Elizabeth Barnhart Award

Elizabeth Barnhart Award

The Elizabeth Barnhart Award for Nursing Excellence is presented to a graduating associate degree nursing student from the Newark campus who exemplifies the highest ideals of the nursing profession: intelligence, commitment, sacrifice, integrity and a compassionate connection to others. The award was established by Barnhart's mother, Nancy Reeder. Recipients receive a certificate and a $300 cash stipend to help defray the cost of equipment and career-related fees, including testing and licensure.

Elizabeth Barnhart, a young registered nurse who loved her profession and was passionate about helping others, was only just beginning a promising career as an emergency room nurse at Newark's Licking Memorial Hospital when she was killed on Feb. 2, 2017. A 2015 COTC graduate, Barnhart was an outstanding student and well-known to use the phrase "nurse so hard," which she used to describe the deep level of compassion and commitment needed by nurses to provide exceptional patient care. The inaugural award was presented in May 2018. It is the highest award a nursing student can receive.

The 2020 Challenge

In 2020, as another anniversary of Barnhart’s untimely death approaches on February 2, Reeder has instituted a 2020 challenge to raise funds for the Barnhart Award and ensure that her daughter’s legacy of nursing excellence will continue to live on. Her mother, Nancy Reeder, hopes that members of the community will be moved to make a gift of $20.20, $202.00, or $2,020 to honor Elizabeth’s commitment to the nursing profession and to offer support to graduates of COTC’s nursing technology program as they begin their career. 

To support nursing excellence and honor Elizabeth Barnhart's legacy by making a gift online to this memorial fund, please click here. If you prefer to send  a check, please make payable to COTC Elizabeth Barnhart Award and mail to: the Office of Advancement, 1179 University Drive, Newark, Ohio 43055.


May 2018: Samantha Eaton with Barnhart's brother, Ben Barnhart

August 2018: Eric Bell with Barnhart's mother, Nancy Reeder

​December 2018: Shelley Love

May 2019: Madyson Bonham

​August 2019: Elizabeth Djikunu


December 2019: Morgan Morgan with Kris Bowman, RRT, RN, MSN, MEd

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