Associate Professors Dr. Elisa Greene, from Belmont’s College of Pharmacy, and Dr. Jamie Adam, from Belmont’s School of Nursing, were recently selected for the 2021-23 cohort of The Lilly Faculty Fellows Program through the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities. The program is designed for mid-career faculty leaders across the disciplines to creatively engage the intersections of Christian thought and practice with the academic vocation.
The initiative’s goals are to refresh and enliven a sense of calling for participants as people of faith, as teachers and as scholars and to provide funds for Fellows to develop and pilot Faculty Fellow programs on their own campuses.
“As someone with a strong sense of Christian identity and mission in my own work, I believe in the premises of this program and am excited by the prospect of working alongside one of my favorite collaborators, as well as other like-minded faculty members,” said Greene. “I love exploring ideas and am excited at the thought of being asked to think creatively and innovatively about bringing Christ-centered vocational engagement into our daily work. I’m privileged to draw meaning and fulfillment from my work, be it in clinical service, teaching or relationship building, and I believe this program will not only enhance my own spiritual walk, but allow me to (re)light that same fire in others.”
Although the Lilly Network has in the past emphasized faculty programs in humanities and the arts, this project especially sought out applicants from STEM, social scientific and professional fields. Greene and Adam wrote in their program application that, as dual healthcare providers and academicians, they see the need for “whole person care” in the lives of their fellow faculty and their students. “Whole person care” refers to incorporating spiritual, physical, psychological and emotional well-being into healthcare provision.
The pair will use these ideas as a starting point to work on a creative and innovative program to support faculty in their own and their students’ “whole person care” through a variety of modalities, including possibilities such as round-table discussions, presentations, interdisciplinary small groups and mentoring opportunities, all geared toward equipping Belmont faculty to better engage their whole selves at work. View their application video here.
The funded campus projects will be sites for creativity and experimentation that examine, cultivate and enliven faculty engagement with Christian thought and practice as experienced on church-related campuses.
This is not a new concept to Greene or Adam, as both women have previously served on several committees examining and supporting the connection between academic vocation and Belmont’s Christian mission, in addition to a variety of other University leadership roles. In one instance, Adam designed a curriculum module titled, “Called to Care,” highlighting the connection between faith and nursing, and in another, she created student and faculty reflection guides to support vocation exploration during study abroad trips. Greene participates in a campus mentorship program that specifically pairs students and faculty to explore the intersection of faith and work.
“I am eager to continue exploring faith and vocation through the collaboration and opportunities this fellowship will provide,” Adam said. “In Belmont’s Nursing program, Christ-centered perspective is a core concept threaded through every course in the curriculum. Each semester, I have the opportunity to highlight nursing as a profession, but also as a ministry in the courses I teach. I encourage my students to consider nursing as a vehicle for administering physical, emotional, mental and spiritual care.”
Through a college-level task force that has created multiple workshops and presentations, Adam has helped increase opportunities for faith exploration for students in Belmont’s College of Health Sciences and Nursing and the College of Pharmacy. She has also given multiple presentations on faith and vocation at University events, student convocations, new faculty orientation, Nurse’s Christian Fellowship meetings and faculty workshops.
Greene explained that while working within a faith based academic institution, she is also contracted to practice pharmacy and provide experiential education, which makes up a significant portion of the pharmacy curriculum, at the faith-based clinic Siloam Health near campus. The mission at Siloam is “to share the love of Christ with those in need through healthcare.”
“Christian thought and practice is incorporated into the training on site in a formal ‘Institute’ that students of all disciplines complete together. This incorporates various modules such as spiritual care, health literacy, using interpreters and poverty medicine into the medical training students receive. These combined settings allows a multitude of opportunities for marrying faith and work – whether it’s praying with a patient, ministering to a faculty/staff member’s needs, or rejoicing and celebrating with a student over their God-given individuality and gifts,” Greene said. “I have cried, prayed and rejoiced with many a student in my office whether dealing with academic or personal life struggles or blessings.”
Adam and Greene have both served as team leaders on an annual Interprofessional Medical Missions Team trip to Guatemala, where students and faculty from a variety of health professions participate in providing health screenings and education to vulnerable communities. Inspired by the experiences, the two developed a six-hour interdisciplinary continuing education program and have had scholarly works published, including one in the area of faith and learning surrounding their experiences with medical mission work.
Adam and Greene had a successful publication from this work titled, “Providing care across a language barrier: a program at the intersection of interprofessional education and co-curricular engagement” in Currents in Pharmacy Education. Their article “Shaken and stirred: designing a short-term medical service-learning trip with faith and mutual sustainability in mind” will be published in the Journal of Christian Nursing this September.
Learn more about the details of the Lilly Faculty Fellows Program here.