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Faculty Spotlight | Mary Beverly Gallagher

15 May 2021

Mary Beverly Gallagher, Assistant Professor for Nursing and Allied Health Professions, brings 29 years of nursing experience to her students at Harford Community College. Prior to coming to Harford, she worked in the medical intensive care unit (MICU) at Christiana Care in Newark, DE for 14 years. While working in MICU, she trained as a critical care telenurse and eventually moved to the eCare unit. She spent more than six years as a critical care telenurse, during which she began teaching clinical for Harford as an adjunct faculty. She also has two years’ experience as a computer nurse.

Gallagher teaches Fundamentals of Nursing, a course comprising three components: theory, lab and clinical. She also teaches Contemporary Issues in Nursing and Medical-Surgical Nursing III in which she serves as a practicum liaison. She has worked with an amazing group of nursing faculty to transition hands-on, in-person experiences and learning pre-COVID into a virtual environment with robust simulations and assignments that have allowed students to continue receiving the nursing education they need to be successful. Contemporary Issues in Nursing was a hybrid class with online discussion assignments and in-person presentations. Feedback from students indicated that they would prefer the class to be entirely online. She converted the class to be solely online and eventually replaced the textbook with Open Educational Resources (OER).

Mary Beverly said what she enjoys most about teaching is interacting with students who are eager to learn. “I really enjoy teaching Fundamentals because of the three components. I get to teach concepts in theory. These concepts translate to hands-on skills that students practice under my guidance in the lab. Students then take these skills and concepts to care for clients in the community.” She added, “I love that moment when I see the student grasp the concept and then are able to take that concept and link it to a client situation.”

She uses various strategies to help her students succeed. “I always try to use my experience as a nurse to help students make real world connections to theory content. I have a story about a situation where a family member attempted to give a young client an incorrect medication. This story brings the strategies of medication administration safety to life for the students,” Gallagher said.

“I make myself accessible, available and, most importantly, approachable. Whenever a student comes to meet with me, whether it be just a simple question or because they are struggling, I’m under the assumption that the student wants to succeed and become the best nurse that he or she can. I tell students this and when I frame feedback in this manner, the student knows that we both have the same goal – the student’s success.”

She hopes to give her students the foundation on which they can build their ever-growing knowledge of nursing. “I hope that they take with them a joy and passion for the profession. And I hope that they will have the desire to never stop learning.”

“Something that makes me happy and proud is when I talk to friends or family members who have been hospitalized and can tell me what great, compassionate care they received from our graduates. My sister was recently in the hospital with COVID and had to call to tell me that she’d had two of my former students as her nurses and that they were wonderful!”

In addition to teaching, Gallagher supports her students in other ways. As the chair of the Student Affairs Committee within the nursing department, she works with other committee members to address important areas within the nursing program, including nursing scholarship selection and nursing pinning ceremonies. She helped to establish a chapter of the national nursing honor society of Alpha Delta Nu at Harford Community College and serves as a faculty advisor. The creation of the chapter at Harford offers the opportunity for nursing students to take part in leadership activities, including peer tutoring and community outreach.

Mary Beverly serves on multiple Harford committees, including the Safe Zone Committee, demonstrating her support of inclusion for students at the College. In addition, she serves on the Academic Appeals Committee and the Steering Committee for Middle States Reaccreditation, serving as co-chair for Standard 3. She also served on the Strategic Planning Committee.

Gallagher has mentored multiple faculty who were not only new to the College and division but new to nursing education. This endeavor requires developing a strong relationship with new faculty, meeting regularly and being accessible for troubleshooting instructional and student issues. She is very approachable and welcoming to new faculty, helping them grow in their educational role while providing support and guidance.

Gallagher earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Delaware and a Master of Science in Nursing Education from Towson University. She has also achieved certification as a Nurse Educator (CNE). She is a member of National League for Nursing (NLN) and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

“Volunteering is a big part of my life. I was in Gamma Sigma Sigma, a service sorority, in college. For the past 10+ years I’ve worked with my church’s youth and teen choirs and have served in various roles (backstage monitor, administrator) for the Stewartstown Summer Theatre.” Helping the hungry is another passion of hers. “I serve weekly at my church’s food pantry and recently participated in a Rise Against Hunger event, packaging food that will be distributed internationally.” She is currently reading “When Helping Hurts” to better understand how to really help those in need.

Her colleagues may be surprised to learn that when she was in high school, Mary Beverly was very involved in choral arts. She represented her high school at the Maryland All-State Chorus and had lead roles in the Musical Revue each year.

Mary Beverly, your exceptional dedication and comprehensive contributions to the students and faculty of Harford Community College are admirable. We are proud to recognize you as this month’s Faculty Spotlight!

Mary Beverly Gallagher, Assistant Professor for Nursing and Allied Health Professions