Susan A. Reeves, chair and assistant professor of the Nursing Program, joined Colby-Sawyer in 2004 as interim chair, returning in fall 2007 to assume her current position. She earned a B.S.N. at Colby-Sawyer and M.S. at the University of New Hampshire.
How did you learn about Colby-Sawyer College, and what led you to pursue a faculty position here?
I am a 1988 graduate of Colby-Sawyer College. I've been an adjunct professor in the past, teaching in both the philosophy and nursing departments. In 2004, I served for a year as the interim chair of the Nursing Department. Having followed the progress of the Nursing Program, and knowing the college was seeking to fill the chair role with a permanent person, I applied for the post and was hired in the spring of 2007.
What are your academic areas of expertise and interest?
Nursing practice, nursing administration and health care ethics.
Which class(es) are you teaching this semester?
In fall 2007, I taught Biomedical Ethics and I'm teaching a Nursing Leadership Capstone this spring.
What is your favorite class to teach?
The two listed are favorites. I also enjoy teaching Introduction to Professional Nursing and Nursing Research
What do you enjoy and find most challenging about teaching?
Teaching inspires me to stay current in my field. My previous jobs didn't allow much time to review emerging literature or spend time in reflective pursuits.
The challenge I find with teaching is to make thoughtful selections about what to include and what to exclude when it comes to course content. There is always so much more to talk about, so much more to learn, than can realistically be condensed into a course. I want to make sure that my students have an adequate understanding of course concepts, and that they know where to get more information.
I view teaching as a two-way street. I think I often learn as much from my students as they do from me. I strive to create a classroom atmosphere that is respectful, and one in which students have the ability to actively engage in the learning process. I also routinely encourage my students to let me know if there are improvements that can be made in the course or in my teaching approach.
What were you doing prior to joining the faculty here?
Just prior to making the move to Colby-Sawyer, I was an operating vice-president for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center with chief administrator responsibilities for the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and the Emergency Services Division. My writing has generally involved experiences in my work at the Medical Center.
What are your research interests and briefly describe your work in this area (or areas).
I am presently a doctoral student at University of Vermont in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program. My areas of research include organizational culture, organizational resilience and safety in the workplace.
Where are you originally from?
I was born in Lowell, Mass., and lived there for the first five years of my life. Our family then moved to Nashua, where I lived until I went to college in 1977 at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Hanover. I am the eldest of six children in my family .all girls.
What are your early impressions of life at Colby-Sawyer and in the New London area?
We like New London so much, we are moving here in April from Woodstock, Vt., where we have lived for the last 13 years.
Tell us about some of your other interests and what you like to do in your free time.
I enjoy working around my home in my free time. I also enjoy playing golf with my husband David.
I have two sons who keep me hopping, ages 25 (David) and 11 (Daniel). David works for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in Senator Patrick Leahy's office. Dan is a 5th grader.
Do you have a sense of what you'd like to accomplish in your first year at Colby-Sawyer?
I am interested in bringing a sense of stability to the Nursing Program, which has been without a permanent leader for the last several years. In addition, we have a lot of work to do to build the nursing program to accommodate a larger number of students who are now interested in pursuing the nursing major.