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Dr. Mamie Montague
April 2010

“Work is how I express myself,” says Dr. Mamie Montague, Professor of Nursing and winner of the Faculty Senate’s 2010 Exemplary Teaching Award.  For the past 39 years, Dr. Montague has expressed her curiosity, creativity, and compassion through her teaching.  “Teaching,” she explains, “is a noble profession that is personally rewarding when the teacher likes and grows in the role of teacher, when she likes and respects her learners regardless of their circumstances, and when she can create an atmosphere which facilitates... student interaction and enables the learner, including the teacher, to become more knowledgeable individuals.”

Dr. Montague became a master teacher partly because of her insatiable hunger for learning.  After earning a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science in Nursing, she became a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator, acquired a Ph.D. in Education Policy and Planning, and obtained a graduate certificate in Gerontology.  Her accomplishments led to her induction into the American Academy of Nurses.  A life-long learner, she has continued to expand her horizons by taking advantage of professional development activities offered by CETLA, the National League for Nursing, and the National Audio-Visual Center, among others.  Moreover, she has put to use what she has learned.  For instance, as a result of her training at the National Audio-Visual Center in Atlanta, she established a Learning Resources Center for Nursing, a center that continues to serve as a vital academic support unit for nursing students.  Moreover, she reports that the Writing Across the Curriculum seminar she completed at CETLA increased her teaching effectiveness.

One of Dr. Montague’s most gratifying teaching successes occurred last year.  With the 2009 graduates of the Nurse Practitioner Program, she developed a plan to achieve a 100% pass rate on the national certification exam.  Then, tirelessly, she worked with the graduates to ensure that they could reach their goal, covering expenses out of her own pocket.  According to Dr. Montague, the graduates achieved a 100% pass rate for the first time in the history of the Nursing program.  However, this was not the only example of her dedication.  As one colleague recalled, “if a student has been poorly advised and subject to delay in graduating for a year, Dr. Montague has been known to teach a senior student in such a situation a one-on-one course for an entire semester so the student could graduate with her class cohort.”

montagueHowever, Dr. Montague serves the community as well as the University.  She has partnered with city agencies, such as the DC Department of Mental Health, to improve registered nurses’ assessment skills.  She has secured grants from federal agencies, such as the National Institute on Aging, to set up home-care programs for the elderly; the National Institutes of Health to study diabetes disparities among African American women; and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and AIDS to advocate for the HIV vaccine.  She has also collaborated with churches to provide healthcare and prevention programs for the community.

Dr. Montague’s dedication and expertise have earned her numerous honors, including the Outstanding Teaching Award from the Division of Nursing, Outstanding Graduate Faculty for Nursing from the Howard University Graduate Student Association, Nurse of the Year for Excellence in Education from the District of Columbia Nurses’ Association in 1993, and American Nurse Search for Excellence Honoree from the American Nurses’ Association in 1994.  Her honors are well-deserved.  As one peer observer remarked, “Dr. Montague has a unique ability for distilling complex health information for an audience of two or two hundred persons.”  Another colleague commented, “I have personally observed how she can ‘masterfully’ integrate information from her research, publications, prior teaching experience, prior interactions with students, faculty development and other conferences, and nurse practitioner practice into a lecture/discussion that makes the classroom come alive.  She is a gifted role model….”  Said another colleague, “Your competence as an educator and practitioner sets standards of excellence for us all….You have inspired so many.”  Finally, a student wrote, “Dr. Montague cares whether her students fully understand, as opposed to just memorizing what they are studying….Her gifts of caring and creativity make her students reach beyond themselves and become the best they can be in the profession of nursing.” 



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