What is your current job title and responsibilities?
Associate Dean for Graduate Affairs, and Graduate Department Chair, College of Nursing
What is your history at UCF and before UCF?
I began teaching nursing in 1975 at Manatee Junior College after working as a nurse and completing my Master’s degree. I began university teaching at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in 1985 while still in my doctoral program. Most of the years since then I have taught and practiced nursing. In 1996, I began my leadership roles in academia as a department chair at Boston College. Most recently, I was Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs at Florida Atlantic University.
I came to UCF in 2009 and became Associate Dean in 2010. I am a professor in the graduate department and teach graduate courses in addition to my leadership responsibilities.
What is your academic background?
My first degree was in chemistry from Vanderbilt University. Soon after I graduated I completed a second bachelor’s degree in nursing from Columbia University. While working as a nurse I completed my Master’s in nursing education from New York University, and finally after several years of teaching, completed my EdD in Human Development and Psychology from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard.
What is your favorite UCF memory?
My favorite UCF memory was watching our first class of Doctor of Nursing Practice students complete their program. They were a strong cohort that really celebrated their accomplishment and their learning. I was new to UCF but had taught them in their final course, and I realized what a great university and college I had joined.
If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be?
I would like to have more ways to engage with our current graduate students who mostly study online.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
Take your own development and scholarship seriously. It is OK and even necessary for you to invest in yourself. Track your progress (work your CV!) and don’t be afraid to celebrate your successes.
If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
An interdisciplinary qualitative research institute
If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF (who you do not normally eat lunch with), who would you choose and why?
Melody Bowdon. I am planning to return to full time teaching next academic year and I would like an opportunity to explore creative strategies that I could bring to my teaching that would be good for my students and the university.
Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
I want to thank so many people, but mostly the great staff who work hard every day so that our students and faculty can have success.
Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
Joseph Maxell, a qualitative researcher was a key professor in my doctoral program. He taught me to think qualitatively and to do qualitative research with rigor. “How could you be fooling yourself?” was a question he frequently asked. I was educated in both the principles and practice of qualitative research back when it was something of a new idea in fields outside anthropology.
What undergraduate or graduate class/program/experience inspired you the most and why?
My nursing bachelor’s degree inspired me the most. I am deeply committed to my discipline and to its practice. I learned from the best at a time when we knew we could make a difference for people.
What is your favorite restaurant or food?
I like Italian food, not so much the saucy American version but the version that uses fresh ingredients in creative ways.
What is your favorite movie, book or music?
My favorite music now is jazz that is simple and still melodic. Choosing favorite music is a bit like naming your favorite child. I also like rhythm and blues or funk and things like Vaughan Williams or Finzi.
What is your favorite vacation destination?
I like lots of places. Cape Cod, Nashville, Spain