A Mother’s Honor: A Visiting Global Scholar
June 6, 2012
The new Soad Hussein Hassan Visiting Global Scholar program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing honors the mother of Penn Nursing Dean Afaf I. Meleis. The visiting scholarship is funded through an endowment contribution from US Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein, GL’08, and Audrey J. Silverstein, C’82. Penn Nursing’s dean will name the Soad Hussein Hassan Visiting Global Scholar each year, creating a cadre of global scholars and experts who travel to Penn Nursing to take part in school-based programs, lectures, classes, and to collaborate with Penn Nursing’s faculty and students.
The gift is a tribute to both Dean Afaf I. Meleis and her mother, the late Dr. Soad Hussein Hassan. Dr. Hassan was a pioneer in global women’s health and nursing whose work in practice and academia broke boundaries in the Middle East and beyond for nurses and nursing education. A baccalaureate graduate of Syracuse University, she was the first nurse to earn a master’s degree in public health in her native Egypt and the first nurse to earn a doctorate at an Egyptian university.
Dr. Hassan established Maadrasit El Hakmaat Training School for Nurses, the first school separate from hospital auspices in the Middle East. Following a distinguished career at the University of Alexandria and other institutions, she continued to establish nursing schools across the Middle East.
Dr. Meleis, who dedicated her book, Theoretical Nursing, to her mother, described her as “a maverick—for exemplifying humanism and commitment, for encouraging feminism and autonomy, for accepting challenge and diversity, for tolerating rebellion, for sponsoring inquisitiveness, and for being my mother.”
Story and photo courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania Almanac
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