Gloretha Wilcots

Nurse practitioner alumna transformed for change

Gloretha Wilcots thought her pursuit of a master’s degree would simply allow her to practice independently as a nurse practitioner. But two years at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis transformed her perspectives on those she cares for and those with whom she works.

“My education was about more than just being a better clinician. My immediate exposure to other cultures and other health care professionals at UC Davis student-run clinics opened my eyes to the needs of the underserved,” says Wilcots, a 2016 nurse practitioner alumna. “The leadership skills I learned instilled in me the reality that I can be an agent for change in health care.”

For her master’s-degree scholarly project, Wilcots developed a module for kindergarten teachers to grow their awareness of implicit bias, further examining how racial discrimination has long-term implications on children and adults in terms of health, education and the criminal justice system.

“UC Davis instilled in me the ideas of being a teacher and a lifelong learner,” Wilcots adds. “Leading is not about a position or title; it’s about the person and his or her character. To be a leader, you need to be a team player, respect others’ abilities and input, communicate with a positive attitude and listen actively.”

At the 2016 Graduation Celebration, Wilcots received the Excellence in Cultural Inclusiveness Award. “It let me know that not only was my voice heard, but it was appreciated,” Wilcots says. “It encourages me to continue to speak out and to acknowledge things that are not right and can be changed.”