Patricia Harrington, RN, Ed.D., professor and chair of the Nursing Department at The University of Scranton, has been named the 2012-2013 Alpha Sigma Nu Teacher of the Year.
The award, formally known as the Gannon Award, in honor of Fr. Edward Gannon, S.J., is the oldest teaching award at the University. Established in 1969 by the University’s chapter of Alpha Sigma Nu, the national honor society for students in Jesuit colleges and universities, the award recognizes outstanding teaching among faculty. Student members of Alpha Sigma Nu select the professor to be honored.
Dr. Harrington joined the faculty at The University of Scranton in 1984 and has taught courses across the nursing curriculum.
A strong advocate for vulnerable populations, Dr. Harrington collaborated with the student affairs staff to promote student involvement in social justice issues. She was a founding member of the AIDS Awareness Committee and the Education for Justice Task Force and Advisory Committee. For more than 10 years, she offered American Red Cross training for student peer educators who offered the HIV/AIDS in a College Environment program (PEACE).
Dr. Harrington believes that the way a person’s life story impacts their health is best learned through service experiences that allow students to “walk with” others who are marginalized by illness, poverty and stigma. Her goal is to inspire students to “make a difference in the world.”
In addition, she has led faculty and students in partnership with the American Red Cross to offer HIV prevention outreach to vulnerable women living in public housing. Since 1994 she has been a member and former co-chair of the Northeast Regional HIV/AIDS Planning Coalition, providing support to people living with HIV and AIDS in a six-county region.
From 2003 to 2007, Dr. Harrington served as an HIV prevention consultant for Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., to train nurses in HIV care and counseling in Kenya. The four-year AIDS in Africa Project resulted in a computer-based curriculum for a “train-the-trainer” program to prepare nurses in Kenya to respond to the epidemic.
In 2008, Dr. Harrington co-led the Nursing Department’s first international nursing mission to Haiti with Sharon Hudacek, Ed.D, professor of nursing. In January 2013, she co-taught a travel course in Uganda, Health Issues in Africa, with Catherine Lovecchio, Ph.D., assistant professor of nursing. Dr. Harrington also collaborates with Michael Sulzinski, Ph.D., professor of biology, to offer the interdisciplinary course, “HIV/AIDS: Biological, Social and Cultural Issues.”
She has published numerous articles in scholarly journals and has co-authored a book titled “Integrating Community Service Into Nursing Education: A Guide to Service-Learning,” which received the American Journal of Nursing’s Book of the Year award in 1999. Her leadership roles in nursing include local, state and national organizations.
Prior to joining The University of Scranton faculty, Dr. Harrington worked as a nurse in Brooklyn, N.Y. She earned a master’s degree in nursing from Hunter Bellevue – School of Nursing, CUNY, and master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing education from Teachers College of Columbia University, both located in New York, N.Y.
The Scranton chapter of Alpha Sigma Nu was founded in 1943 and is the oldest honor society at The University of Scranton. Juniors and seniors who have distinguished themselves in scholarship, loyalty and service are eligible for membership.