CFDE Featured Faculty Member: Imelda Reyes

Though Imelda Reyes has only been at Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing since August 2012, she has already amassed an impressive resume. The assistant clinical professor of nursing is seen as a resource on the scholarship of teaching and learning within the school of nursing, and she has published widely on childhood obesity, parental perception of their children’s weight and general health, and primary care providers’ evaluation and identification of overweight and obese children.

In the past five years, she has made use of several opportunities and resources through the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence, including classroom mini-grants, a Fund for Innovative Teaching (FIT) grant, and a Scholarly Writing and Publishing (SWAP) grant, presentations on pedagogy and teaching, and teaching consultations. Reyes says these experiences through the CFDE have been “really great in rounding out my overall experience” at Emory.

Reyes has used funding from the CFDE to deepen her students’ education in pediatric healthcare. She used a classroom mini-grant to provide her students with a pediatric bag, consisting of items like a pediatric blood pressure cuff and an infant scale. She received a FIT grant to bring children from the community in to participate in her students’ clinical practice. “This was really great for the students, because it allows us to see them in clinical practice,” she says. “We were able to get them to practice their reporting to us, and then we were able to give real-time feedback before they hit an actual clinical setting.”

She also used a SWAP grant from the CFDE to hire a writing coach to help her publish three articles in one year. Her efforts resulted in an article in the Journal of Nursing Education and two articles in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. 

Reyes also points to the teaching consultations as being most useful to her development in the classroom: “I’ve had peers here at the Woodruff School give me feedback on my teaching, but it’s really helpful to have someone from the CFDE come and give an outside perspective. They are able to both evaluate what’s being done, and to sit with the students, gather their thoughts, and then meld it all together. They’re able to give a full narrative, combining what they saw, what the student said, and what is working well in the classroom. I think that as a new faculty member, it was really helpful in guiding me, and I was able to use that feedback in conjunction with my student evaluations.” She notes she was able to use CFDE feedback, along with peer and student evaluations, in her packet for promotion this year.

Reyes also makes it a point to go to as many presentations on teaching and pedagogical innovation as possible. She says, “I’ve never thought of going to a presentation and listening to a chemistry professor, but I went to one such presentation and learned all about an interactive teaching technology called VoiceThread to present one concept to several different audiences. I was able to bring that back and inculcate it into my pediatric pharmacology course, and ask the students to explain a drug to a child, to a parent, and to a colleague.” Reyes is working on a paper on VoiceThread in the classroom now, based on her experience using it and her introduction to it at that CFDE-sponsored presentation.

She adds that because the nursing school is beginning to offer online classes, and because she has participated in the Emory Foundations of Online Teaching program, she “feels like I’m better prepared for the movement that we are heading in.”

Reyes notes that, though she is seen as an expert in several areas within the school of nursing “this is because I take advantage of all the things the CFDE offers. There are all kinds of people across the university doing really neat things, and because I want to be seen as a resource within the school, I think it’s important to continue to take advantage of all possible resources.” 

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