Vanderbilt University Confers Emerita Status on Six Women Faculty Members

At the recent commencement exercises of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, 20 faculty members were conferred with emeritus or emerita status. Six of the 20 faculty members who were honored are women.

Susan Berk-Seligson was named professor emerita of Spanish. She has been on the university’s faculty since 2004. Dr. Berk-Seligson also served as director of graduate studies for the Center for Latin American studies at the university. She is the co-author of The Bilingual Courtroom: Court Interpreters in the Judicial Process (University of Chicago Press, 2002). Professor Berk-Seligson holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Arizona.

bessCarolyn J. Bess was appointed associate professor of nursing emerita. She has been on the faculty at the Vanderbilt School of Nursing since 1971 and has served as the assistant director of the Joint Center of Nursing Research. Bess holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from the Vanderbilt School of Nursing.

5.0.2Colleen Conway-Welch is dean of nursing emerita and the Nancy and Hilliard Travis Professor of Nursing Emerita. Upon her retirement as dean in 2013, she was the second-longest serving dean of a nursing school in the United States. She was appointed dean in 1985. Professor Conway-Welch is a graduate of Georgetown University. She holds a master’s degree from the Catholic University of America and a Ph.D. in nursing from New York University.

etherington_webCarol Etherington was named associate professor of nursing emerita. She began her tenure at Vanderbilt as an adjunct but joined the full-time faculty in 1995. She has served as president of the board of directors of Doctors Without Borders and is a past winner of the Florence Nightingale Medal from the Red Cross. She holds a master’s degree in nursing from Vanderbilt.

park_janeJane H. Park joined the faculty in the department of physiology at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine in 1954. Thus, she has been an active member of the faculty for 60 years. Now she has been named professor of molecular physiology and biophysics emerita. Professor Park’s research has been focused on muscular dystrophy and other muscle diseases. Dr. Park holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Washington University in St. Louis.

Charlotte Pierce-Baker was named professor of women’s and gender studies emerita and professor of English emerita. Before joining the faculty at Vanderbilt, she taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University. She is the author of Surviving the Silence:  Black Women’s Stories of Rape (W.W. Norton, 1998). Dr. Pierce-Baker is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C. She holds a master’s degree from Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in speech pathology and applied linguistics from Temple University in Philadelphia.



Filed Under: FacultyRetirements


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