Retiring: Dr. Burgess

On December 31, Dr. Ann Burgess retired from the faculty of the School of Nursing. Dr. Burgess had been a member of the standing faculty since 1983, when she was appointed professor of nursing. As the first faculty member in the School of Nursing to hold an endowed chair, Dr. Burgess brought distinction to the van Ameringen Chair in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. She will soon begin the next phase of her academic career, having accepted a position as a faculty member at Boston College.

Dr. Burgess has long been recognized as one of the leaders in the field of victimology. Her pioneering research on women's responses to rape and other sexual assaults--landmarks that have not been surpassed in nursing--has brought her this distinction. Her continuing work on sexual assault over many, many years has resulted in an unparalleled program of research that has had a major impact on how health professionals and the public, including the justice system, view the victims of sexual assault. Through her academic interests, Dr. Burgess helped inform the student body about the concept of violence.

At the School of Nursing, she taught victimology, forensic science, and forensic mental health as part of a cluster of forensic nursing courses. These courses were extremely popular campus-wide and drew hundreds of students. Her influence on students is strong and her accessibility to them outside class hours has been important in their career development.

Similarly, she has played an important role as mentor for young faculty members both as advisor in their research and critic of their scholarly writing. "I am grateful that Ann will continue a teaching role in the School on a part-time basis, and that we will draw on her wisdom as an emeritus professor," said Dr. Neville E. Strumpf, Interim Dean of the School of Nursing.

In addition to her significance as a scholar of major stature in the field of nursing and psychiatric mental health, Dr. Burgess has played a unique role as a faculty colleague. Dr. Strumpf continued, "Her outstanding intellectual contributions, along with her University and professional activities, are a tribute to the School's mission and exemplify the best of a Penn faculty member. "We will miss Ann very much, but know that we will continue to have a good friend at Boston College." The School of Nursing plans to celebrate Dr. Burgess' contributions to Penn Nursing at an event to be scheduled later in the spring.

Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 18, January 16, 2001