Baltimore, Md. – Vanessa Fahie, PhD, RN, assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON), received the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) Outstanding Faculty/Staff Diversity Award at ceremonies held February 4 at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Vic Carter, anchor, WJZ-TV “Eyewitness News,” served as guest speaker for the annual event, which commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and recognizes UMB faculty and students who have played a leadership role or been an integral part of the diversity of the campus. The recipients serve as models of the ideals epitomized by the life and work of Dr. King.
During her 16 years at UMSON, Dr. Fahie devoted a significant amount time to developing 21 programs for individuals from educationally and environmentally disadvantaged backgrounds that are under-represented in the health care work force. She has garnered more than $3 million in funded projects targeting disadvantaged middle and high school students, as well as graduate nursing students in Baltimore City, Baltimore and Prince George’s counties, and the Eastern Shore.
Prior to Dr. Fahie’s work with the Maryland State Department of Education, less than 10 percent of the high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds were enrolled in college preparatory courses. Now 50 percent take such courses and 80 percent are applying to college.
Collaborating with Morgan State University, she was able to offer a residential weekend college readiness program to high school sophomores. Her commitment to the Adventures in Science Program, which allows city youths between 8 and 15 to become excited about science by exploring scientific topics, has seen her devote Saturdays for eight weeks every fall and spring for 16 years.
“Dr. Fahie not only brings glory to, but also challenges all of us to engage in efforts that contribute to making ethnic minorities equal participants in the provision and receipt of culturally competent quality health care,” said Sandra Picot, PhD, RN, CLNC, FAAN, FSGA, associate professor at UMSON, who nominated Dr. Fahie for the award.
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The University of Maryland School of Nursing, founded in 1889, is one of the oldest and largest nursing schools, and is ranked seventh nationally. Enrolling more than 1,700 students in its baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders who shape the profession of nursing and impact the health care environment.