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Mayumi Willgerodt on Being a Macy Faculty Scholar

New York, NY

Mayumi Willgerodt, PhD, MPH, RN, of the University of Washington School of Nursing is part of Macy’s 2013 Scholar Class. As a Macy Faculty Scholar, Willgerodt developed an interprofessional education (IPE) curriculum for pediatric dental residents, advanced practice nursing students and social work students to care for underserved children. We sat down with Dr. Willgerodt to hear about her time as a Macy Faculty Scholar.

What has being a Macy Faculty Scholar meant to you?
Being a Macy Faculty Scholar has given me the time and space to grow as an educator. I was able to develop my project and build my skills, something I wouldn’t have had time to do otherwise. It also provided me with a cohort of colleagues that I continue to collaborate with. I am extremely grateful for not only having such a smart and caring group of colleagues in the program, but also for my own cohort. We really clicked, and I consider them to be like my sisters.

How did being a Macy Faculty Scholar impact your career?
It’s been a real game changer for my career. It has helped me develop leadership skills, further develop my expertise, and facilitated my ability to make more of an impact in education. I am now taking on more leadership roles in my own institution and able to share the lessons we learned with others.

My program mentor, Dr. Brenda Zierler, has also played a pivotal role. She has exposed me to things I would have never been exposed to, and provided me with opportunities that I would not have been able to get before. She has brought me along and allowed me to watch and learn from her about IPE, leadership, organizational change and negotiation. The mentoring that I have (and continue to) receive from her, from Dr. Afaf Meleis and everyone at Macy is invaluable. It’s been extremely rewarding!

What do you know now as an educator that you didn’t before?
That any kind of change takes much longer than what you had originally planned for. I now know that you can’t speed up the process, because much of what we do is about developing relationships with people. Once you have some trusted relationships, which takes time, you’ll start to see the needle move.

What’s next for your project?

My project created interprofessional experiences for pediatric dental residents, advanced practice nursing students and social work students to care for underserved children. Next I’d like to see the program expand across the University of Washington campus and have it be a model for other issue areas and specialties beyond oral health. I’d also like to see other schools use the model.

What advice do you have for future Macy Faculty Scholars?
Take the time to build relationships. Be sure to lean on and utilize your cohort and help each other through the process. And always remember that you can only move as fast as all the other players want to move. Be patient and don’t get discouraged.

Learn more about Dr. Willgerodt’s work at the University of Washington.

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