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Ashleigh Butgereit Harlow accepts two fellowships at Duke University

MADISON – Ashleigh Butgereit Harlow, a doctoral student at Duke University School of Nursing, has been awarded two fellowships — the University Scholars Fellowship and James B. Duke Fellowship.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be selected for such prestigious awards and to represent the School of Nursing through these two fellowships,” Harlow said. “I see excellence every day at DUSON and across Duke, so I am incredibly humbled to have been selected and am really excited … to bring a nurses’ perspective to these interdisciplinary groups.”

The University Scholars Fellowship program is designed to stimulate an interdisciplinary, intergenerational community of scholars, while the James B. Duke Fellowship aims to attract outstanding scholars at Duke. Both programs offer stipends; University Scholars provides tuition and fee support.

During her career, Harlow has experienced numerous cross-disciplinary efforts at several children’s hospitals across the country and while mentoring nurses during cardiac surgical missions to Morocco and Uganda. This work qualified her as a strong candidate for the scholars fellowship.

Harlow didn’t know the graduate school had nominated her as a fellowship candidate. She learned about the honors soon after Duke offered admission and funding. “I discovered this was separate funding. I was really surprised,” she said.

After graduating from Bob Jones High School in 2004, Harlow earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and her master’s certificate in 2017 from George Washington University.

Harlow began her career as a direct care nurse in the pediatric intensive care unit at Children’s of Alabama. Harlow later served as a direct care nurse, nurse educator and nurse manager in cardiac intensive care at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C.

“Nursing has been a great field, in my experience,” Harlow said. Anyone considering a nursing career should realize numerous, possible angles, such as creating policy, building knowledge with research and offering expertise to industry. She endorses the concept of a nurse as helper and healer.

“Because of COVID-19, now more than ever people recognize the professional dedication of nurses. Nurses have been the most trusted profession for many years,” Harlow said. “I hope to encourage and mentor future nursing scholars (to) ‘carry the torch’ of our discipline.”

Currently, Harlow participates in DUSOM’s PhD cohort program, with six students holding diverse backgrounds in research who will pass preliminary exams and propose a dissertation topic to become a doctoral candidate. Eventually, she wants to provide direct care while conducting research involving children with critical congenital heart disease and their parents.

“My personal values align with … experiences of these patients and their families in the hospital setting,” she said. “If my research advances the way we care for these kids, (that’s) a major win.”

Ashleigh lives in Durham, N.C. with husband John, Founder and Head of Federal Architecture and Delivery at Ivory Skies. They are parents of two-year-old Julia and six-month-old Jude.

Ashleigh’s parents are Drew and Leigh Butgereit of Madison.

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