The Program for Educators in Health Professions is celebrating it's 30th anniversary this year! We are honored to showcase distinguished scholars from this program and talk to them about their experience in the course. In this post, we are highlighting Jennfier Saylor PhD, APRN, ACNS-BC, whose journey exemplifies the program's impact on shaping healthcare educators. 

Jennifer Saylor, a Harvard Macy Institute (HMI) Program for Educators in Health Professions scholar, describes her professional background as fulfilling. She serves as associate dean of faculty and student affairs in the School of Nursing at the University of Delaware and has been an associate professor for ten years. Additionally, she holds the role of director of ACHIEVE, formerly known as the Faculty Achievement Program, for the entire university, overseeing a faculty achievement program dedicated to faculty development and success. Jennifer takes great pride in supervising her nine fellows that she notes has been her favorite part of seeing faculty success. 

Motivated by her senior associate dean, who after completing the program herself, recommended that Jennifer enroll in the HMI Program for Educators in Health Professions. “I was impressed and interested because the program was interprofessional and global. The idea of connecting with people from all over the world and exploring how different professions work together sparked my interest for the program.” She emphasized the program's interactive small group discussions and extensive resources while praising the invaluable networking possibilities it provided.

In the realm of nursing, the Harvard Macy Institute program directly influenced Jennifer’s work. Her project on lunch and learns, that she initiated during the program, has expanded beyond the school of nursing to encompass the entire University. The program's impact has been influential in transforming this faculty development endeavor at her institution. Jennifer expresses gratitude for her time experiences during the HMI program and aims to have her project published within the upcoming year. 

Reflecting on her growth as an educator and educational leader, Jennifer credits the active collaboration in small groups. “The small group approach was phenomenal, and I appreciated that they made sure that the program was run as a course rather than just a workshop. The incorporation of prework ensured that we all came prepared and could talk about the different educational approaches we were learning.” Jennifer’s approaches toward education, teaching, and learning were substantially influenced by her time with the faculty and scholars at the Harvard Macy Institute. 

Jennifer also emphasizes the program's focus on mentoring and self-reflection, sharing how she has implemented these practices with her own nursing faculty. “I have completed two other leadership courses, but the Harvard Macy Institute was by far the most inspirational. The small group setting combined with a huge faculty presence made a significant difference.” Honored to return as a returning scholar for the program, Jennifer reiterates how the experience is interprofessional, removing the silos present in traditional educational environments.

Jennifer would absolutely recommend the Program for Educators in Health Professions. “It provides scholars with the opportunity to advance their own personal growth and development, and it helps scholars understand a broader approach to the educational systems within health care education.” 

Did you know that the Harvard Macy Institute Community Blog has had more than 395 posts? Previous blog posts have interviewed other past Program for Educator scholars including Karina Clemmons, David Ansari, and Jennifer Graber

Jennifer Saylor, PhD, APRN, ACNS-BC (Educators ‘23) is an associate professor and associate dean of faculty and student affairs in the School of Nursing at the University of Delaware. Jennifer’s areas of professional interest include faculty development and mentoring, increasing healthcare workforce, and experiential teaching strategies in population health. Dr. Saylor can be contacted via email.

HMI Guest