HUNTINGTON — Mike and Jane Fotos recently established the Dr. Jane C. Fotos Scholarship to support full-time students in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Marshall University.
Although students won’t be able to apply to the new DNP program until next year, the couple understand the impact this doctoral program will have on Marshall and the region.
Dr. Jane Fotos earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.), at Marshall. She realized at the age of 45 that she wanted to continue her career in nursing education in an academic setting, resigned from her job and enrolled at the University of Cincinnati, as it was one of the closest universities at the time that offered a master’s degree in nursing. Just four years later, she earned her doctoral degree in education administration from West Virginia University.
After coming to Marshall as associate dean of continuing education, she said she became aware of how much Marshall was needed to advance the careers of nurses across the state by offering advanced degrees in nursing. While associate dean, interim dean and professor, she chaired the two committees that developed and implemented the generic B.S.N. and M.S.N. programs. Even after retirement, she continued to believe that Marshall should and could offer a doctorate in nursing.
“When it was announced that a doctoral degree program in nursing was being developed at Marshall, we contacted the foundation to explore possibilities about establishing an endowed scholarship for nurses enrolled in this new program,” Jane Fotos said in a release. “We have always loved living and working in Huntington. When we retired, we decided to stay here and continue to support the community in any way we can as we have done in the past. Since Marshall University is such an important part of what makes Huntington a great place to live, work and enjoy the benefits of living in a university community, we are aware of our responsibility as citizens to support the many and varied contributions it makes in the quality of our lives.”
She said she is aware of how important it is for Marshall to recruit and retain faculty and students who can maintain its standing as an excellent place to work and study.
“We know recruitment and retention is not possible without adequate financial support and the role that the Marshall Foundation plays in helping Marshall in fundraising endeavors. What better way can we show how much we appreciate what Marshall does for our community than to support the efforts of its foundation.”
The couple encourages students to take advantage of every opportunity to learn and gain knowledge.
“Remember, a person is never too old to learn and take advantage of whatever means are available to gain new skills, both intellectual and physical. Many times, it requires much sacrifice to devote the time, energy and material comforts when entering an academic setting and engaging in the rigorous demands of gaining new knowledge and skills. It will always be one of the most satisfying and beneficial efforts you can make to enhance your quality of life and achieve in whatever profession or life goals you decide to pursue.”
The couple has always been actively involved as volunteers in the community in civic and professional organizations and in their children’s activities.
In promoting health in the Tri-State, Jane Fotos served as president of the Cabell Huntington Health Department for over 10 years and, following retirement, she served as a volunteer nurse for Ebenezer Medical Outreach in addition to serving on its board of directors for more than 12 years. The couple has also endowed an educational fund for Central City Elementary School through the Tri-State Foundation. For inquiries about the Dr. Jane C. Fotos Scholarship, please contact Dr. Denise Landry in the School of Nursing, College of Health Professions at 304-696-2630.