UIC Nursing campus director, department head to retire

UIC College of Nursing-Springfield Campus Director Cynthia Reese, PhD, RN, CNE, and PhD program Director Colleen Corte, PhD, RN, FAAN. will retire from the college in August.

A retirement celebration for Corte is scheduled for Aug. 9, and a celebration for Reese will be Aug. 12. Both retirements are effective Aug. 15.

Cynthia Reese, PhD, RN, CNE

Cynthia Reese, PhD, RN, CNE

Reese joined UIC Nursing in 2015 as the director of the Springfield Campus.

During her tenure, Reese was instrumental in spearheading the recruitment of the Springfield faculty, securing office and classroom space, and initiating new clinical placements. After receiving Illinois Board of Nursing and Illinois Board of Higher Education approval in 2014, enrollment in the Springfield BSN program began to climb. The Springfield BSN program, which began with 15 students in 2016, has since grown to 50 students in 2020-21.

“It cannot be underscored the attribution of the success of the Springfield Campus to Dr. Reese’s efforts,” says Dean Terri E. Weaver, PhD, RN, FAAN, ATSF, FAASM. “She forged critical relationships with UIS and Memorial Health System garnering support for the campus both in terms of endorsement as well as financial investment.”

With the growth in enrollment, Reese procured space with larger capacity on the UIS campus and secured more than $188,000 over three years to help build the Springfield Lab with Memorial grants for building and lab projects. This effort allowed for the purchase of manikins and simulation pads and software, movable computer workstations for lab work, and audio-visual setup two simulation rooms. This support continues to fund a student success coordinator and peer tutors for the campus.

Reese has earned many recognitions and awards throughout her career, including the National League for Nursing LEAD Fellowship for emerging leaders in nursing education (2012), the Illinois Board of Higher Education Nurse Educator Fellowship Award (2007), and the Nomination for Pearson Master Teacher Award from Lincoln Land Community College (2005).

“Reese has the strong admiration of the students and peers as a faculty leader in our institution and in the field of Nursing,” Weaver adds. “Her contributions to the Springfield Campus, College and University, as well as the discipline of nursing, have been exemplary. I am thankful to have had her as a part of our faculty and one of our leaders.”

Colleen Corte, PhD, RN, FAAN

Colleen Corte, PhD, RN, FAAN

Corte joined UIC Nursing in 2004 as assistant professor in the Department of Population Health Nursing Science, and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2010. She has served as head of the Department of Population Health Nursing Science and director of the PhD program since 2017.

“We will lose an incomparable nurse leader and a respected colleague of whom we will miss very much,” Weaver says.

She received a BSN from Madonna College in Livonia, Michigan, and master’s and PhD in nursing degrees from the University of Michigan. Corte went on to complete a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Addictions Research Center in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. Her research has focused on inhibiting formation of a ‘drinker’ identity in youth as a mechanism to delay drinking onset and prevent alcohol use disorder.

Corte has published widely in nursing and interdisciplinary substance use journals. She received the International Nurses Society on Addictions Award for Contributions to Addictions Nursing, the Addictions and Substance Abuse Research Award from the Midwest Nursing Research Society, and a Junior Investigator award from the Research Society on Alcoholism. Her international reputation has led to invited presentations in South Korea, Thailand and China.

Corte has also been strongly committed to teaching and mentoring. She has chaired or served on 30 dissertation committees. She is a certified team-based learning trainer consultant and has been instrumental in its implementation.

In addition to using this evidence-based pedagogy in her own classes, Corte has offered many TBL workshops for UIC Nursing faculty and has done consultations and workshops at other U.S. universities.

Her talents as a teacher and mentor led to her receipt of a UIC Teaching Recognition Program award in 2016 and the UIC Graduate College Mentoring Award in 2017. Corte is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and serves as associate editor for the journal Substance Use. She is also on the board of directors for the International Network for Doctoral Education in Nursing.