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Memoir

Barbara A. Therrien
Regents' Proceedings 150

Barbara A. Therrien, Ph.D., associate professor of nursing in the School of Nursing, will retire from active faculty status on December 31, 2009. Professor Therrien received her B.S.N. degree from Syracuse University in 1971, her M.N. degree from the University of Washington in 1973, and her Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan in 1982. She joined the University of Michigan faculty as an assistant professor of nursing in 1983, and was promoted to associate professor in 1990.

Professor Therrien's research focused on neuroscience and neurobehavior nursing and training. She investigated disorientation and models for nursing therapy, the effects of gender on disorientation behavior, and the physiological effects of the Valsalva maneuver. A prolific researcher, she served as co-principal investigator on numerous National Institutes of Health sponsored projects and published in the leading nursing journals. She developed her course curricula utilizing the latest scientific developments in genetics and neurophysiology. Professor Therrien was deeply committed to mentorship and doctoral education. She served as chair and member of numerous dissertation committees, and many of her former students have achieved successful careers in academics, research, and health care.

Professor Therrien co-founded and served as the first president of the American Association of Neurosurgical Nurses. Within the School of Nursing, she was director of the Center for Enhancement and Restoration of Cognitive Function from 1996-2008. Under her leadership, the center established innovative educational, clinical, and research initiatives targeting the understanding and management of cognitive function and health. Her honors include the Teacher of the Year Award from the School of Nursing (1991), induction into the American Academy of Nursing (1991), and the Honor a Researcher Award from the Midwest Nursing Research Society (1996).