Nursing Professor Recognized by The University of Scranton

05/20/11

The University of Scranton named Patricia Harrington, RN, Ed.D., associate professor and chair of the Nursing Department, its CASE Professor of the Year in recognition of her outstanding performance as a member of the faculty. Professors awarded by individual schools are then eligible for further recognition by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) at the state and national levels.

“I am honored and humbled to be recognized by the University with the CASE award. For me, it is validation of my work and commitment to my students,” said Dr. Harrington. “As a nurse educator, I try to awaken in students an appreciation of the needs of others. How a person’s life story impacts their health is best learned through service experiences that allow students to ‘walk with’ others who are marginalized by illness, poverty and stigma. Engaging students through service-learning has allowed me to take them beyond the classroom to experience the realities of life. My hope is that I have influenced my students to make a difference in the world.”

Dr. Harrington joined the faculty at The University of Scranton in 1984 as a member of the Nursing Department and has taught courses across the nursing curriculum. In addition, she collaborates with a colleague in the Biology Department to offer an interdisciplinary course titled HIV/AIDS: Biological, Social, and Cultural Issues.

A strong advocate for vulnerable populations, Dr. Harrington collaborated with the student affairs staff to promote student involvement in social justice issues. She was a founding member of the AIDS Awareness Committee and the Education for Justice Task Force and Advisory Committee. Dr. Harrington also initiated programs about the HIV/AIDS epidemic for faculty, staff and administrators, including the Peer Educators for AIDS in a College Environment program (PEACE), an annual seminar that prepares students to inform campus peers about the AIDS epidemic, with a focus on prevention.

Early in her career, Dr. Harrington received several grants to implement technology and service-learning projects in nursing classes. For eight years she led faculty and students in partnership with the American Red Cross to offer HIV prevention outreach to vulnerable women living in public housing. Since 1994 she served as a member and former co-chair of the Northeast Regional HIV/AIDS Planning Coalition, providing support to people living with HIV and AIDS in a six-county region.

Dr. Harrington’s passion for service has informed her scholarship and influenced others to incorporate service-learning in nursing courses. Her book, “Integrating Community Service Into Nursing Education: A Guide to Service-Learning,” a result of her long-standing collaboration with nursing colleagues, received the American Journal of Nursing’s Book of the Year award in 1999 and led to national presentations on HIV prevention outreach.

Dr. Harrington continued to forge partnerships with students and community agencies dedicated to preventing HIV. From 2003 to 2007, she served as an HIV prevention consultant for a grant to train nurses in HIV care and counseling in Kenya.   The four-year AIDS in Africa Project resulted in a computer-based curriculum for a “train-the-trainer” program to prepare nurses in Kenya to respond to the epidemic. In keeping with her concern for the poor and marginalized, she co-led the Nursing Department’s first international nursing mission to Haiti in January 2008. Students and faculty joined with Hope for Haiti to provide clinics in orphanages and churches and worked with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.

Dr. Harrington’s leadership roles in nursing include five years as the American Nurses Association liaison to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) program on blood resources (NBREP); two years as vice president for the Pennsylvania Higher Education in Nursing Schools Association (PHENSA); 10 years as the treasurer for the Jesuit Conference of Nursing Programs (JCNP); and 17 years as The University of Scranton’s Nursing Department chair. She has been recognized with honorary membership in Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit Honor Society; for Outstanding Efforts in HIV Prevention from the American Red Cross; and with the Malcolm X Award for Clinical Nursing from Medgar Evers College.

Prior to joining The University of Scranton faculty, Dr. Harrington taught nursing at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, N.Y., and worked as a staff nurse at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn. She graduated from Medgar Evers College, City University of New York (CUNY), with a bachelor’s degree in Nursing, summa cum laude. She completed a Master of Science in Nursing at Hunter Bellevue – School of Nursing, CUNY, and master’s and doctoral degrees in Nursing Education from Teachers College – Columbia University in New York City.

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