Lifelong Learning: D’Youville Faculty Earn Doctoral Degrees
As D’Youville continues to be a supporter of lifelong learning for its students, its faculty members are practicing what they preach in the classroom. Over the past year, five members of the School of Health Professions have earned their doctoral degrees:
Kathleen Curtin EdD, assistant professor, Health Services Administration
Doctorate of Education, Educational Leadership
Elizabeth Quinlan-Bohn DHSc, clinical assistant professor, Physician Assistant program
Doctorate of Health Sciences
Heather Ferro ’95 OTD, clinical assistant professor, Occupational Therapy
Doctorate of Occupational Therapy
Lynn McIvor OTD, clinical assistant professor, Occupational Therapy
Doctorate of Occupational Therapy
Lacey Bromley PhD, assistant professor, Physical Therapy
Doctorate of Philosophy, Rehabilitation Sciences
Earning a doctorate as a faculty member allows instructors to learn new skills, develop research interests, and move into new career paths.
Curtin, who has been working in the healthcare field for more than 30 years, will be transitioning from a professional into more of an academic role. “My professional experience ranges from nursing, to nurse practitioner, to administration, and then technology consulting for measurement and electronic health records,” said Curtin.
She was able to find a blend of healthcare and education fields for her research on performance-based payment. “Being able to blend the two interest areas was a wonderful experience that should help me to continue to conduct meaningful research in both healthcare and higher education,” she added.
Being involved in or conducting research in their respective fields was also a reason the faculty cited for earning their degrees. “Getting this degree helps me towards my ultimate goal of doing further research in comprehensive care in neurologic diseases,” said Bromley. “I believe that students should be aware and appreciate that the body is not a simple organism and we should not have a narrow lens on when evaluating patients.”
“Having my doctoral degree comes with the responsibility of being involved in more scholarly writing and contributing to the evidence and research in my field,” said McIvor. “The Occupational Therapy doctoral program that I completed was so fulfilling as there are tools that I learned to further the research base, as well as guide students to becoming evidence-based practitioners.”
While each of the faculty members benefit from the education, so do their students. This faculty will be able to take what they learned and apply it in the classroom. Heather Ferro is already integrating principles and teaching strategies such as realistic learning objectives for her students for each class or lab topic.
“I’ve continued to create additional interprofessional experiences for my students with an emphasis on how to work more effectively on teams,” Ferro said. “Without a doubt, I am a more effective teacher and more confident in my skills within the classroom since completing my doctoral degree.”
“The combination of more advanced training in higher education and in research methods prepares me to guide students through undergraduate and graduate coursework and then to assist students with their projects and masters and doctoral level research,” added Curtin.
D’Youville played a part in helping each of them obtain their respective degrees, too. “My OT colleagues supported me daily with words of encouragement and advice, assisting both within and outside the classroom, with plenty of chocolate and coffee so that I could meet numerous deadlines as a full-time professor and a full-time student,” said Ferro.
“Without the guidance and encouragement of our department Chair, Dr. Lisa Rafalson and Dean of the School of Health Professions Dr. Maureen Finney, successful completion of the coursework and doctoral research while teaching full time would not have been possible,” said Curtin.
"Helping faculty to achieve their personal and professional goals has always been important to me as a leader of a department,” said Rafalson, chair and associate professor of the Health Science Administration department. “The success of the college depends upon the investment of our employees which ultimately benefits our students."
Ferro, who is an alumna of D’Youville herself, said that “Coming back to teach here with many of the same professors who taught me was truly like coming home. I feel very honored to have been mentored by this truly exceptional group of faculty members! It is my goal to continue their tradition of high-quality education, unwavering values, and to create a classroom environment that helps my students to feel they are also a part of the D'Youville family.”
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