Linda Thompson Adams, provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and an alumnus of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellows program (1999-2002), received the Trailblazer Award last month from the National Black Nurses Association.
The award recognizes nurses who are in positions of leadership and who have taken risks throughout their careers. National Black Nurses Association President Debra Toney, Ph.D., R.N.—also an alumnus of the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program (2006-2009)—chose Adams to be this year’s winner. Adams received the award last month in San Diego.
“I consider the award a great honor,” Adams said.
Adams is the second Executive Nurse Fellow to be appointed to a provost position and the first to be named a vice chancellor. In this capacity, she has oversight of deans of all academic schools and colleges at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and makes recommendations for policy changes in academic policies and programs.
The Executive Nurse Fellows program gave her the confidence to take a nursing road less traveled, she said. “We were encouraged to look at how nursing could make a difference outside of nursing and in the broader community where we work. I was able to see the broader perspective on who I could be and what I could do.”
Adams has more than 20 years of experience in university administration, teaching and nursing. She has served as a clinical nurse specialist, coordinator, public health nurse, staff nurse and nursing instructor and has been appointed to various public service positions. She has served on editorial review boards, grant review committees, and community and public service ventures, and has produced numerous publications.
She earned an undergraduate degree in nursing from Wayne State University’s College of Nursing in Detroit and masters and doctoral degrees in public health from Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.