In January, faculty, staff, students and
clinical partners from the College of Nursing gathered for a full day retreat
called “Liberating Structures.” Consultant Keith McCandless led the group
through several exercises to help build creativity and vision for the college.
One exercise, called Open Space, invited participants to identify something
they were passionate about and begin to imagine how that would align with the
More than 40 ideas were brought forward and
discussed. Group leaders were then invited to submit proposals and compete for
funding to bring their ideas to fruition. Fifteen faculty and staff members
took their ideas to the next level. Included in the list is a research
collaborative with hospitals and other providers to analyze their data and
translate the results back into evidence-based practice. “This will be a forum
where health care deliverers can partner with college faculty on research
projects in areas of mutual interest and importance,” says Karen Sousa,
associate dean for research and scholarship. “The college can also offer a menu
of technical capabilities to health care deliverers who have great research
ideas but lack experience in design and conduct.”
Another idea being considered is a smartphone
app that would help students find deadlines, the academic calendar, forms, graduation
and other useful information. “With so many students using smart phones, it is
my hope to put helpful program information literally in the hands of the
student,” says Judy Campbell, PhD, coordinator of graduate programs.
“This was a real grassroots effort to get
faculty and staff to identify what they’re passionate about and go for it,”
says Dean Sarah Thompson. “There are a lot of great ideas on the table.”
involved academic and community partnerships, faculty development, global
health, pathways to graduate programs, gerontological nursing, and others.
Final decisions will be made this spring.