I'm An IU Nurse
Lillian Stokes does not have trouble identifying her impact on the IU School of Nursing. "I championed for diversity in the School," she said.
Her 40-year history at the IU School of Nursing involved serving as a teacher, administrator, and advocate for her students. The first five of those years involved facilitating learning among diverse groups of students. Stokes also had a soft spot for the guided studies students, who lacked certain prerequisites for full admission to the program.
"Supporting these highly-motivated, compassionate students heightened my interest in teaching even more," she said. "I am proud to say these students went on to provide significant contributions to the profession of nursing."
In 1996, she was appointed as director of Diversity and Enrichment, where she created an environment of respect for differing cultural values.
Outcomes of her work were the develpment, approval, and display of a diversity statement that increased recruitment, propelled new activities at the school, retention, and graduation of underrepresented students, and general appreciation for diverse students. In addition to showing students the value of diversity, Stokes wanted to grow their appreciation for education. "I had a strong interest in convincing students that learning could be fun and void of excessive stress," she said. "Even after my 40 years of work, I still receive messages from students I had 20 years ago. That brings so much joy to my life."
After a long and successful career of teaching, Stokes hopes former students recognize that nurses are capable of breaking the glass ceiling and pursuing a myriad of careers. "Nurses are truthfully everywhere," she said. "You can be an educator working in academia, a policymaker, a researcher, a consultant, and so much more. The sky is no longer the limit."