5 questions with…Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing Dean Mary Kerr

It’s been 20 years, but on Monday, Mary Kerr returned to her alma mater as the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing’s new dean and the inaugural holder of the May L. Wykle Endowed Professorship in Nursing. She comes to Case Western Reserve University after serving as the deputy director of the National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health.

Get to know more about Kerr, including her favorite music and the best thing about being back on campus.

1. What’s on your iPod?
Since I am a ballroom dancer, I love listening to music from that genre: Latin, waltzes, foxtrot, and so on.

2. What’s your favorite spot in Cleveland and why?
Having just returned to Cleveland, I can’t say a favorite yet, but when I was a PhD student at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, I used to take a break from studying and visit the Cleveland Museum of Art to relax, unwind and enjoy the various paintings and sculptures.

3. If you could only take three books with you to a deserted island, what would you take?
When I go on vacation, I always carry my copy of The Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Hindu epic, so that’s one. I would also want to bring Kate Chopin’s The Awakening because it has been on my reading wish list for years and I have not read it. Finally, to be practical, I would take a wilderness survival guide, such as The Basic Essentials of Desert Survival, since otherwise I might not be on the island long enough to enjoy all my reading!

4. What one word would you use to describe yourself, and what one word would your friends use to describe you?
I would describe myself as “intense,” and my friends would likely call me “enthusiastic.”

5. What’s your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve University?
I’ve always loved the spirited energy here at the university. I feel it all over campus, especially when I’m interacting with our wonderful students. Since starting my position as dean of the nursing school this week, I’ve also felt a lot of energy and excitement in my meetings with various faculty and staff members.


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