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E&H Faculty Spotlights

Faculty spotlighted: Prof. Patrice Foster, Dr. Teressa Wexler, Dr. Eric Coley, Dr. Scott Boltwood, Dr. Brett Frye, Dr. Rose Pignataro, Dr. Sarah Fisher, Dr. Jessica Spafford and Dr. Laurie Anne Ferguson.

Posted December 01, 2022

Prof. Patrice Foster directed a Barter Theatre production this fall, underscoring the partnership between the College and the professional theatre while recalling Foster’s previous experience on the Barter stage. The production was The Royale, a play by Marco Ramirez.

Dr. Teressa Wexler, faculty member with the School of Nursing, earned The Certified Nurse Educator certification offered by the National League for Nursing. This certification allows for nursing faculty to demonstrate their excellence, expertise and experience in preparing individuals for careers in the nursing profession. Nurse educators must meet the criteria to take this certification which upon passing the exam earns the distinction of the credential of Certified Nurse Educator (CNE).

Dr. Eric Coley recently presented on Academic Leadership Tools in Higher Education at the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Leadership Conference in Milwaukee, Wis.

Dr. Scott Boltwood has recently published the lead essay in 50 Key Irish Plays (Routledge) and has written the foreword to the reissue of a 1938 Irish novel, The Mill in the North, by Patricia O’Connor, whose career is the focus of one of his bigger, ongoing projects.

Dr. Brett Frye is a recent co-author of the following manuscript: Mediterranean Diet Reduces Social Isolation and Anxiety in Adult Female Nonhuman Primates. Frye also presented on the Social, Physical, and Cognitive Aging in Captive Female Vervets at a recent conference.

Dr. Rose Pignataro published a book chapter in Substance Use and Addiction in the Garner, G. and Tatta, J., eds. Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine in Physical Therapy. Orthopedic Physical Therapy Products; 2022. Pignataro also presented on Mental Health Physical Therapy: Opportunities for Innovation and Collaboration at the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Leadership Conference in Milwaukee, Wis.

Dr. Sarah Fisher recently presented on Lost and Found:Pandemic Pedagogy and the International Studies Classroom at a conference.

Dr. Jessica Spafford was invited to be a solo guest artist performer with Project88 in Chicago, Ill., this past May. She performed a recital of Portuguese songs by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Waldemar Henrique, Jayme Ovalle, and Claudio Santoro as a part of a 200 years of Brazil celebration. Dr. Spafford also was invited to perform as the soprano soloist at the premier synagogue in West Palm Beach, Fla., for the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur this past month, with services being sung in Hebrew. She also was invited to be a recitalist and masterclass clinician at Southeastern University outside of Orlando, where she performed a solo recital for students, fellow peers, and the community, as well as leading masterclass with vocalists in training.

Dr. Laurie Anne Ferguson, the founding dean of the new School of Nursing at Emory & Henry College, recently co-authored and published a book, Rural Health Nursing: Barriers and Benefits. Authored alongside Dr. Kenneth Lowrance, retired professor of professional practice within the Harris College of Nursing and Health Science at Texas Christian University, Rural Health Nursing: Barriers and Benefits covers a variety of topics across 16 chapters in which nursing educators can use the text as a full semester resource to teach from at the pace of one chapter per week.

Ferguson has been a registered nurse for 42 years and a licensed nurse practitioner for 38 of those years. In addition to her time in clinical nursing settings, Ferguson has spent 29 years as a nursing educator. Ferguson’s practical and research focus has been on health literacy and the impact that health literacy has on communities.

“Rural care skills can translate into underserved and urban care,” she said. Both rural and underserved urban areas suffer from being Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA).

Ferguson’s curriculum emphasis also addresses many of the health literacy and healthcare staff fears of working around potentially unreachable medical databases and digital resources because of poor regional digital infrastructure. With the College’s new School of Nursing headed up by Founding Dean Ferguson, Emory & Henry College will equip nursing graduates to handle the regional shortages both from the wave of nurses who are projected to be retiring by 2030 and from working in an HPSA and contending with the challenges that the digital divide provides.

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