University of Maryland’s Graduate School of Library Science. He was dean of Academic Affairs at Burlington County College for eight years and later was director of that campus library. He returned to Northwestern State in 1988 as reference and interlibrary loan librarian.