Roberta Clark    2005 UNB Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Prof. Roberta Clark joined the Nursing Program at UNB Saint John in 1992; she was the fourth member to join the Nursing Program.  Prof. Clark’s students view her as an effective instructor and her classes as a positive learning experience.  Her recent scholarly activities have related to nursing education and nursing as a profession.  However it is principally for her service to the Nursing Department, the University and to her profession that Prof. Clark is recognized here.

Prof. Clark has been actively involved in promoting the need for nursing education at the provincial level and has been invited to address national groups on this issue.  Prof. Clark’s knowledge of nursing education and of the nursing profession have resulted in her being invited to present at both local and national conferences in the last two years.  She has been invited to take part in a number of community and provincial initiatives on health and wellness, and on nursing education.  She is currently a member of the provincial RN Education Stakeholders Group.  In addition, she has been active in liaison groups to develop research initiatives between the University and nurses working within the Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation.

We particularly recognize Prof. Clark for her outstanding contribution as Chair of the Nursing Department, a position she accepted in 2000.  She has cultivated an environment in which teaching and service can flourish, and  in which the research culture of the Department has continued to grow. For example, while the Department continues to evolve its curriculum, it has been able to maintain the commitment to the “common curriculum” between UNB Nursing sites while addressing issues specific to the Saint John Campus.  Prof. Clark’s understanding of nursing education issues and personal commitment to the curriculum development process, has played a key role in the intercampus conversation as well as the addressing of Saint John specific iteProf.  Despite the difficulties of recruiting qualified individuals to tenure track and instructor positions that nursing departments have faced in recent years, the Department has recruited a number of new faculty and instructors who have assisted in developing the Department’s teaching and research profile.  Indicators of the positive effects on teaching and research that Prof. Clark’s leadership has fostered are that the Departmental average percentage of positive responses in the Student Opinion of Teachers Survey have been consistently higher than the Faculty average, and that faculty have demonstrated a commitment to presenting their research in peer reviewed publications and conferences and have begun to receive recognition in the form of external funding for their research.  In addition several members of the Department have recently completed or are close to completing their PhD studies.  While these achievements are in many cases achievements by individuals, Prof. Clark’s outstanding service has been in creating a Departmental environment in which these achievements can and do occur.

Prof. Clark’s personal commitment extends to the support of students as well.  As Chair, she carefully balances quality of the program with concern for the individual student.  She has also been very supportive of students taking part in activities that enable them to connect with their profession; these include participation in the UNB Monique Begin Competition as well as students attending regional and national conferences for student nurses.

Although the nomination of Prof. Clark for this award was primarily based on her exceptional service to the University as Chair of the Department of Nursing, this is only a part of her service contribution to the University.  She has, for example, been involved in many substantial committees, including her current appointments to the Senate and to the Board of Governors.

We congratulate Roberta Clark on this outstanding record of service.

Presented by

Keith De’Bell, Professor of Mathematics & Statistics, and

Linda Nugent, Professor of Nursing

April 27, 2005