Shirley Ricker, Margaret Kowaluk, and Margaret (Peg) Bushey were among the longtime employees honored for their service by the University at a dinner last month hosted by President Joel Seligman and Robert Witmer Jr., chair emeritus of the Board of Trustees.
Bushey graduated from the University with a diploma in nursing in 1962 and accepted a staff nurse position on R-4, now 4-9000, immediately upon graduation. Since then, she’s had an accomplished 50-year career in psychiatric nursing care.
In 1971, Bushey was a coinvestigator, with a psychiatrist and a psychologist, of a rigorous study on the psychiatric inpatient services concerning the effects on patients of nurses wearing civilian clothing. The study was accepted for publication in the Archives of General Psychiatry in 1972.
She earned a bachelor’s degree with distinction from the University in 1972 and that same year became a psychiatric nurse clinician and community mental health liaison nurse in the Strong Memorial Hospital Community Mental Health Center. In 1983 she became a primary therapist in the Extended Care Clinic, serving patients with severe mental illness who were being discharged from state hospitals in the early wake of the deinstitutional movement. The patient population has remained the heart and soul of her clinical practice for the last 28 years—as a team leader, as a director of the Continuing Day Treatment Program, and as a psychiatric nurse practitioner.
She received a master’s degree in psychiatric mental health nursing as a clinical nurse specialist in 1991 and then returned for postgraduate work to obtain state licensure and prescriptive authority as a psychiatric nurse-practitioner in 1995. She was also the recipient of the Best Practices Award by the American Psychiatric Nurses’ Association in 2000 for her clinical work with patients with severe mental illness.
Kowaluk has been an employee of the Radiology/Imaging Sciences Department at the Medical Center for all of her 45 years at the University, starting in August 1966—just after she graduated from high school. She continued part time while taking classes at Nazareth College. She also met her husband, Eugene, who also worked in the department at that time.
Kowaluk worked in pediatric radiology as a secretary for many years and was an early Apple computer fan and has never strayed from that. She taught herself many of the graphics program and is the go-to person for any help with posters and presentations. Kowaluk now supervises the graphics lab in Imaging Sciences.
As linguistics, religion, and classics librarian, Ricker provides research support to the students and faculty of both departments, in addition to developing print and electronic collections in those areas for Rush Rhees Library. As part of her work, she is also actively engaged in providing outreach to the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and the St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry. Among her many efforts to connect with the campus community, Ricker has coordinated the reference department’s partnership with the Writing Center and the College Writing Program, teaching library research sessions and serving as a tutor, particularly with non-native English speaking students.
She also serves as a key contact between the library and the countywide International Baccalaureate program and as an active contributor to the Early Connection Opportunity program.