Elizabeth Barnhart Award

Photo of Elizbeth Barnhart

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.

Support Nursing Excellence

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.


August 2020: Brandy Clayton

Photo of Brandy Clayton

May 2020: Olivia Rhynehardt

Photo of Olivia Rhynehardt

December 2019: Morgan Morgan

Photo of Morgan Morgan with Kris Bowman, RRT, RN, MSN, MEd Morgan Morgan with Kris Bowman, RRT, RN, MSN, MEd

​August 2019: Elizabeth Djikunu

PHoto of Elizabeth Djikunu

May 2019: Madyson Bonham

Photo of Madyson Bonham

​December 2018: Shelley Love

photo of Shelley Love

August 2018: Eric Bell

Photo of Eric Bell with Barnhart's mother, Nancy Reeder Eric Bell with Barnhart’s mother, Nancy Reeder

May 2018: Samantha Eaton

photo of Samantha Eaton Samantha Eaton with Barnhart’s brother, Ben Barnhart