Mary E. Gibson

Mary received her undergraduate and her Master's degrees in Nursing from the University of Virginia. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania and a fellow in the Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing. She also held a two year fellowship in the International Center for Research of Women, Children and Families at the University of Pennsylvania. Now a fourth year student, Mary has studied the history of health care and nursing as a focus of her PhD work. Her dissertation topic is The Care and Treatment of Disabled Children in Virginia, 1910- 1935. Currently she is collecting historical data on this subject from archival sources in and outside of Virginia.

In her 30 year career as a nurse, most of Mary's employment and volunteer work has been in the service of women and children, both in the community and in the hospital setting. She is experienced in many aspects of perinatal nursing as a clinician, patient educator, teacher and mentor, and brings a strong community focus to her practice and her teaching. Mary has contributed to the literature on high risk maternal transport and on historical aspects of maternal and children's care. While a faculty member at the University of Virginia, she was Co-course Professor for the Nursing of the Childbearing Family, and did clinical instruction in Perinatal Nursing and in Community Health Nursing, where the clients were primarily young mothers and their babies.

Mary has been an active member and held leadership positions in the Association for Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), and is a member of the American Association for the History of Nursing, American Association for the History of Medicine and the American Public Health Association.

As a committed teacher of nursing, Mary hopes to instill a deep commitment in her students to lifelong learning. A careful blend of trust, challenge and mentoring define Mary's style of teaching. "It is not teaching that matters, it is learning. Students need to be challenged and sometimes pushed to pursue wisdom, growth in judgment and ability to act," she said. Following completion of her doctorate in Nursing, Mary will seek a tenure eligible faculty position in Virginia, and plans to continue to pursue historical research.