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Q: How long did you work at Chatham University before retiring, and what excited you about working here? 

I worked at Chatham for 27 years. I was PT faculty for 10 years, then I became the Physical Therapy Program Director for 10, and later became the Inaugural Dean for the School of Health Sciences 7.5 years ago. What has excited me since the beginning was the ability to start something new. I was one of the inaugural faculty for PT, and together with the Physician Assistant faculty we developed problem-based learning curriculums. It was a lot of fun to learn this new pedagogy together as a team. We felt like we were doing something innovative and different. Coming from a healthcare background, it is important that we are teaching with methods that focus on the patient. The other piece that has been exciting for me is having the ability to influence young professionals with not only in their clinical skills but also the softs skills. That is something that at Chatham we are known for—graduating students not only with strong clinical skills, but also the soft skills that help them in the full understanding of their patients. 

Q: What important work is Chatham doing in the Health Sciences? 

I am very proud of our Interprofessional Education Program. We have a core group of dedicated faculty that work on programming designed specifically for first-year graduate students. The core curriculum allows students to learn from each other about their specific fields, which leads to a sound understanding of interprofessional practice and integrated care. Integrated care is very important since it is patient-focused. 

Secondly, the work that we are doing to focus on diversity, equity, and Inclusion is also incredibly important. We have put increasing efforts into recruiting a more diverse workforce. There has been a lot of focus on faculty development with topics like microaggression in the clinical setting, and addiction as it relates to stigma, global ethics  vulnerable populations, and the social determinants of health. 

Q: What is/was the most impactful thing(s) you have been a part of since you have been at Chatham?  

A defining moment in my career was the reorganization of Chatham and moving to an all-gender university. Even though I worked in the Health Sciences, and we were always all-gender, the move opened opportunities for more interprofessional collaboration. We put together task forces to work on things such as service learning and collaboration in teaching, research, and grants. 

Other highlights have been to see how we have matured as a school. It is wonderful to have scholarships and student awards to support various graduate programs. In addition, we have had multiple – multi-year grants that have benefited the entire School. 

Q: What are your favorite memories during your time at Chatham?

One of the things I love about working at Chatham University was the wonderful speakers over the years from the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics - the Hillman Lectures and Commencement addresses. One year, Fred Rodgers spoke at graduation. It was interesting to me because two larger schools in the area had professional athletes as commencement speakers, and we had Mr. Rodgers. I think it is reflective of how special Chatham really is. 

The second speaker that comes to mind was Bella Abzug, one of the first women in Congress and a leader in the women’s movement. She was not only inspiring but she was known for wearing interesting hats. The Chapel was full of students who honored her by also wearing crazy hats. It was empowering to see all of these seats filled with young people coming together to show support for this inspirational woman. 

Q: Why is it important to support graduate student awards/scholarships? 

I financially support our Health Science awards and scholarships, because we are supporting the next generation of healthcare professionals. The hope is that we will build the financial support to help students who might not be able to afford to pursue graduate education. The little things can make a big difference! It doesn’t take a large gift to make a big difference. It can be many people making a collaborative effort to make an impact. 

Q: What would you like to say to Chatham Alumni as you retire? 

I just want everyone to know that I am appreciative and grateful for the relationships I was able to make over the years with students at Chatham, many of whom I am still connected to —whether it is personally or via social media. It has been truly fulfilling to have had the opportunity to be a part of the educational experience for our students and alumni!