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Nursing school welcomes top scholar
By David Pesci - March 7, 1997
Feminist theory, Internet teaching experience and an internationally respected academic journal are just some of the things Peggy Chinn is bringing to the University.
Chinn, a professor of nursing, is the newest addition to the School of Nursing's faculty. She came to the University in January from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center's School of Nursing. Chinn has a distinguished background, so luring her to UConn was quite a coup. While at Colorado she served as a professor and associate dean for academics.
She also has been a visiting professor at the University of Utah and Indiana University's School of Nursing, and is founding editor of Advances in Nursing Science, a prestigious academic journal published since 1978. UConn will now be the journal's home.
Chinn was drawn to UConn's School of Nursing for a variety of reasons, including its doctorate program.
"The program here is relatively new and I am interested in helping to develop a strong foundation that is active and innovative," she said. "I also like the fact that the School of Nursing has a good diversity of faculty members and that it is located on the main campus."
Chinn also is hoping to provide classes on the Internet. She had initiated this type of instruction before at Colorado and is eager to renew her efforts here.
"The Internet is an exciting tool," she said. "Say, for example, if I want to offer a course on feminism and nursing, which is one of my areas of interest. Such a course may not attract enough students on campus to justify having it. But I could certainly fill it up if I could draw from a worldwide base."
Excited about potential
Chinn also is excited about the potential of the School of Nursing's Ph.D. program. In the past, doctorate programs in nursing were primarily an entree to academia. Lately, however, more and more nursing Ph.D.s are at the center of important clinical research.
"Nurses are really the logical people to conduct this research," Chinn said. "It generally requires the coordination of a variety of different disciplines and tremendous amounts of data. Nurses at the bedside manage this every day. Extending these skills out to research is a natural addition to what we already bring to the health care system."
The dean of the school of nursing, Barbara Redman, is delighted to have Chinn join the faculty.
"Peggy is one of the absolute top tier of scholars, internationally, in nursing theory," Redman said. "We believe that this expertise should be shared with doctoral students in a variety of institutions, something Peggy has already done in the West."
Still, despite all the academic reasons for Chinn to come to UConn, some may wonder how she could leave Colorado behind.
"It was beautiful, as was Hawaii, where I grew up," she said. "But I love New England and the seasons and I'm looking forward to the time I'll be spending here."