Nurses’ banquet honors trendsetters

Nurses’ banquet honors trendsetters
November 05
00:00 2015

By Tori P. Haynesworth

For The Chronicle

The Winston-Salem State University Nursing Alumni Organization had its annual scholarship banquet on Thursday, Oct. 29, at the McNeil Banquet Hall in the Anderson Conference Center on WSSU’s campus.

The banquet took place during WSSU’s homecoming, held Oct. 24 through Oct. 31.

The evening captured two honorees who were given awards for being trendsetters of the 21st century, and taking their nursing careers to the next level going above and beyond the call of duty. Both of the recipients were graduates and alumni of WSSU.

“A trendsetter is a game changer, a risk taker, an inspired innovator, and a love of culture,” said alumna Constance Carlton. “These two honorees are people on the move in the health arena. They are leaders, pace makers, and pace setters who are inspiring the next generation.”

Bettie Little presented an award to the first honoree, Dr. Clifton Kenon.

Dr. Kenon has many years of experience being a lactation nurse helping women with breastfeeding and helping infants with their nutrition, as well as working in public health.

“I want to thank every family that has trusted me with their care, whether it being the hospital or at the community setting,” said Kenon. “You, the patients, the people that I had the opportunity to serve, are truly the highlight of my career.”

Dr. Kenon also took the time out of thanking his first nursing manager at Duke University Medical Center, who helped him pave the way to pursue his nursing career, breaking the color barrier and defying the odds of being a male nurse. Kenon also had the pleasure of meeting with First Lady Michelle Obama.

Sandra Wilder presented the next award to the second honoree, Capt. Twanda Scales.

Scales, after graduating from WSSU, started off working at Brenner Children’s Hospital, before taking an interest in becoming a travelling nurse. She now resides in Maryland working for the National Institute of Health.

“Nursing is a serious profession, it’s nothing that you take for granted. And I just have to consider is this something I can do, work with people, knowing that they trust me, to make sure that they can exit the hospital and they get the best care from someone who is compassionate,” said Scales.

Capt. Scales reflected how she was determined to complete the nursing program, and how study groups and help from the faculty was much appreciated. She also acknowledged her family and friends being a support system.

Another highlight of the ceremony was when Charlena Garrison, president of the WSSU Nursing Alumni Organization, recognized the Class of 1961. The Class of ’61 was present, and they took a moment to showcase a book that they collaborated on and put together.

“As We Go Forth,”written by Dr. Joyce Roland, talked about how there were a total of eight contributors. Roland gave a brief description of the book about personal stories, migrating up north to pursue better opportunities and value the responsibilities of being a nurse.

Dr. Lenora Campbell, associate dean of WSSU Division of Nursing, and Dr. Peggy Valentine, dean of WSSU School of Health Sciences, gave their remarks, as well as updated statuses of the WSSU nursing division and scholarship funding.

For more information pertaining to WSSU nursing, go to

To get more information on how to purchase the “As We Go Forth” book, contact Dr. Roland at 919-824-3267. She can also be reached at either, or All proceeds will go to the nursing scholarships.


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