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Associate Prof. Joy McConnell retires after 30 years in School of Nursing

Associate Prof. Joy McConnell, one of the most dedicated and dynamic Nursing faculty members in the Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences, retires at the end of this month.

She has held various professional positions throughout her career, after receiving an Associate Degree in Nursing in 1971 from Florida Junior College, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1974 and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1980 from the University of North Florida, and a Master of Science in Nursing in 1985 from the University of Florida, where she also received additional education for certification as an adult nurse practitioner in 1994. Her areas of research interest include innovative educational strategies, pathophysiology and management of obesity.

Dr. Carla Fry stated, “For me, Joy embodies all that is right with the Nursing profession. She is caring, kind, a consummate professional, meticulously detail-oriented, and a strong advocate for our students and faculty.

Joy remembers everything! It is such a comfort to know that if I have a question, I can pick up the phone or walk down the hall, and she will know the answer. She listens, offers honest advice, and she is certainly available to edit any document that might need some I’s dotted, or T’s crossed.”

Dr. Jeane Richards shared these thoughts, “Joy & I shared an office in the old Steven’s House (the first School of Nursing building at JU) and she was very helpful to me as a new faculty from the paperwork, students, and needing slippers to keep my feet warm in that drafty old wonderful house. Joy has been instrumental in a number of areas in the School of Nursing, including the RN-BSN program, undergraduate research, APA guidelines for students, and as editor for all of our accreditation self-studies. She is well respected in the medical community and coordinated the placement of students into Synthesis (their capstone practicum experience) for many years.”

Associate Dean Dr. Cheryl Bergman explained, “When I joined the faculty in 2001, I was paired with Joy to teach undergraduate pathophysiology. This course was extremely rigorous and very detailed but Joy mentored me into the course slowly and deliberately. She provided me the latitude to make the lectures my own and was open to my opinions and suggestions, thus instilling confidence in a junior faculty. I will always be grateful for this mentorship for as it shaped me into the academician I am today.

Joy insisted on being prepared, holding students to a high standard, encouraging participation and active learning, and most importantly, to role model professionalism in every way. She was one of the original SON faculty and taught the first graduating BSN class of 7. I hope she is proud of how far the school has come with offering undergraduate, masters, and doctoral nursing degrees. She was integral to this success and establishing the impeccable reputation associated with the “JU Nurse”. She will be greatly missed.”