Spring 2008

Welcome to Emory Nursing, a newsletter from the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing to update you on its initiatives and accomplishments.


Marla Salmon
Dean Marla Salmon will become dean of the University of Washington School of Nursing in the fall.
Susan Grant, chief nursing officer for Emory Healthcare, and Jim Curran, dean of the Rollins School of Public Health, recently updated faculty and staff about the search for a dean to replace the departing Marla Salmon. The search firm of Heidrick & Struggles has been retained. Two committees have been named: a steering committee headed by Grant and Curran, and a search committee, which includes SON faculty and staff. A tentative time line has been drafted, with the following target dates: first-round interviews in mid-June, second-round interviews in mid-July, a decision and hiring of a candidate in late July, and a possible start date in mid-August.

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Nurse photo exhibit
Emory President James Wagner talks with the book's photographer, Karen Kasmauski.

The May 6th opening of the exhibit of photos from Nurse: A World of Care was a huge success. Thank you to all those who came to the reception, including Emory President James Wagner, Chancellor Michael M.E. Johns, and the book's photographer, Karen Kasmauski. The exhibit, in the School of Nursing, will run through July 15. If you haven't yet purchased the book, access nursingknowledge.org


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Back in the fall, Associate Dean for Education Marsha Lewis wrote about a move to better define the school's philosophy. After much revision and discussion, the final draft of the text was approved by the faculty in April. The new philosophy can be accessed on the nursing web site.


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Ken HepburnEach issue of this newsletter will feature a column by an associate dean. This issue features Associate Dean for Research Ken Hepburn. 

Ken Hepburn

We've had a number of exciting developments in research. We've increased the number of grant applications submitted to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This academic year, we expect to send 13. For 2008-2009, we expect to have 20 submissions.

NIH funding has flattened and is essentially down. It is clear, however, that funding will increasingly go toward interdisciplinary research, and the school is well positioned to respond to this trend. The school's research portfolio is fundamentally interdisciplinary in nature. We have several emphases in our research, and through support from the Global Health Initiative, we have been able to develop a new emphasis through the Center for Maternal and Newborn Survival, headed by Dr. Lynn Sibley. Many people know about Lynn Sibley's work to promote home-based life saving skills in developing countries; a new faculty member, Jenny Foster, is doing similar, federally-funded community-based participatory research to improve birth outcomes in the Dominican Republic. Yet another new faculty faculty member, Safiya Dalmida, is researching another aspect of birth outcomes, examining what is called the "Latina paradox." Latina women in the same socio-economic class as African-American women have better birth outcomes than their African-American counterparts. She'll be looking into whether religion and spirituality play a part in the difference.

In addition to Foster and Dalmida, we hired three other faculty last year to increase our research presence: Catherine Vena, Susan Bauer-Wu, and Ron Barrett.  All three are currently engaged in federally-supported research in their areas of specialization.

As many of you know, the lack of nursing faculty across the country is predicted to be even more severe than the nursing shortage. We are doing our part of help turn out faculty. We are encouraging more students earning their bachelor's degree to go directly into the doctorate program. Presently, the average nursing doctoral student is in her 40s. Once those students graduate, there is little time for a full research career. So we are looking for undergraduate students who we think have the potential to go to one of top 20 nursing schools as research faculty.



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Susan Eckert, senior associate dean for administration, presented "Negotiation:  Getting What You Want and When to Say No: Strategies for Negotiation and Collegiality as a Member of Underrepresented Groups in an Academic Environment" at the 2008 National Science Foundation Forward to Professorship conference. The Washington, D.C. conference, sponsored by George Washington University and Galludet University, is for academic women and underrepresented minorities in science, engineering, and mathematics. 

Rebecca Carbley, 08N and a Fuld fellow, won first place in the student poster session at the Southern Nurses Research Society annual conference in February. Her poster was titled, "Feasibility and Effectiveness of Pedometer-Based Self-Monitoring to Increase Self-Efficacy and Physical Activity in African Americans with Metabolic Syndrome." The student posters were from all levels, from bachelor's to post-doctoral. 

Ann Connor received the Atlanta Journal Constitution/Pulse Award for Excellence in Nursing.

Rebecca Gary received one of the Young Investigator Awards for her abstract submitted to the 2008 Quality of Care and Outcomes Conference.  She will receive this award at the American Heart Association conference in Baltimore.  

Sally Lehr received the 2008 Jean Thomas Award for teaching by the Alpha Epsilon Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International.  "As most of you know, Sally is a stellar teacher, someone that all of us could emulate," says Jo Ann Dalton.  "We are fortunate to have her as a faculty member, and the students are fortunate to have her as a role model, teacher, and mentor!"

Kathy Parker was nominated for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Healthcare Hero Award.

Ora Strickland recently received the Auset Award by the National Black Herstory organization. The award recognizes a person who has demonstrated outstanding yet humane leadership.

The Class of 2008 raised more than $20,000 as its class gift to SON service learning programs.


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FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Michael Neville, Department of Adult and Elder Health Nursing

Michael Neville

He recently received the Crystal Apple for Undergraduate Nursing Award from the Residence Hall Association, and at last year's commencement ceremony, students cheered when he received the Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award.  So what makes the pharmacology teacher a favorite among students? In his classes, Neville says he uses humor, often through stories of his own experiences, to help students learn difficult material. "Pharmacology is almost like a new language—with all the drug names—for most students," Neville says. "Most people probably don't sit around the dinner table talking about pharmacology."

He has taught at Emory since 1996, when he was hired for in a jointly funded position: teaching pharmacology classes at the nursing school and managing the PGY-1 pharmacy residency training program at Emory Healthcare. It's that "a-ha" moment that students have that he especially enjoys about teaching. "I like when students, nervous and anxious about learning pharmacology, pull together complicated information," he says. "It's so much fun to see the lights come on."

He says he also connects with his students because he learns their names early in the semester. Every incoming junior gets a photo taken, and all the photos get emailed to faculty. Neville prints the photos and cuts them up to make flash cards with names on the back of each one. By the time the student is a senior, and Neville calls the student's name at graduation to receive a diploma, he's got the pronunciation down pat. "I really enjoy graduation—more so than any other time of the school year. It's such a happy time, and I get to be a part of seeing students achieve their degrees after they've worked so hard all year long."

Before he starts his new job, he says he'll head to the beach with his wife and 12-year-old son.


STAFF SPOTLIGHT: Dianne Winsett, Executive Assistant, Office of the Dean

Dianne Winsett

Dianne Winsett has a lot of constants in her life. She's been married for 41 years. She has met the same group of friends every Saturday for breakfast for the past 20 years. She's worked at Emory since 1991, and she has served as executive administrative assistant to Dean Marla Salmon since 2000.

It's a demanding job that requires Winsett to know a little about a lot. She tries to keep the dean on track: managing Salmon's calendar, arranging travel, editing and putting together presentations, and answering email and phone calls about a range of issues. Winsett has so many things to manage that she has additional staff to help support her and the dean.

"The best thing about this position is working for Marla," Winsett says. "She is a whirlwind of activity and the job is never boring. She is funny, charming, and brilliant. I consider myself very fortunate to have this position, which allows me the privilege of working closely with her and observing her in action. The worst thing about this position is trying to keep up. Marla is very creative and strategic, which often results in interesting work 'opportunities' for the staff. She is heavily involved at the national and international level and has many demands as dean. All of which provides me with an interesting and stimulating work day."

In her free time, Winsett reads, hikes, dabbles in photography, is a flea market junkie, and rescues native plants from development sites destined for clear-cutting. But don't call her a green thumb. She says her husband is the one who likes to garden.

She and her husband have two daughters—one is a doctor in Boston, and the other is an engineer in Florida.