Getting to Know You: A Profile of MCCN President and Dean Christine Wynd, PhD, RN

Each month, The Carmel Rapper will give you a chance to get know at least one MCCN student, faculty or staff member a little better through an informal Q&A format, focusing on not just their background in nursing/nursing education, but what they like to do outside of MCCN. This month’s featured profile is MCCN’s new President and Dean, Christine Wynd, PhD, RN.

I wanted to be a nurse from the age of 10 – and I wanted to be a military nurse, specifically an Army nurse – because I watched all the television shows and movies about World War II (this was in the 1960s during the early years of the Vietnam Conflict). I read every book I could read about nursing, particularly military nursing, and it became my dream. I was inspired to choose this form of nursing because I envisioned myself saving lives and healing the wounded on the battlefield. It was a very dramatic and adventurous vision.

My fondest memory of my first day in clinicals is not wanting to enter the patient’s room because I had no clue where to start. Our goal as students on that first clinical day was just to say “good morning” and communicate with our assigned patient. I was awfully scared – scared that I would say something wrong; but the man was so nice and we chatted in a very informal/formal way. I overcame my fear. Over the years, in talking with other nurses, I’ve found out that every nursing student has this same initial fear of walking into that patient’s room and communicating.

If I could spend the day with one person it would be Queen Elizabeth I of England. She was a very powerful, clever monarch, perhaps the best monarch England ever had. I would like to observe her in action and ask her about leadership.

If I could travel anywhere, I would go to England again. I’ve been there twice but there is much more to see and do. I love the way English history is layered over and over on top of earlier history. If you go in one cathedral you find buried there famous people from the 12th and 18th centuries and you have to recall what made these people famous and think about how they fit with British history. I love to do this.

My all-time favorite movie is The Last of the Mohicans (1992) because that period of American history during the French and Indian War (also known as the Seven Years War) simply fascinates me. I find it fascinating that people on the frontier lived with such tremendous challenges and fears. The music is beautiful. The plot represents adventure, drama, a balance of good and evil and a great love affair. I am a hopeless romantic and I have an extreme passion for history of all kinds.

My all-time favorite book is Katherine by Anya Seton. Again, it is a historical novel, loosely based on fact, and about Katherine Swynford, who married John of Gaunt in the 14th century. Their heirs established a long line of Plantagenet and Tudor British monarchs that carry through all the way to the Windsor family today.

The quote I tend to live by is “Keep calm and carry on.” I had this quote as a favorite before it became so popular. In the spring of 2010, my family visited England, Wales and Ireland. I found the quote on a sign in a Welsh museum and learned that it was developed during WWII to help the populace deal with the German bombings. I was a new dean of nursing at the time and I felt that I needed the quote to help me keep going, so I took a picture of the sign in the museum. Later into our vacation, I found my first coffee mug with the quote in Bath, England, and bought it. After that time, I’ve seen the quote EVERYWHERE!

I am excited to be at Mount Carmel because I believe I can contribute so much more of my education, experience and interests through a college presidency. Mount Carmel has a wonderful legacy and reputation and is not very different from Ursuline College, where I spent the last seven years as Dean and alumna. Mount Carmel has a foundation that can only grow, thanks to the current faculty, staff, students, alumni, Board of Trustees and former President, Dr. Ann Schiele. This is a great place for me to end my long career in nursing. I will give it my all for the next several years...and then I will begin to pave the way toward my final career goal, retirement!

One thing I am looking forward to this year as President and Dean of Mount Carmel College of Nursing is meeting new people and making new friends, plus learning new skills and knowledge: what a president does, the role, the parameters of the job. I’m looking forward to finding out if I can do it, that is, be President!

One thing you may not know about me is my passion for history, mostly British and American history, surrounding the monarchy in Britain or military history. I enjoy going to historical places, learning the history in depth and visiting the gift shops in museums to find new and unique history books about the location. These are my favorite things to do whether it is through camping or traveling longer distances. Next July, my family and I will travel to France to visit the WWII sites of D-Day in Normandy, Paris and the chateaux of the Loire Valley. We also will visit the battle site and acknowledge the 600-year anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt by Henry V of England, which will feature big celebrations and reenactments.

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