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Alix Theodossiou '17

June 27, 2018

When registered nurse Alix Theodossiou ’17 tends to her patients in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at UNC Medical Center, she carries with her the lessons she learned from her mentors at UNCW.

“When I think back on my four years, two mentors really stand out: John Ware and Susan Sinclair,” said Theodossiou, who was a member of the Honors College and played varsity tennis at UNCW. 

Ware is an assistant tennis coach; Sinclair, professor of clnical research, received the 2018 UNC Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence. 

“John  believed in me and was dedicated to helping me take my tennis to the next level,” she said. “He made it possible for me to pursue a nursing major as a college athlete.” 

“Dr. Sinclair was my honors thesis project mentor. She worked with me one-on-one, often after-hours or on her days off. Throughout our interactions, she pushed me to expand my knowledge and research skills in ways I never expected.” 

Theodossiou graduated with honors from the School of Nursing in December 2017, although it wasn’t easy juggling honors-level courses, a demanding curriculum and the commitment required of a student-athlete. 

“Despite taking 17 to 18 hour credits most semesters, I struggled to fit in all the necessary course requirements,” she said. “However, I received a lot of support from the university and athletic department and received a scholarship to take several courses during summer school.” 

Her work ethic paid off both in the classroom and on the courts. She was awarded numerous donor-funded scholarships, including the George Henry Hutaff Honors Scholarship and the Hilda W. Fredericks nursing scholarship. Academic honors include the UNCW Nursing Achievement Award, and she was named to the CAA All-Academic Tennis Team in 2016 and 2017. 

Under Sinclair’s guidance, she contributed to research that Sinclair presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care in Lisbon, Portugal in June 2017. 

“I could have simply assisted with the research, but Dr. Sinclair treated me as a professional and insisted on co-authorship,” Theodossiou said. “Dr. Sinclair ignited a passion for public health research in me that has made me a more well-rounded UNCW graduate.” 

As a new nurse at UNC Medical Center, she will complete a required research project that is meant to culminate in a new policy or patient care protocol. “I plan to return to school after a few years of experience, potentially to become a nurse practitioner or CRNA,” she said.

-- Tricia Vance 

Photos courtesy of UNC Health Care

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