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Nursing and Health Professions 
to honor outstanding alumni

Oct. 20, 2005 -- The College of Nursing and Health Professions at Arkansas State University will present its distinguished alumni awards on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 4 p.m., announced Dr. Susan Hanrahan, dean of the college.

This yearís recipients are Col. Joel D. Ray, NC, MSN of the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Jeffrey Bush, CLS, MSHSA of Dexter, Mo., and Vicki Gestring, BSW, MPA of Jonesboro.

The public is invited to attend the recognition, which will be held at the College of Nursing and Health Professions building on Caraway Road on the ASU campus.

Ray received his bachelorís degree in nursing from ASU in 1982 and his masterís in nursing from Arizona State University in 1990 . He has held such titles as deputy director health services, Headquarters 10th Air Force/Surgeon General Office in Fort Worth; 5th Medical Operations Squadron Commander and 5th Medical Group Chief Nurse Executive in Minot, N.D.; and Chief, Population Health, Headquarters Air Combat Command/Surgeon Generalís Office in Langley, Va.

He currently is the Air Force Academy Command Nurse.  Col. Ray holds national nursing certification in Medical-Surgical Nursing and Nursing Administration. He is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives.

Bush received his bachelor of science in medical technology from ASU and his master of science in health services administration from Central Michigan University.  He has been employed with the Army Medical Department as a medical laboratory specialist; Le Bonheur Childrenís Medical Center as a lab supervisor; Lucy Lee Healthcare System as lab director, and financial consultant for Smith Barney.

He currently is the president and chief executive officer for Poplar Bluff Medical Partners and managing partner for Medical Development Specialist, LLC in Dexter, Mo. He is past president of the Dexter Rotary Club, a member of the Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce, and the finance chair for First Baptist Church in Dexter.

Gestring received her bachelor of arts in social work in 1996 and her masters in public administration in 2004 from Arkansas State University.  She has been employed with the Northeast Arkansas Council on Family Violence as a social worker and has been the executive director of the Womenís Crisis Center of NEA since 1999.

She is a member of Phi Sigma Alpha, National Honor Society for Public Administration, American Association for Public Administration, Arkansas Legal Services Partnership: Access to Justice Working Group, and vice president of the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

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