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Admissions boom

Welcome new and returning students, including the Class of 2005, which has the wonderful distinction of being our centennial class.

Enrollment is booming. As of August 15, 94 BSN students (our target was 80), 79 MSN students, and four PhD students were enrolled.

Most everyone knows John Youngblood, our new director of admission and student services. He comes to us from the Rollins School of Public Health, where he served as the school's first director of student services beginning in 1996. I'd also like to welcome Katie Kennedy as admissions adviser. Katie previously worked in admissions and recruitment for Mississippi College.

Faculty update

Congratulations are in order for several of our faculty. Joining us this fall is Dr. Jo Ann Dalton, who serves as chair of the Department of Adult and Elder Health Nursing. Jo Ann is a well-known scholar and administrator from UNC�Chapel Hill who is an expert in pain research with a focus on cancer patients.

Among her departmental colleagues is Dr. Jill Hamilton, a new assistant professor specializing in the study of older African Americans with cancer and how they live in the community. Jill recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Oregon Health & Science University. New faculty associates joining us this fall are Debra Fikes, BS, BSN, MSW, MSN; Barbara Kaplan, MSN, RN; Jennifer Tabin, MSN, RN; Julie Davey, MSN, RN; and Carolyn Clevenger, MSN, RN. All bring wonderful clinical expertise to our programs.

Kudos to our newly promoted faculty, including Dr. Kathy Parker (Adult and Elder Health), who now holds the Edith Honeycutt Chair in Nursing and is professor of nursing. Additionally, Dr. Marcia McDonnell (Family and Community Health) has moved from the clinical track to the tenure track as assistant professor.

Also promoted were Dr. Sarah Freeman, clinical professor in Family and Community Health, and Drs. Christi Deaton, research associate professor, and Michael Neville, clinical associate professor, in Adult and Elder Health.

Rising in the ranks

The SON is on the rise nationally, according to the latest rankings of America's Best Graduate Schools by US News & World Report. We advanced from 32nd last year to 26th this year, putting us in the top 10% of nursing schools with graduate programs and eighth among private nursing schools. Nurse midwifery, one of our longtime strengths, ranked 7th, tying with the well-known nursing programs at the University of Washington and the University of California�San Francisco. These figures attest to the strength of our faculty, staff, and students.

Nursing treasure

We owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Helen O'Shea, who is retiring as coordinator of the undergraduate program and chair of the Department of Adult and Elder Health Nursing. Helen entered the nursing profession in 1958 and joined the SON in 1971. The fact that the students chose her to speak at the May pinning ceremony is a testament to their love and respect for this gifted teacher.

At commencement, I was pleased to present Helen with an honorary bachelor of science in nursing degree and her very own NHWSN pin. But that's not all. We also announced the creation of the Dr. Helen O'Shea Endowed Scholarship Fund for undergraduates, for which we have raised $50,000. Fortunately for us, Helen will continue to teach part time.

A celebration of caring

We celebrated a special occasion with the dedication of the Charles F. and Peggy Evans Center for Caring Skills last spring. The center's name honors the generosity and memory of the couple who built an automobile sales enterprise in the Atlanta area.

The Evans Center is funded with part of a multi-million-dollar gift from their estate in appreciation for the medical and nursing care they received at Emory before their deaths. Their gift also supports an endowed chair in medicine and other medical school projects.

Several guests joined us for the Evans Center dedication, including Dr. Bill Fox, senior vice president for institutional advancement at Emory; keynote speaker Dr. Steven Kraftchick, associate dean for academic affairs at Candler School of Theology; and Mr. Mike Harrington, one of two executors for the Evans estate.

As Harrington told the audience, "Charles Evans was a man of few words. When he did speak, it was in superlatives, and I know he would if he were here today. I'm thrilled by the opportunity to be his messenger."

Class of 2003

Our 98th commencement was a glorious occasion. The undergraduate class became the first to complete their nursing education in our new building, and our school reached another milestone as Dr. Carolyn Constantin became the first person to receive a PhD in nursing. And we awarded 59 baccalaureate degrees, 76 master of science degrees, and one joint master's degree in nursing and public health.

Major gifts

The SON received two major gifts to support our students. The Hearst Foundation of New York made a gift of $150,000 to establish the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Scholarship Fund for Graduate Nursing Education. This is an important gift because of the scarcity of scholarships for master's students. Also, the grant supports our efforts to prepare nursing leaders who can rethink and reshape how patient care is delivered.

The O.C. Hubert Charitable Trust awarded a $100,000 grant to the SON to create the Hubert Fellowships in International Nursing. Over the next three years, these fellowships will provide BSN and MSN students with service-learning experiences in developing countries through the Lillian Carter Center for International Nursing.

Nursing heroes

Congratulations to Ann Connor (Family and Community Nursing), one of two nurses named by the Georgia Nurses Association as 2003 Nurse of the Year. She shares the honor with Linda Easterly, director of Occupational Health and Wellness at Houston Healthcare in Middle Georgia.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle tapped Dr. Linda Spencer (Family and Community Nursing) as a finalist in its annual Health-Care Heroes competition. Emory nominated Linda for her efforts to improve nursing and health care in undeveloped parts of the world and her service as a disaster response nurse. Linda's and Ann's accomplishments remind us that one person can make a difference in the world.

Fulbright firsts

We now have two Fulbright Scholars in our midst. Misrak Bezu Ayele, a maternal and child health specialist from Alemaya University in Ethiopia, is a student in our Leadership in Public Health Nursing Program, and Mabel Magowe, a nurse midwife and reproductive health expert from the University of Botswana, is a doctoral student.

Previously, Fulbright Scholars have been students in the Rollins School of Public Health and have collaborated informally with our faculty and students or taken a class here. However, Misrak and Mabel are the first Fulbright Scholars ever to enroll in our degree programs. Thanks to those who paved the way for these scholars and the many more to come.

New developments

Two new staff members have joined the Development Office. Ms. Amanda Kudla is the assistant director for alumni relations. Formerly with the Trust for Public Land, Amanda fund raises for the Annual Fund, works closely with the Nurses Alumni Association Board and The Associates, and organizes special events for alumni.

Joining Amanda is Ms. Angela Yvonne, development associate. Angela manages all development operations and events related to alumni relations and donor cultivation. She previously was division coordinator for the School of Counseling Psychology with the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California.

Amanda and Yvonne collaborate with Ms. Kathy Egan, who has been promoted to assistant dean for development and alumni relations.

International partnerships

While I was in St. Kitts and the Grenadines this summer, the Lillian Carter Center for International Nursing was recognized for its efforts to improve health care worldwide. The Regional Nursing Body of the Caribbean Community also thanked us for our work in that region, while Johnson&Johnson, an LCCIN partner, launched its "Year of the Caribbean Nurse" campaign to help recruit and retain nurses in the region.
  • Our work in Kenya continues. Nursing partners there are transferring volumes of paper records to a computer database to centralize information on nursing education and retention. This data will help Kenyan nursing leaders shape education and workforce policy in the future.

    Dr. Martha Rogers (Family and Community Nursing) and Ms. Patricia Riley, a CDC nurse midwife and SON adjunct faculty member, have begun an operations research study in Kenya, funded by CARE and the CDC. The study will identify factors leading to wide variation in use of services to prevent maternal-to-child HIV transmission. Dr. Pamela McQuide and Ms. Chassea Golden, an MSN/MPH international health student, traveled to Kenya this summer to collaborate on the study with the Tropical Institute of Community Health.
  • Ms. Kathryn Kite (LCCIN) and Dr. Maggie Gilead (Adult and Elder Health) participated in the faculty study abroad trip to Germany, sponsored by the Halle Institute for Global Learning.
  • Seniors Emily Mason, Kelly Moynes, and Emile Crosa participated in our second academic exchange with Yonsei University in South Korea.

Graduate programs

We received two training grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration to support our graduate programs. Dr. Lynda Nauright is coordinator for the nursing administration major through the Leadership in Health Care Program. This new major will enable nurse managers and experienced clinicians to transform health care systems in ways that enhance health care quality and the nursing work environment. Specifically, it targets nurses from under-represented minorities, nurses from underserved rural and urban areas, and nurses unable to attend weekday classes. Classes meet primarily on Saturdays and are Internet-enhanced.

Dr. Laura Kimble is coordinator for the Emergency Nurse Practitioner Program, which will train family nurse practitioners who can also provide emergency, acute, and trauma care. The grant is the result of a collaboration with Dr. Art Kellermann, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine in the the School of Medicine. Drs. Sarah Freeman of the SON and Kate Heilpern of the SOM are co-investigators for the grant.

Service learning update

Our service learning efforts are expanding. As a result of a strategic planning and faculty development workshop last spring, we plan to incorporate at least one service learning experience per student per year into our curriculum. Faculty have suggested ways to add/incorporate service learning into existing courses. This is an exciting beginning for the new Office of Service Learning.

For the second year, 20 undergraduate and graduate students traveled to South Georgia in June for the Migrant Family Health Program, based in Moultrie. Our students and faculty collaborated with those from Georgia State, Kennesaw State, Clayton State, and Darton College to render health care to migrant families.

In nearby Bainbridge, four family nurse midwifery students and one nurse midwifery/MPH student took part in the South Georgia Migrant Health Project. This marks our third year in this effort, led by the Physician Assistant Program in the School of Medicine.

Summer Teaching Institute

The Emory Summer Nursing Teaching Institute is under way to help address the critical shortage of nursing faculty in Georgia.

Led by Dr. Helen O'Shea, this program targets post-master's nurses who have some or no academic teaching experience. Workshop classes were held in June, followed by online activities and assignments through early August. The 10 participants, which include four members of our own faculty, will complete their preceptorships this fall and receive their certificates in December.

Research roundup

Our faculty and students continue to shine regarding research. Recent awards follow. Still more are pending.
  • The National Institute of Nursing Research awarded Dr. Marcia McDonnell a five-year grant of approximately $2 million for her project "Motivating HIV+ Women: Risk Reduction and ART Adherence."
  • Dr. Kathy Parker received additional NINR funding after a competitive review of her study "The Effect of Hemodialysis on the Sleep-Wake Cycle." Her grant renewal totals approximately $2 million for five years.
  • Doctoral student Pam Buchalter has been granted a National Research Service Award fellowship from the National Institutes of Health to support her dissertation project, "Practice Variation Among School Health Personnel." She also is the recipient of the first Student Research Grant from the American School Health Association.

Marla E. Salmon, ScD, RN, FAAN

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