Over the weekend, three faculty were inducted as fellows in the American Academy of Nursing. The new SON fellows include Drs. Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, Carol Fowler Durham, EdD, RN, ANEF, and Suzanne Thoyre, PhD, RN.
Fellows in the academy (also known as FAANs) “are nursing leaders in education, management, practice, and research” who are dedicated to transforming America’s health care practices. All three SON inductees are being honored for their innovative contributions to the field. With the induction of their class, the Academy will consist of 2,200 fellows.
Dr. Alexander, one of three Clinical Professors in the School, is Director of Multicultural Affairs at the SON. She is also diversity champion for the Gillings School of Public Health and a diversity consultant for the chief nursing officer at UNC Healthcare. She is well-known at the state, national, and international level for her work on cultural diversity and culturally relevant healthcare issues. Her expertise has situated her at the intersections of diversity and the multiple realities of the lived experiences in academia for faculty, staff, and students. As a leader and expert in the domains of diversity and inclusion, she was recently highlighted in the April/May issue of Insight Into Diversity Magazine. She serves in leadership roles in multiple distinguished organizations, including the National League for Nursing, the National Student Nursing Association Foundation, and the American Organization of Nurse Executives.
Dr. Durham seamlessly integrates excellence in teaching with long experience in practice and scholarship to improve the ways faculties prepare the future nursing workforce. As a member of the RWJF’s Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) project, she developed simulation-based educational experiences that reflect cutting-edge pedagogy. Dr. Durham has made significant and sustained contributions in interprofessional education and is a leader in preparing faculty to integrate quality and safety into their curriculum and their teaching. Disseminating her work widely via publications, presentations, and online modules has extended its impact around the world. Dr. Durham’s expertise and innovations in quality and safety education have been widely recognized. She is a fellow in the National League for Nursing (NLN) Academy of Nursing Education. Dr. Durham received the 2010 Academic Achievement Award from Western Carolina University. She is President of the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation & Learning.
Dr. Thoyre, currently the Director of the SON’s PhD and post-doctoral programs, has conducted extensive research on feeding problems in preterm infants. Her approach combines physiological and behavioral measures to investigate how these problems arise as well as how health care professionals and parents can intervene to help the infant develop healthy feeding skills. Dr. Thoyre is currently working on an NIH-funded study to investigate whether a a small microphone placed over a premature infant’s larynx could sensitize the mother to the infant’s breathing and swallowing rhythms, and in turn, co-regulate infants’ sucking and breathing patterns. Premature infants often have trouble with disrupted breathing during feeding, so the intervention could help infants develop better feeding patterns.