Last week, 36 students became the first class of the new RN to BSN program at the University of Houston-Victoria. They won’t be the only firsts, though. One of their instructors is Dr. Shyang-Yun Pamela K. Shiao, who holds the first endowed professorship in UHV’s history.
Because the current shortage in nurses is paralleled by a shortage in nursing instructors, UHV faced fierce competition in recruiting faculty for its new degree program. A generous gift from the M.G. and Lillie A. Johnson Foundation in 2005 established the endowed position, making it possible to attract a faculty member with Shiao’s outstanding credentials.
Shiao’s career in nursing spans two continents and more than two decades. She graduated from National Taiwan University with a bachelor’s degree in 1982, then traveled to the United States five years later to pursue graduate studies. She earned a doctorate from Case Western Reserve University in 1994. Prior to accepting the position at UHV, Shiao was the director of nursing research at CHRISTUS St. Joseph Hospital in Houston.
Dr. Jeanette Hartshorn, director of the UHV nursing program, is very excited about adding Shiao to the faculty roster. “She’s an excellent teacher and a gifted researcher,” said Hartshorn. “The knowledge and experience she brings to the position are a great asset to the program.”
With neonatal critical care and psychological monitoring as her major areas of inquiry, Shiao has been an active researcher and nursing professor. She is widely published in medical journals, authoring more than 17 articles in the last six years alone. Shiao has also earned several awards including a fellowship from the American Academy of Nursing. Currently, she is the principal investigator in a chemotherapy-related research project based at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
“Having a faculty member of Dr. Shiao’s status is a tremendous benefit to our students; her presence will enhance the value of the degrees they earn,” said UHV President Tim Hudson. “We’re grateful that the Johnson Foundation shares our commitment to improving opportunities for nursing education in this region.”
Endowed professorships are a secure source of funding used to supplement faculty salaries and may also support course development, research activities and equipment. An endowed position is one of the highest honors a university can bestow on a faculty member and as such attract the best professors in a field, even from the public sector.
The M.G. and Lillie A. Johnson Foundation was established by Marshall and Lillie Johnson in 1958. Since Mr. and Mrs. Johnson passed away in 1971 and 1987, respectively, the foundation has been administered by a board of trustees. The Johnson Foundation makes grants to qualifying charities affiliated with the arts and humanities, civic and public affairs, education, health and social services. Primary emphasis is placed on the state of Texas and priority is given to organizations in the Coastal Bend region. Since its inception, the foundation has made donations totaling more than $41 million.
For more information on the nursing program at UHV contact Tammy Neeley at (361) 570-4297.