Nearly 100 Villanova Nursing PhD graduates have been able to launch their scientific careers, thanks, in part, to Mary Ann Heverly, PhD. Dr. Heverly, who retires in May from her role as an adjunct associate professor in the program, has generously shared her expertise while teaching Statistics I and II since the inaugural class of 12 doctoral students arrived on campus on June 1, 2004.
“Mary Ann has unique skills in translating knowledge about statistics and statistical analyses to students to achieve learning outcomes. She embodies Villanova's and the FCN's belief in teaching students with respect and care,” notes PhD Director Mary Ann Cantrell, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN, “She has shown an incredible dedication to our PhD students.”
Continuing to teach virtually in the hybrid program across the years, Dr. Heverly is now living full-time in Florida. However, for as long as she lived in within commuting distance of Philadelphia, she participated in PhD Summer Intensive activities, enabling students to get to know her better.
Dr. Heverly’s reputation preceded her. She was recruited as adjunct faculty in 2004, complementing her position as the director of institutional research at Delaware County Community College. Several Nursing faculty had previous experience working with her – as a doctoral dissertation statistical consultant or a consultant on a grant.
“Mary Ann was both highly skilled and very understandable. Students in her statistics courses consistently noted her ability to demystify statistics, and her willingness to spend as much extra time with them as it took for them to understand the concepts,” explains Professor and inaugural PhD Director Nancy Sharts-Hopko, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN. She adds, that when she and Dr. Cantrell, along with Suzanne Smeltzer, EdD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, the Richard and Marianne Kreider Endowed Professor in Nursing for Vulnerable Populations, were awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Educational Innovations in Nursing grant in 2012, Dr. Heverly participated actively as a member of the team for two years, contributing to the generation of nine publications.
“Teaching in the College of Nursing’s online PhD program has enriched my life for the past 17 years. The administration, faculty and staff always welcomed and supported me,” says Dr. Heverly, and true to form, the longtime educator adds, “The doctoral students, without exception, are talented, enthusiastic, hard-working individuals, and I have enjoyed following their progress as they develop into successful teacher-scholars.”