THERESA KESSLER, Ph.D., RN, ACNS-B.C., CNE, professor of nursing, was inducted as the Kreft Endowed Chair for the Advancement of Nursing Science in December 2015. While the appointment is an important accomplishment in her teaching career, the real impact will be on her students. As she has since joining the faculty of the College of Nursing and Health Professions in 1994, Professor Kessler directs her efforts toward enhanced learning experiences for nursing students.
Whether teaching within the College’s bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral nursing programs, she emphasizes the importance of research and creates opportunities for students to be engaged in research projects.
Haley DeYoung ’16 and Megan Eggert ’16 served as undergraduate research assistants with Professor Kessler for two years and gained experience that will help them in their careers as health care professionals. Working on a research project that had been going on for four years, the nursing majors collected and analyzed data that assessed undergraduate students’ smoking behaviors within a smokefree campus.
The resources provided through the Kreft Chair allow an expansion of research opportunities and provide Valpo’s nursing students with real hands-on experience that is not found in most nursing programs. “The endowed chair gives me the freedom to move forward with my research ideas and to engage more students in the research process,” Professor Kessler says.