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Watson to Serve as Guest Speaker for USM’s Cadenhead Lecture

Mon, 11/23/2020 - 09:47am | By: Van Arnold

Dr. Jean Watson Save the Date | March 9, 2021 11 a.m.The College of Nursing and Health Professions at The University of Southern Mississippi is excited to announce that renowned educator and author Dr. Jean Watson will serve as guest speaker for the next Cadenhead Lectureship set for March 9, 2021.

In accordance with social distancing guideline related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the lectureship will be conducted in a virtual format, similar to one held earlier this semester. The event will be free and open to the general public. Other details will be announced at a later date.

Dr. Lachel Story, Dean of USM’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, notes that having a speaker of Watson’s caliber share her expertise and insights cannot be overstated.

“To not only hear her present her work, but to ask her questions is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Story. “As a doctoral student, I had questions about her theory and was encouraged by one of my faculty to reach out to Dr. Watson. I was amazed that she not only responded, but kindly answered what I imagine were very naïve questions. Her kindness made quite an impression me, and I am excited that our students, faculty, and clinic partners will have a similar experience.”

Watson is Distinguished Professor and Dean Emerita, University of Colorado Denver, College of Nursing Anschutz Medical Center campus, where she held nation’s first endowed Chair in Caring Science for 16 years. She is founder of the original Center for Human Caring in Colorado and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing; past President of the National League for Nursing; founding member of International Association in Human Caring and International Caritas Consortium.

She is founder and Director of the non-profit foundation, Watson Caring Science Institute ( In 2013, Dr. Watson was inducted as a Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing – its highest honor.

Dr. Watson is a widely published author and recipient of many national/international awards and honors. She holds 15 honorary doctoral degrees, including 12 international honorary doctorates: Sweden, United Kingdom (2), Spain, British Columbia and Quebec, Canada, Japan, Turkey, Peru (2) and Colombia, South America.

Dr. Karen S. Lundy, Professor Emeritus in USM’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, has known Dr. Watson for more than 40 years, dating back to Lundy’s master’s program work at CU College of Nursing, Denver. Lundy notes that Dr. Watson and other faculty had PhDs at the time, which inspired her to actually think about an academic career.

“Although I had little understanding or interest in theory, little did I know that Jean would be a significant influence in my decision to return to CU (Boulder) for my PhD in sociology,” said Lundy. “During my doctoral program, I had the opportunity to teach clinicals for the College of Nursing and became personally acquainted with Dr. Watson. She was, by then, Dean of the college and my respect for her as a scholar and nurse leader grew.”

Lundy applauds Dr. Watson as a respected, worldwide theorist who revolutionized the practice of professional nursing.

“She expanded Florence Nightingale's earliest theories to contemporary nursing practice. USM has consistently embraced progressive nursing education from (founding) Dean Harkins forward. Dr. Watson will continue this tradition as our distinguished speaker for the 2021 Gerry Cadenhead Lecture Series,” said Lundy. 

Story notes that Watson’s lecture will focus on applying her theory and work as it pertains to the healthcare professionals fighting the current Covid-19 crisis.

“It would be timely as we see nurses, physicians, and other healthcare professions facing extreme caregiver burden and fatigue as they work on the frontlines of this unprecedented pandemic,” said Story.

The Cadenhead Lectureship was founded by Col. Tyler Fletcher in honor of his late wife, Dr. Gerry Cadenhead. Dr. Cadenhead joined the USM nursing faculty in 1980 and served in various capacities including as dean from 1997 to 2001.

To learn more about the College of Nursing and Health Professions at USM, call 601.266.5445 or visit: