CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., June 10, 2015 ˗ An exhibit exploring more than 50 years of the history of Southeast Missouri State University’s nursing program was recently unveiled and remains on display on the third floor of the Rosemary Berkel Crisp Hall of Nursing.
Katelyn Brotherton of Leopold, Missouri, graduated from Southeast in May with a degree in historic preservation and assembled the exhibit while fulfilling the requirements for graduating with academic distinction in the Department of History and completing the Jane Stephens Honors Program.
“I was interested in creating a museum exhibit for my project, and my advisor contacted me with the opportunity to work with the nursing department on campus,” Brotherton said. “The nursing department had wanted someone to create an exhibit for them for a while. It was the perfect fit.”
Brotherton worked with Dr. Steven Hoffman, professor of history and historic preservation program coordinator; Dr. Lily Santoro, assistant professor of history; and Dr. Gloria Green, chair of the Department of Nursing, to create the exhibit, which features a timeline of the history of the department; a biography of the department’s founder, Dr. Helen Kinney; information on how the department serves the region’s need for nurses; photos, including the first graduating class; artifacts; the graduation regalia of Kinney; and a silver tea set Kinney used when hosting teas for nursing students.
“Dr. Kinney spent her entire professional life devoted to nursing and nursing education,” Brotherton said. “She was able to set up Southeast’s nursing program as a pilot program for other schools in the state.”
A foundation account designated for the creation of an exhibit on the nursing program’s history was used to fund the project.
“She was able to use the project for her own degree completion, and we were able to have a completed history display — a win-win for all of us,” Green said. “We are very pleased with the outcome.”
“My project consisted of sorting through the historical information concerning the nursing program at Southeast provided by the department as well as doing other research to provide background and context for the history of the department,” Brotherton said. “The nursing department was great to work with because they provided support for me during the project but also allowed me to make the decision concerning the exhibit so that I would have control over the finished project.”
Brotherton was able to collaborate with Cliff Ham, husband of nursing Professor Dr. Kathy Ham, to create the display cases. Brotherton and Ham designed the cases, and Ham donated time and wood to make them.
Green says the department will periodically switch out the exhibit’s historical items. The exhibit is open to students, faculty, staff and the general public.
“Experiential learning is an important component of the historic preservation program and having students undertake historic preservation projects to earn academic distinction in the Department of History enables them to take their learning to a higher level,” Hoffman said. “These types of experiences are what allow our graduates to distinguish themselves when looking for jobs or acceptance to graduate school, and enables them to be successful in their future careers.”