A dynamic dean for Union Institute & University

Carolyn Turner Dean of Union Institute & University’s Cincinnati Undergraduate Center Dr. Carolyn Turner recently completed Healthy Children Project’s Center for Breastfeeding’s Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) Training in Milwaukee, Wis.

Can you imagine my excitement when I heard the news?! A bunch of soon-to-be lactation counselors in my neck of the woods- such a treat!

Dr. Turner, who coincidentally studied at Marquette University in Milwaukee, calls the CLC course enlightening.

“I had no idea there were so many facets to breastfeeding,” she says.

Moreover, she says it’s surprising that women breastfeed successfully without proper support, like the kind CLCs can provide.250px-UI&U_logo_square

When Dr. Turner was appointed dean in June 2008, she says she was a fair advocate for the
Bachelor of Science major in Maternal-Child Health: Lactation Consulting.

The program provides evidence-based instruction and is tailored to experienced lactation professionals and newcomers to the field. Graduates “have a strong foundation of research, evidence and skills and will be qualified to professionally counsel expectant mothers and mothers of young infants about best practices for the care and feeding of the young infant.” [retrieved from: http://www.myunion.edu/Academics/BachelorsPrograms/MaternalChildHealthLactationConsulting.aspx] While Dr. Turner says she saw a lot of potential in the program, there was a need for change in organizational structure.That’s when she appointed Healthy Children Project, Inc. (HCP) faculty member Dr. Anna Blair as department chair. Dr. Turner says she wanted to create a powerful synergy between UI&U and HCP.Dr. Blair has overseen, revamped and revised the Maternal-Child Health curriculum as needed.

“It has made all the difference in the world,” Dr. Turner says.

Integrating academics and recruitment activities and creating positive interaction between staff and inquiring students have also been at the forefront of Dr. Turner’s work.

She admits she’s not fond of the paper shuffling which her duties often entail. She says she prefers digging into the majors and engaging in training like the CLC course.

“I can go back to the office with knowledge that I didn’t have and understand how to better support the program,” Dr. Turner explains.

The Maternal-Child Health program combines on-site and distance learning. It also integrates theory and practice.

“It’s a really good example of providing the benefits of a hybrid learning environment,” Dr. Turner explains.

UI&U currently offers eighteen bachelor’s programs and the Maternal-Child Health degree is the only health-related program. Dr. Turner says it’s unique simply in that regard.

She adds that UI&U strives to provide students with social consciousness and responsibility.

“What’s more socially responsible than focusing on babies and mothers?” Dr. Turner asks.

With a hint of pride and a dash of surprise in her tone, Dr. Turner says that she will be able to help moms breastfeed effectively after completing the CLC course.

With the education UI&U Maternal-Child Health: Lactation Consulting graduates gain, she has confidence in what lies ahead.

“They have the potential to change the whole landscape of breastfeeding,” Dr. Turner says.

For more information about the partnership between UI&U and Healthy Children Project, please visit: http://www.myunion.edu/Academics/BachelorsPrograms/MaternalChildHealthLactationConsulting.aspx.

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