DR. CATHERINE HILER
DSLCC Distinguished Alum Recipient
Dr. Catherine A. Hiler has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award by the Dabney S. Lancaster Community College Educational Foundation. She will serve as guest speaker for DSLCC’s annual commencement exercises, to be held Friday, May 13, beginning at 7:00 pm, in the Convocation Center on the main campus in Clifton Forge.
Joining Dr. Hiler on the podium as the student speaker will be Isaac Wright, a 2022 DSLCC graduate. Officiating for the evening ceremonies will be DSLCC President John Rainone and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Benjamin Worth.
Dr. Hiler, who has been the head of the DSLCC Nursing Program since 2020, came to DSLCC from the Radford University Nursing Program (previously Jefferson College of Health Sciences), where she served as an associate professor and program coordinator for the Bachelor of Science Nursing degree program, for about 325 students on the traditional as well as accelerated tracks.
A 1995 graduate of DSLCC, where she earned an associate degree in nursing, Dr. Hiler received her BSN in nursing from the College of Health Sciences in Roanoke in 2001, and a Master’s Degree in Nursing Education in 2007 from the Jefferson College of Health Services. In 2016, she earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice with a track in Educational Leadership from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH.
Dr. Hiler has served as the Clinical Coordinator for the Virginia Western Community College Nursing Program and as an adjunct nursing faculty member at the Ameritech College of Healthcare. “She has hands-on experience as a nurse as well, having served as the clinical team leader for the Coronary Care unit at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital,” says Dr. Benjamin Worth, Vice President for Academic Affairs.
“I’ve always been interested in giving back to my community, in particular my alumni school, and mentoring new nurses,” she says.
In nominating Dr. Hiler, her colleague, Devon Nicely, said: “Dr. Hiler has such a wealth of experience and knowledge when it comes to nursing education, and has accomplished so much in her years in nursing and nursing education. She works very hard to see that the nursing program is one DSLCC can be proud of. She serves on many of the College’s committees and task forces, as well as the Board of Directors at Lewis-Gale Alleghany. She is an incredible leader and mentor, with a deep desire to see this program thrive. As a DSLCC graduate herself who worked up through each level of education offered here beginning with the CNA program, and achieving her RN, Dr. Hiler is able to really give the students a first-hand example of how bright their future could be with a lot of hard work and determination.”
This is the 6th year of the DSLCC Distinguished Alumni Award. Established in 2017, this prestigious award recognizes DSLCC alumni who have realized exemplary distinction in their professions and honors all those at the College who have assisted them on the path to success, ultimately enabling them to enrich their communities. Previous recipients has included Steven Leitch, 2017; John Stone, 2018; Julie Persinger Gardiner, 2019; Nova Wright, 2020; and Ashby Clements, 2021.
Student speaker Isaac Wright, a GED completer, is completing an Associate in Arts and Sciences Degree in Education, with plans to transfer to a four year university in the fall. Wright’s remarks will center around his success as a student at DSLCC, with the support and guidance of faculty and staff. “DSLCC saved me from feeling lost and gave me a place to become the person that I wanted to be,” says Wright.
In addition to her remarks during commencement exercises, Dr. Hiler will also fulfill her duties as head of the nursing program during the annual Pinning Ceremony for the DSLCC nursing graduates on Wednesday, May 11, at 6 pm, also in the DSLCC Convocation Center on the Clifton Forge campus. The RN and LPN pinning ceremonies will be combined.
The public is invited to attend both ceremonies on May 11 and May 13.