This Women’s History Month, The Den is celebrating some of Mercer University‘s top leaders — our female deans. Eight of Mercer’s 12 schools and colleges are led by women, and we are highlighting each of these deans on separate days throughout March. Today, we spotlight Dr. Linda Streit, dean of the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing.
Dr. Linda Streit
How long have you worked at Mercer?
I am completing my 32nd year at Mercer University.
What was your career path to become dean?
I am, and will always be, a registered nurse first. In fact, I could not be the dean of a nursing program without also being an RN. My nursing career started in the emergency department, followed by open heart and critical care units and then returning back to the emergency department. With a passion for learning, I continued my nursing education with a Master of Science and then my Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
I worked my way through the academic ranks and was one of four faculty hired to implement the baccalaureate nursing courses at Georgia Baptist. I also immersed myself in teaching, accreditation, writing, scholarship and service. I was eventually promoted to associate dean for nursing graduate programs at Mercer, and I was mentored in administration by Dean Emerita Dr. Susan Gunby. Assuming the leadership position of dean was accomplished through much hard work and dedication to serve and support students, faculty, staff and our entire community of nursing.
What do you enjoy most about being dean?
My greatest joy as dean is to foster the development of entry-level nurses. Whether it is promoting and supporting their academic potential or professional growth, I truly want them to succeed and reach their highest potential. When I receive notes from graduates, it is a great day. I so enjoy hearing from them!
What in your academic field are you most passionate about?
This seems like a trick question! Of course it is the field of nursing. I am a nurse to the very core. I could not have selected a better profession to receive personal growth and satisfaction.
What advice would you give to future women leaders?
Know what you want and stay the course. I have seven tips for future women leaders: work hard (really hard); secure mentors; be authentic; follow your instincts; practice resiliency; practice self-care; and, above all, maintain harmony. Work/life balance is an erroneous term. It is about work/life harmony. Sometimes work will take up most of your time, and sometimes your home life will take a front seat. Work/life harmony keeps the inner peace.