Macon State College MVPs is a web feature that profiles notable students, alumni, faculty and staff.
Full name: Vivian Everson Austin.
Originally From: Rochelle, Ga.
Family: Parents, Northern and Willa B. Everson(deceased); husband, Gregory W. Austin; two daughters, Dr. Mia N. Armstrong and Brittany V. Austin.
Job Title: Associate professor of nursing and interim nursing programs director.
Degrees: Master of science in nursing, teaching specialty from the Medical College of Georgia, and a bachelor of science in nursing from Albany State College.
Year she joined the Macon State faculty: 1989.
Some of her teaching career highlights are … "Being nominated as teacher of the year, my first poster presentation at a regional conference, working with some of the nursing honors students and receiving thank you notes from students letting me know how much they appreciated my support while in nursing school."
She enjoys teaching at Macon State because … "There are so many opportunities to work with some of the most highly intellectual and diverse groups of students. I enjoy seeing students achieve their educational goals and it is so rewarding to go into area hospitals and make a difference in the nursing profession. To me, that is what I call 'service to mankind'."
Her favorite course to teach is … "I majored in adult health with a teaching specialty, so the second-level adult health nursing courses are some of my favorite to teach. It is a joy working with students who have that passion for nursing - observing them as they realize that they have achieved competencies in clinical skills and when that light bulb goes off, seeing their faces when they finally realize that what they have worked so hard for is finally theirs."
One thing people don’t know about Macon State is … "I have heard so many people say that Macon State is a very hard school but what they don’t know is that Macon State has so many resources to assist students in achieving their educational goals. When I advise students and discuss the many opportunities that Macon State has to offer, they are surprised. Macon State College is strongly committed to quality education and student success. We have a diverse faculty that is supportive of the learning environment."
One thing people don’t know about her is … "I love working with older adults. I can remember my grandmother telling me when I was about 5 years old that I would be a nurse when I grew up. She and my parents encouraged me and made me believe that I could be anything I wanted to be. It was because of my grandmother and my parents' support that I am a nurse today and when I work with the aged population, I’m reminded of my grandmother and the good times we shared. I try to encourage others that they, too, can make a difference in nursing."
In her spare time she likes to … "Watch movies, travel and visit with family and friends."
The one person she'd most like to meet is … "There are several people I’d like to meet and one of those would be Mary Eliza Mahoney. She was the first black to study and work as a professionally trained nurse in the United States, graduating in 1879. In 1879, out of a class of 40 students, only she, at age 34, and two other white students, graduated. Mahoney was noted for her expert care of the sick and she became an inspiration to thousands of men and women of color who are part of the nursing profession. I would not only like to thank her for the path given me but also to let her know that I have also dedicated my professional career inspiring future generations that they too can make a difference in nursing."
If she wasn’t a college professor she would be ... "Hmmm!! I guess I would have to say that when I was growing up I always said that I wanted to get married, have six boys and be a secretary. But after 30 years in the nursing profession I can’t imagine doing anything else. But if I had to do it over again, I would probably be a fashion model. I got a taste of modeling after college and I loved it, especially the unique styles of clothing."