The Commons: So, Patrick, what's it like to be one of the few male faculty members in the College of Nursing?
Patrick Murphy: I came to nursing from medicine, where there was nearly gender equity in terms of students and faculty in my graduate program and post-doc training, so it's been a stark contrast to often be the only male in the room. I remember when I applied to SU I had wonderful interviews with the College of Nursing faculty, and as they were wrapping up, they said, "You know, if you came here, you'd be different." But what they meant by that had nothing to do with gender-what they meant was that I was going to be a non-nurse in the College of Nursing. So, to my knowledge, in the college's 75-year history, I'm the only tenured non-RN. With health sciences, that's the broader discipline in which nursing is situated, the movement is toward having faculty with different backgrounds because that's what our students are going to see as professionals-they're going to interact with non-RNs as much as they do with nurses-and so inter-professional education is a big deal for us.
The Commons: What do you do like to do in your spare time?
Patrick Murphy: I row with Lake Union crew. There's something very satisfying about doing something mindless for an hour where I'm only focused on following the person in front of me.
The Commons: How about you, Janet?
Janet Shandley: I've been in a book club with the same group of women for 16 years-and sometimes we even talk about books! Also, about five years ago, we started an evening Rotary group in Shoreline. The principle behind it was that your family is welcome to come. We wanted to do service together as a family, and so this has been really great. We're a really hands-on club. We don't have much money so mostly we give of our time.
The Commons: Since you brought up books, what are you reading these days?
Janet Shandley: Just read The Language of Flowers, which is a novel but it has a whole index in the back about what flowers mean in an old Victorian language.
The Commons: Patrick?
Patrick Murphy: I'm reading the fourth book of Harry Potter. My daughter, who's in second grade, has taken to the books so we read them together, then she reads them individually and then we watch the movie together. And my students are really into Harry Potter, too-they grew up with the books, so it helps that I can make a reference to "Dumbledore" in a lecture.
The Commons: If you could make one wish for Seattle University, what would that be?
Patrick Murphy: I wish we could offer free tuition for all students.
Janet Shandley: I would say a $300 million or $350 million endowment. I would just hate to have our aspirations squelched by a lack of wherewithal.
The Commons: Patrick, what's something about yourself that your colleagues might not know?
Patrick Murphy: So, in the College of Nursing there's definitely an emphasis on professionalism that we try to model for our students and that extends to not only how we teach, but how we dress. And so it's typical for me for lectures to be appropriately dressed in a jacket and bowtie. But I like nothing more than to be wearing clothes that have a lot of holes in them and flannel. If I had my druthers, that's how I'd lecture every day.
The Commons: Why a bowtie?
Patrick Murphy: Bowties actually have a history in healthcare and health sciences.
Janet Shandley: For use as a tourniquet? (Laughter)
Patrick Murphy: No, actually, a necktie was seen as unsanitary because they were standing over patients and so the tie had the potential to become contaminated. So bowties were a much more sanitary way of dressing up.
The Commons: Janet, returning to what you said earlier about your daughter attending SU, what's that like for you? Do you run into her a lot?
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