Dubuisson is leaving The University of Southern Mississippi after
30 years, but her legacy of teaching service will remain long after,
as will her unique choices in head decor.
Dubuisson is the most professional educator I have ever had the
pleasure of working with," said Bonita Reinert, director of
research for the School of Nursing and co-director for the Center
for Tobacco Prevention and Health Promotion. "She took me under
her wing when I was a new faculty member and 'grew' me through the
years. She is always ready to lift a hand and help a student or
another faculty member.
logical, rational and compassionate in working with students and
their issues. She is known throughout the state for her knowledge,
and her choice of hats."
hats are well-known around campus, but so is her dedication to excellence
and her commitment to her faith. "Throughout her collegiate
career, she has remained well-rounded by combining academic scholarship
and excellence with leadership skills, work experience, and her
Christian values and beliefs," said Associate Professor Janie
Butts. "Wanda and I have worked together for years and I have
seen for myself the way in which she lives her life and the way
she practices the morals and ethics that she values. Wanda has a
famous verse from the Holy Bible across her Web home page: 'I can
do all things through Christ who strengthens me' (Philippians 4:13).
Also across her home page she has written: 'As sails are to a ship,
so is God's spirit to our lives.'
truly lives by both of these verses. Everyone in the School of Nursing
will miss her."
of Southern Mississippi School of Nursing was established in 1967,
under the visionary thinking of the faculty at the Mercy Hospital
School of Nursing in Vicksburg, Miss. According to the school's
Web site, "
(a) courageous group led by Sister Mary Remegius
(Dr. Elizabeth C. Harkins) responded to the American Nurses Association
position statement (in 1965) that nursing education should be placed
under the auspices of degree-granting institutions. Harkins, the
first dean of the School of Nursing, retired in December 1980 and
maintained an office in the school as dean emeritus until her death
in 1997. Her picture hangs in the lobby of the nursing building
to remind faculty and students of her love of and dedication to
in the fourth graduating class of the School of Nursing, when "sister
was still in her habit." The school, which began with six students,
grew to house a "very stable faculty" and many sought-after
student slots, Dubuisson notes. "I've been here 30 years as
an instructor. I worked with Kay Lundy, Sharon Porter, Ora Shaheed,
Forrest General's vice president, and I taught her daughter, too.
I worked at Forrest General in Intensive Care, (but) I love what
I'm doing - I love nursing and nursing education."
From the time
the School of Nursing was strictly a baccalaureate program serving
south Mississippi through its growth to the largest nursing program
in the state with campuses in Meridian, Gulf Park, and Hattiesburg,
Dubuisson taught six years critical care, 19 years orthopedics and
four years neuroscience. Since Jan. 2, 2003, she has worked in the
different curricula block (scheduling), then integrated and then
back to block, I've seen just about everything," Dubuisson
said of her Southern Miss tenure.
But back when
she started, there was one particular person who inspired her. "When
I was a student, there was Linda D. Moorer," Dubuisson said
in reflection. "She was an adult health nurse, a very gentle
and kind soul. She helped students be successful and I appreciated
that. I taught with her and I learned a lot from her."
- which now offers instruction in clinical nurse specialist, nurse
practitioner, family and psychiatric nursing, and offers the doctorate
in three emphases, leadership, policy and ethics - was made a college
in 1997 and returned to "school" designation in 2002.
But in all its years, the School of Nursing has never been without
accreditation, Dubuisson noted.
husband is Fred Russell Dubuisson. "Yes, I've been married
32 years to the same fella," Dubuisson says with a charmingly
shy tilt of the head, her hands held tightly in her lap. The two
met in geometry class. "I learned no geometry," Dubuisson
children attended Southern Miss as well. Daughter Lorraine Dubuisson,
24, is now an English doctoral student at Ole Miss, where she lives
with her husband, Josh Hill, and their 15-month-old daughter, Emma
Lorraine. Son Russell Cleveland Dubuisson is now 22 and out in the
all big Southern Miss fans; we have the season tickets. In fact,
we were at the fateful Liberty Bowl." Dubuisson purses her
lips and shakes her head before giving a shrug of her shoulders.
has influenced the lives of many nursing students over the years
and has left her mark on the nursing profession in this region,"
said Dr. Joan Exline, interim dean of the College of Health.
dean Dr. Jane Hudson agreed. "For the last 30 years, Wanda
has served the students in the nursing program as their leader and
as an exceptional role model. She is truly an outstanding administrator,
mentor, teacher, nurse and individual. It has been my pleasure to
work with her."
last day to parade a hat as a Southern Miss faculty member is June
30. "I'll be teaching a little bit of everything at William
Carey," she said of her new position, the words just a whisper.
past 30 years I have been blessed to be associated with the finest
faculty, staff and students an educator could ask for. I have seen
former students assume leadership positions around the world, publish
award-winning textbooks, engage in cutting-edge research, become
dedicated clinicians and educators, and win appointments to the
most prestigious nursing societies.
I am truly thankful."