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Sigma Theta Tau

Welcome to the Gamma Chi chapter of the Nursing Honor Society, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI). On our website, you will find information on membership, research funding opportunities, and events. The Gamma Chi Chapter began in 1978 and is affiliated with the University of Tennessee College of Nursing. It has thrived for more than 35 years with more than 1,500 inducted members. To learn more about STTI and the Gamma Chi chapter, explore our website or contact one of our officers.

Congratulations 2019 Gamma Chi Academic Scholarship Recipients!

Christen Carradine Susan Hebert Faith Stewart

STTI members should access STTI’s “The Circle” for announcements about future meetings and events.

Those interested in further information about STTI, Gamma Chi chapter, or membership should contact Melanie Mixon via email at

President: Carrie Bailey

Secretary: Laurie Sparks

Treasurer: Mary Lynn Brown

Leadership Succession Chair: Lizanne Elliott

Faculty Governance Chair and Counselor: Melanie Mixon

Leadership Succession Committee Member: Erin Morgan

Faculty Governance Committee Member: Lynn Beeler

Research Chair: Rebecca Koszalinski

Scholarship Awards Committee Chair and Past President: Allie Brown

Membership Ambassador: Rachael Wyatt Hodges

Sigma Theta Tau is an international honor society for nursing. It is an honor to be invited to join and a benefit to you to belong.

Nurse Leader Application form

BSN Criteria

  • Completed 50 percent of UG curriculum. Upper-division undergraduate students are selected in the senior year of their BSN program.
  • The upper 35 percentof the class can be considered. GPA requirements change each year since UG criteria is based on top 35 percent.
  • Demonstrate Academic Integrity. Student candidates are voted on by the general membership of Gamma Chi Chapter in the semester they are invited to be inducted.
  • Student candidates are notified of their candidacy from an email that is sent from Sigma Theta Tau. The email instructs student candidates on the membership process. You are not considered a member of STT until you have paid your membership dues.

Graduate Students

As of February 2017, all graduates students currently enrolled in the College of Nursing are eligible to apply for membership in Gamma Chi chapter as a nurse leader. Contact Melanie Mixon at for further information. See the Nurse Leader Application form to apply. The form may be returned to international headquarters as shown on the form or it may be returned to Melanie Mixon. Nurse leaders do not have to wait for an induction ceremony to become active in the chapter.

Community Nurse Leader Criteria

  • Practices nursing in his/her country
  • Minimum of a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent in any field
  • Demonstrates achievement in nursing as evidenced by some of the following:
    • Creativity or innovation in clinical practice
    • Leadership qualities contributing to improved health care
    • Teaching or Presentations
    • Administration
    • Curriculum development
    • Involvement in nursing organizations
    • Innovative student learning
    • Research development
    • Entrepreneurial skills
    • Staff development
    • Mentoring colleagues

  • Access to the Virginia Henderson International Nursing Library
  • Access to Wiley-Blackwell Interscience evidence-based resource
  • Weekly book and software reviews of nursing titles
  • Local, regional, national, and international conferences and conventions
  • International and regional research and professional development grants
  • Online member forums
  • Geriatric resources
  • Opportunities to assume leadership positions at the local, regional, national, and international levels

The Gamma Chi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International was chartered on May 20, 1978, after diligent work done by Dr. Johnnie Monzingo under the direction of Dr. Sylvia Hart, the founding Dean of the College of Nursing.

The planning began prior to the erection of the current College of Nursing which now stands at 1200 Volunteer Boulevard in Knoxville, TN. Initial works to achieve the Gamma Chi chapter were modeled after that of New York University, where Dr. Hart and Dr. Martha Alligood had studied. A site visit accompanied the validation of our credibility as a STTI chapter and it was quoted as being similar to an NLN accreditation survey. All of the unprecedented efforts paid off as the University of Tennessee College of Nursing was promptly sanctioned as a chapter of STTI.

The chapter leaders emphasized their commitment to the community of scholarship with many admirable traits. This dedication of the Gamma Chi chapter was coupled with a memorial to a nurse with a Tennessee heritage, Martha E. Rogers, a powerful force in the national nursing community who had modeled her life and philosophy after that of Florence Nightingale. Many of the nursing terms coined by Martha E. Rogers were quite congruent with that of Nightingale. We continue to celebrate the life of Gamma Chi along with that of Martha E. Rogers, a champion for nursing in Tennessee and beyond.

Spring 2018 Commencement Ceremony Awards


Mary Lou Clark Fornehed 

(PhD) Outstanding Dissertation Award:  For excellence in doctoral research

Erin Walker Hermann

(DNP) Outstanding DNP Project Award:  For excellence in evidenced based practice research

Emeri Kaitlin Allan

(BSN) Sylvia Hart Award: For the most promising future excellence in nursing practice


Recipients of our Research Grants


Recipients of Undergraduate Research Grant ($250)

Mallory Lanier

Title of project: Rescue dosing as a standardized treatment protocol to decrease length of stay for neonatal abstinence syndrome

Faculty Advisor: Jennifer Tourville

Jordon Riggins

Title of project: Evaluating a novel music program experience for community-residing older adults

Faculty Advisor:  Sue McClellan

Recipients of Small Research Grant ($500)

Dr. Samereh Abdoli

Title of Project: Listening to family caregivers:  A comprehensive caregivers’ need assessment in co-occurrence of diabetes and dementia

Ms. Kimberly Brown

Title of Project:Effectiveness of emotional intelligence training of nurse leaders on the job satisfaction of the graduate nurse


Chapter Awards given during our Induction Ceremony 


Clinical Practice Award
Caitlin Ferguson

Community Service Award
Sister Mariana Koontz

Excellence in Education Award
Deb Chyka

Excellence in Research Award
Sadie Hutson

Outstanding Dissertation Award
Stacia Ruskie

Sylvia Hart Award
Sierra Hooker