School of Nursing alum receives Distinguished Leadership Award
Kuei-Min Chen, PhD ’00, MS ‘96, an established gerontological health expert working to advance the health and well-being of older adults in Taiwan and around the world, received the Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals, awarded by the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance (GPS Alliance) and the University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA).
The award is conferred on international alumni, former students and friends of the University who have attained unusual distinction as professionals in their careers and have demonstrated sustained outstanding achievement and leadership.
“It definitely means a lot to me,” said Chen. “Especially because this is my second home, and it is from my university that taught me everything I know. This one means so much to me, because it’s awarded by my own university.”
In her 30 years as a gerontological clinical nurse specialist, Chen has made significant contributions that benefit aging populations. She holds a number of high-ranking positions at the Ministry of Science and Technology, Kaohsiung Medical University and Kaohsiung City Government. Additionally, she works as a consultant, commissioner and counselor to many organizations; editor and editorial board member of international journals; and reviewer of international SCI/SSCI journals. She has had more than 76 articles published in journals, established the first master’s program in long-term care and aging at Kaohsiung Medical University, and has served as the keynote and plenary speaker at several international conferences. Chen was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing in 2017.
Chen began her career in 1992 when she graduated from Fooyin University with her associate degree in nursing. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing at the University of Dubuque in Iowa and a master’s and a PhD degree at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing.
Chen’s dissertation focused on the use of tai chi with community dwelling elders, and she has expanded on this research throughout her career, concentrating on the efficacy of other complementary therapies with elders in a variety of settings.
“My mentor, faculty emeritus Mariah Snyder has been very influential, both professionally and personally,” said Chen. “She had a passion to explain to me the professional knowledge I needed. She was very passionate about that and that really influenced how I went through my academic career and now how treat my graduate students.”
In naming Chen as a recipient of the Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals, the selection committee acknowledged her devotion to improving the lives of aging adults and educating the next generation of nursing professionals.