Four Women Full Professors Who Are Moving On

At this time of year, many members of the academic world enter retirement. Here are some notable women scholars who have decided to move on to other endeavors.

Mary P. Watkins, professor of nursing at Delaware State University in Dover, is retiring. She has been granted emerita status by the university’s board of trustees. Professor Watkins came to Delaware State in 1993 after teaching at Coppin State University in Baltimore.

Professor Watkins will not concentrate on completing a textbook in pathophysiology in advanced practice nursing.

Mary Thornberry, professor of political science at Davidson College in North Carolina, is retiring after 38 years in academia, including 31 years in the political science department at Davidson.

Dr. Thornberry is a graduate of Duke University and earned a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. She taught at the University of Arizona before coming to Davidson in 1980. She plans to do volunteer work at a local hospital and to continue singing in her chruch choir. She will also continue to work as a certified public auditor for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Helen Cafferty was named the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of German and Humanities Emerita at Bowdoin College in Maine. She was the first woman in the history of the college to rise through all levels of teaching from instructor to full professor. She came to Bowdoin in 1972.

Professor Cafferty is a graduate of Bowling Green State University. She earned a master’s degree at Syracuse University and a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan.

Also retiring from teaching at Bowdoin is June A. Vail who will become Professor of Dance Emerita. Professor Vail established the dance program at Bowdoin when she arrived on campus 40 years ago. She served as chair of the department of theater and dance from 1994 to 2002.

Professor Vail is a graduate of Connecticut College. She earned a master’s degree in dance and culture at Wesleyan University. She also was a dance critic for the Maine Times and the Portland Phoenix.


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