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Faculty Focus Friday | Q&A with Taryn Ray, Assistant Professor of Nursing

Ashley Byrd

Faculty Focus Friday is a Q&A series that highlights individual faculty members in various academic programs around Spalding University. This week’s featured faculty member is Taryn Ray, who is in her first year as Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing after previously serving on the adjunct faculty. Professor Ray teaches in Spalding’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, serving as course instructor for Introduction to Nursing and Maternity Nursing. She is a registered nurse (RN) who earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) from the University of Louisville and a master’s in nursing (MSN) from Ball State University. She also holds the credential of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE).

What do you like about working and teaching at Spalding?

I love the intimacy that Spalding has to offer. When I reflect on my own college experiences, there were not opportunities where I felt comfortable speaking with my professors or really interacting with classmates beyond my study partners. The larger environment did not foster a sense of connectedness, but I love that with Spalding, there are more opportunities to truly make an impact in more intimate ways.

What is your academic specialty, areas of expertise or research? 

My academic specialty/area of expertise is with Maternal and Newborn Care. I have been a Labor and Delivery RN for the past 6.5 years and currently teach the Maternity course in the School of Nursing. My passions and research align with Women’s Health with an emphasis on perinatal care.

Why is nursing a good option for students to consider for their major? 

The Nursing Program is a great option for students to consider because the program strives to set the foundation for exactly what the nursing profession entails. Nursing is genuinely a service of care and compassion and from the professors, to the small cohorts of students and curriculum base, the foundation is set to foster the next generation of knowledgeable and compassionate caregivers.

SPALDING SCHOOL OF NURSING

What is an example of a discussion topic, lecture, assignment, project, etc. in your class that you enjoy presenting or working with students on and that they have found engaging? 

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the students in the simulation lab, where high-fidelity mannequins simulate real patients. We have a mannequin named SimMom that is capable of demonstrating the labor process, birth of an infant and complications that women can experience during labor. Being able to stage scenarios and assist students as they critically think through care they should provide is what it’s all about. Helping them make those connections between what they see, what it means and how they should intervene is what will project them in the long run.

What is an interesting thing you have in your office? 

With being fairly new and having limited time on campus this year, I am still trying to get my office space established. However, I was sure to hang some inspirational pictures and make sure that I have Ivy present. Along with being significant to my sorority, Ivy just serves as a reminder of perseverance and fidelity to why I am teaching. I am committed to make an impact in the world around me and one way that I am choosing to do that is by being committed to my students and their journeys.

Spalding’s mission is to meet the needs of the times, to emphasize service and to promote peace and justice. What is an example of how your teaching style, your research, your class or your curriculum is supporting the mission of Spalding?

My teaching style supports Spalding’s missions by truly meeting students where they are. Of course there is curriculum that I want them to understand while they are with me, but ultimately, I want them to understand that they have someone who’s truly in their corner and rooting for their success, both inside and outside of the classroom. I hope that my service to them reflects the type of service they will exude to others, especially as they develop into future nurses.

FACULTY FOCUS FRIDAY ARCHIVE | Read all our professor Q&As