Published: Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 11:54 a.m.
The following have been honored for their professional achievements and community involvement: - Voncea Brusha of Gainesville, a registered nurse in the mother/baby unit at Shands at UF with 30 years experience, has been named the national prize winner in the registered nurse category of the Cherokee Uniforms Inspired Comfort Award.
Brusha is a former board member of the National Black Nurses Association and co-founder and current president of the Greater Gainesville Black Nurses Association. She was nominated for the award by Charisse Fountain, a social worker in the mother/baby unit.
Brusha organizes local health fairs and presents health information at local and state conferences. During screenings for hypertension at a conference in Jacksonville in 2004, she identified a participant whose blood pressure was severely elevated, resulting in the individual receiving emergent treatment at an area hospital.
The award recognizes nurses and other non-physician health care professionals for exceptional service, sacrifice and innovation. Nearly 1,300 nominations nationwide were received this year.
- Dr. Trudie Kibbe Reed, the president of Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona, recently honored 100 of the college's alumni at the first-ever "Magnificent Alumni Awards Gala" held in Jacksonville. Among those honored were three Gainesville residents, all members of the college's Alachua County alumni chapter.
They are: Bettye G. Jennings, a retired Alachua County educator and music teacher who graduated in 1961; Andrew R. Mickle, a retired Alachua County educator who graduated in 1950, and Ted Nichols, a private attorney and retired general counsel of AvMed, who graduated in 1962.
Jennings is the wife of former Gainesville Mayor-Commissioner Ed Jennings Sr., also a Bethune graduate, and the mother of Byron and Rep. Ed Jennings Jr. Jennings also is the current chairperson of the Easter Seals of Florida Advisory Council for the Altrusa House of Gainesville and a member of the School Advisory Council at Rawlings Elementary.
Mickle is the husband of retired educator Catherine Mickle, also a Bethune graduate, and the father of Judge Stephan P. Mickle, Dr. Jeffrey Mickle and Daryl Mickle.
In addition to being involved with several local organizations, including the Alachua County Vocational Association, Alachua County Retired Educators Association and the Board of Directors of Gardenia Gardens Apartments, Mickle is well known around town for teaching swimming lessons to both young and old.
Nichols, who received his law degree from the University of Miami, is involved with the Florida Bar Association, Bethune-Cookman College Alumni Association, Bethune-Cookman College Booster Club and the NAACP. He recently was honored at a benefit for the college that raised over $40,000.
- Ernestine L. Williams-Walker of Hawthorne also was honored recently by the Bethune-Cookman College Alumni Association and inducted into the college's Sports Hall of Fame.
A retired teacher from A. Quinn Jones Elementary School, now A. Quinn Jones Center, Williams-Walker was an all-conference basketball star at the school from 1938-1940, and led the team in scoring for two seasons.
She is involved in a number of organizations, including being an active member of New Hope United Methodist Church in Hawthorne. She also was the first Miss B-CC queen to become an alumnus and was a member of the first graduating class in 1938 from Shell High School, now Shell Elementary School in Hawthorne.
- Eve Cole-Harper of Gainesville, director of education at the Gainesville Wilderness Institute, has been nominated for the third time to Who's Who Among American Teachers. She also was honored in 1996 and 1998. Teachers are selected because they ''made a difference'' in the life of one of their former students.

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