Faculty Spotlight: Mel Lewis – MFT

Mel Lewis, MFT Faculty

Mel Lewis, MFT Faculty

Tell us about yourself and how you came to this position?

I was born in a small fishing village on the island nation of Trinidad & Tobago. The island is extremely culturally diverse; so much so, I would leave my home every morning from a Christian household, interact with Hindu neighbors to attend a Muslim school. These childhood experiences helped form a trustworthy compass that has been extremely beneficial, as I had to grapple with complex social issues and adversities. Consequently, I gained a deep respect and sense of value for life long learning and teaching. I completed my undergraduate education on the East Coast, served over two decades in the United States Air Force, followed by twelve years as a School Administrator in northern California. My aspirations of understanding and mitigating the effects of intergenerational transmission of trauma among refugees and immigrant groups led to a doctoral degree in clinical psychology (PsyD). In my current work as a psychologist at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, I see the existence of an enormous volume of underserved clients and a further need for strong mental health clinicians. As a result, I aspire to help in the development of my future colleagues. It is my pleasure and privilege to teach in the MFT program at USF. Continue Reading

Faculty Spotlight: Laureen Turner MSN, RN

Laureen Turner MSN, RN

Laureen Turner MSN, RN

Tell us about yourself and how you came to this position?

When I was five years old my grandmother asked me what I want-ed to be when I grew up. I told her either a teacher or a nurse. I started my career as a nurse and then 10 years ago had the good fortune to become an educator so now I am both. I’m sure grannie is smiling down on me. I am so blessed to be in a position that is meaningful, supports the Jesuit Mission, and that I love. I tell everyone that if you can do for work what you would do for fun, you are in a great place. That is where I am.

I have been in this position since June of 2015. I have been with USF for 3 ½ years teaching pediatrics, obstetrics, and evidence based practice. I hold my MSN in nursing education and am also studying for my EdD in education. Given my passion for teaching teachers, I was selected to work as a mentor for the new faculty in Sacramento. I have subsequently transitioned into the role of director in the. In June of 2015 I was appointed the director of the VANAP program in Sacramento.

What is the most exciting part of your job?

I love working both with students and faculty.

I love to see students grow and develop as nurses. My finest moments in this role are when I get emails from students that they have acquired their first new job.
With faculty, I love to see them develop over time and to see them try new techniques in class. I have a passion for interactive teaching techniques and love to share these with faculty.

What inspires you and why?

Complacent nursing. This is my soap box issue. I have no tolerance for nurses who go through the motions and do not provide the depth of care needed by the patient and their families. I am inspired to teach students who will not be complacent. This is my passion and the ability to be a part of it inspires me as an individual.

What advice would you like to give to students?

Study hard, do not get caught up in drama and gossip or any other meaningless activities that do not move you forward as a profession. Take care of yourself and spend time with friends and family when you can. Your support system is there for you.

Anything else you would like to share?

When I was a home care nurse years ago, I collected advice from many of my patients. I learned a great deal from them. My takeaways for that are the importance of learning from those who have walked in our shoes before. The “best” advice I remember is from a wonderful woman who I was taking care of. Her advice as well as I remember: “Honey the golden years are pyrite…. Fools Gold. Do not wait [for] anything. If you want to do something with your life do it now. Travel, see the world, live. Love your friends and family every day because tomorrow may never come.”

That is what I would like to leave you with – my life philosophy follows that. Live every day, live and laugh often.