CU Nursing - Spring/Summer 2022 - 7

" You have made
a lasting impact
on nursing and
the field of
intellectual and
disabilities. You
have touched more
lives than you realize. You have
accomplished a rewarding and
successful career. You have enriched
my life! Now is the time to rest, be
healthy, and do the things you have
wanted to do but did not have time
for. "
-Wendy M. Nehring, RN, PhD, FAAN, FAAIDD
professor East Tennessee State University College
of Nursing
Dr. Scott Harpin has known Marilyn nearly
20 years. In early 2000, he was at the
University of Minnesota helping to develop
graduate pediatric nursing specialties as a
part of a HRSA Maternal Child Health Nursing
Training grant, while Marilyn was doing the
same thing in Colorado. They got to know
each other during annual meetings. Then, in
2011, because of that connection they had
from before, Scott took a job at the University
of Colorado College of Nursing, recruited
by Marilyn. Soon thereafter, she became his
boss and mentor.
" She has so much institutional
knowledge. She knows academic politics,
how to walk the line and takes care not to
offend others, and how to troubleshoot
difficult issues. She taught me how to
do all of that here, " said Scott Harpin,
associate professor at CU Nursing and
chair of the Maternal Child-Health Division.
In 2013, they partnered up again to
team-write a federal nursing education
grant to create a dual-degree program
focusing on advanced public health
nursing with the Colorado School of Public
Health and CU Nursing. Scott and Marilyn
co-directed the program.
" There's a whole cadre of people, leaders,
working in healthcare who were educated in
our programs by her, " Scott said.
Scott believes Marilyn will leave an
undeniable legacy of caring for children.
She helped build a program for Pediatric
Clinical Nurse Specialists, where alumni
have been caring for children with cancer,
those living with disabilities, and other
chronic health issues. In her role as a JFK
Partner faculty, Marilyn is an international
expert working with children who are living
with intellectual disabilities.
While some may perceive Marilyn
as tough as nails, Scott finds her
compassionate and nurturing.
" When I've had some hard or stressful
days in the office, I could always go
up to her office and chat. I knew she
would always take the time to talk calmly
through it, help me take a step back
and look at the big picture. She is very
caring of others and wants junior faculty
to be successful and stay with us at CU
Nursing, " he said.
Marilyn has also worked hard to
keep the university alumni involved,
from mentoring students to helping with
graduate student projects. For all of her
commitments and talents, when Marilyn
retires, Scott will miss her wisdom and
unique perspective the most.
" Marilyn brings
an important
perspective to
our faculty
meetings; a
historical or a
wizened point
of view. She
always contributes
and leaves us with
something to think about. I will
greatly miss the respect for our
institution and the history she
carries with her. "
-Scott Harpin PhD, MPH, RN, associate professor,
College of Nursing and chair of the Maternal
Child-Health Division
Dr. Cordelia Robinson Rosenberg, PhD, RN,
goes way back with Marilyn. Around 1974,
they met in Omaha, Nebraska during a
national network meeting of the John
F. Kennedy Child Development Center.
That's where Cordelia learned about
Marilyn's interest to take her First Start
curriculum nationwide. Cordelia applied
and brought the program to Nebraska.
After Cordelia moved to South Carolina in
1988, she implemented First Start there
too, working closely with Marilyn the
entire time.
Years later after Cordelia moved
to Colorado, the two teamed up on
another grant. For that, they worked with
community colleges across Colorado
to implement First Start. The training
was offered to child care providers who
cared for children with special needs and
complex medical issues.
" Marilyn's First Start curriculum was
remarkable and made a long-lasting
impact. She's been a tremendous leader
nationally within nursing on children
with disabilities, " Cordelia Robinson
Rosenberg said.
" It opened up the possibility of child
care for everyone. Before that, providers
were afraid of the responsibility and liability
of taking care of disabled children. No one
was sure who could administer medicine or
execute various procedures. And in every
state, the rules were different. "
Eventually, the government asked
Marilyn to run a national center that
would work through all of those issues.
So, in 1994, Cordelia and Marilyn shared
a co-program directing role for the
Paraprofessional Pre-service Personnel
Preparation for Early Intervention
using the First Start model for the US
Department of Education.
" Marilyn was the type of person who
saw a problem and went after it. She fully
embraced nursing as a profession and
helping families with disabled children
or kids with medically complex issues, "
Cordelia said.
" She's an intense person. She
identifies a need and is totally passionate
about it and motivates others to be a part
of it. I admire her commitment. "
Continued on next page

CU Nursing - Spring/Summer 2022

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