Alumni honored for nursing achievements

November 9, 2023

The School of Nursing Alumni Society named the recipients of its annual awards Rising Star, Distinguished Alumni Humanitarian and the inaugural Excellence in Practice. The awards were presented at the All School Reunion held in September.

Rising Star Award: Emily Stelter, DNP ‘22, MN ‘18


As a Rising Star, Stelter is celebrated for her noteworthy successes in career trajectory, scholastic accomplishments, and distinguished service to the School of Nursing, the nursing profession, and the larger community. She has a commitment to pushing the boundaries of nursing practice and embracing evidence-based approaches that have led to tangible improvements in patient care and outcomes. Stelter led a transformative initiative to create Intermediate Care Guidelines within M Health Fairview. She formed an interdisciplinary group to close gaps in standards of care, documentation, orders and education in the Intermediate Care Units resulting in the improvement of care in 11 different units. She graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Nursing with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in the adult gerontological clinical nurse specialist speciality in May 2022. A colleague of Stelter’s states, “Her unwavering commitment to excellence and compassionate approach to patient outcomes make her an outstanding representative of the next generation of nursing leaders.”

Distinguished Alumni Humanitarian Award: Emily Carroll, DNP ‘20


Carroll’s passion for community work and reduction in health disparities is reflected in her own learning, clinical practice and education of others. Her work has made HealthFinders Collaborative in Northfield, Minnesota a hub routinely sought by the community for providing culturally and linguistically appropriate comprehensive chemical health services. Carroll identified a tremendous need in the community for Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD), particularly in those without insurance. She met that need through providing training of local health care providers, jail-based MOUD for patients with opioid use disorder, and harm-reduction-focused and stigma-decreasing education program to every law enforcement member in Rice County. She is the first nurse to be appointed to the Rice County Community and Justice Council to represent clinicians and health care to law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Carroll’s work continues to save countless lives, narrow cultural disparities and expand medical services among underinsured or uninsured patients in a rural setting.

Excellence in Practice Award: Holly Linder, MN ‘14


The inaugural honoree of the Excellence in Practice Award, Linder exemplifies the spirit of nursing in a patient-facing role by being a genuine, compassionate person with integrity, knowledge and a strong work ethic. She has a gift for calming, comforting, and making people feel safe, and because of this her patients trust her and know she will advocate for them. When a challenging patient and family situation surfaces on the unit where she serves at Abbott Northwestern, it is often Linder who is pulled into help because of her problem-solving skills. Linder’s responses and empathy helps the patients, the families and the nurses in situations that can often grow very hostile. She has earned the respect and admiration of nurses, management and physicians because of her sincere and unwavering commitment to the nursing profession and evidence based practices. Linder’s dedication and passion to nursing makes her the type of nurse you want to work alongside, and you want caring for your beloved family member. She inspires others to want to be a better nurse.

If you know an alum who should be considered for one of these awards, contact Matthew Opitz at

Categories: Alumni News