News and Commentary Roberta Waite on Being a Macy Faculty Scholar

Roberta Waite, EdD, APRN, CNS-BC of Drexel University is part of Macy’s 2011 Scholar Class. We sat down with Dr. Waite to hear about her two years as a Macy Faculty Scholar.

What has being a Macy Faculty Scholar meant to you?
My experience as a Macy Faculty Scholar has been phenomenal. The award afforded me the opportunity to stretch myself and implement an innovative program that has become a vital addition to Drexel University, given our mission to enhance interprofessional learning and to develop leaders in the health professions. Most recently, a national organization reached out to me because they would like to replicate my program in their organization.

Tell us about your Macy Faculty Scholar project
The Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program is now an embedded structure within Drexel University and approved by academic affairs. The revised program encompasses three successive courses that have both class and experiential components. The program initially started with only undergraduate nurses and has since developed into an interprofessional program offered to all undergraduate students at the College of Nursing and Health Professions including nursing, health sciences, health services administration, behavioral health counseling, nutrition and radiology. Furthermore, I have developed an interprofessional group of faculty and staff who now teach in the program and support its success in varied capacities.

How did being a Macy Faculty Scholar help you take on greater leadership?
My career has blossomed! I have also been extended many speaking engagements to express the significant importance of leadership, specifically highlighting the educational program that I developed. The professional networking made available with my primary cohort of Scholars as well as with succeeding cohorts has been invaluable and will continue to grow with each successive year. Once you are a Macy Faculty Scholar you are forever part of the family.

What’s next for the project?
Next steps include on-going evaluation of alumni after they have successfully completed the program, developing alumni to become mentors for successive students, integrating basic leadership competencies into the curriculum, and effectively scaling the program so that a wider breadth of the student population can gain these skills and competencies.

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