Mary Ann Bradford Burnam, Ph.D.

  • Westerville, OH
  • Emerita Professor (Otterbein University)

Award presented: April 13, 2019

As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a nurse. After receiving a nursing degree from The Ohio State University in 1967, I practiced as a clinical team leader and had experiences with student nurses. In 1969, I returned to OSU for an MS degree in medical-surgical nursing and teaching. In 1971, I became a member of the OSU sophomore nursing faculty who began to prepare a conceptual based curriculum. Four of us also developed a fully equipped practice lab, audiovisual lab, and lab skills manual.

That experience prepared me to come to Otterbein with Barbara Chapman (Achter) in 1977 to develop the first nursing program and succeeding ones. I helped develop a nursing honor society that became Kappa Lambda Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. With sabbatical support, I earned a Ph.D. with a dissertation based on a late 19th century nursing leader and activist. I served on many department and college committees and participated in scholarly presentations here and for other groups.

Interest in nursing and history has influenced my study, teaching, and writing. My husband and I accompanied nursing students to Great Britain to observe changes in nursing education. I continue to participate professionally in Otterbein’s Kappa Lambda Chapter, on the Nursing Heritage Committee of the OSU Medical Heritage Center, and on the board of a local retirement center. I participate in Otterbein’s Lifelong Learning programs and travel opportunities. Since 1995, I have participated in the common book reading groups for providing nominations. I volunteer in the acquisitions area of the Otterbein library. Recently, I helped develop the Nursing Department’s historical timeline for its 40th year.