Wendy Robb Named
To Hazel and Walter May Nursing Endowed Chair
Dr. Wendy Robb
Cedar Crest College has named Wendy J. Robb PhD. RN. CNE to its newly funded $1.25 million Hazel and Walter May Endowed Chair for Excellence in Nursing. Dr. Robb is chair of Cedar Crest’s department of nursing and, until recently, was the director of the College’s graduate nursing program.
“We are grateful to Hazel and Walter May and we are thrilled to offer a leading nurse educator the opportunity to advance our nursing program’s mission to provide the highest quality nurses to the Lehigh Valley region and the nation,” Cedar Crest President Carmen Ambar said. “Wendy is an excellent choice for the position. She brings vision, creativity and dedication to the May Chair. We are excited to see where she leads us.”
Dr. Robb joined Cedar Crest College in 2000 from Lehigh Valley Health Network. She was named the director of the graduate nursing program in 2008 and the department chair in 2011. She has received numerous awards for excellence in nursing, nursing education and scholarship. She has an extensive list of local and international presentations to her credit centered on complementary therapy research, and nursing education.
Dr. Robb was instrumental in the initial accreditation of Cedar Crest’s master of science in nursing program and the College’s partnership with The Reading Hospital and Medical Center, which has just graduated its first cohort of masters prepared nurses.
A first-generation college graduate and an advocate for higher education for nurses, Dr. Robb achieved her associate degree in nursing from Gwynedd Mercy University. Once licensed, she worked the night shift at Lehigh Valley Hospital’s Shock Trauma Unit and continued classes toward a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN) during the day. It took her three years to complete her BSN and another two years to earn her master of science in nursing from DeSales University. In 2006, she was accorded a doctor of philosophy in nursing from Widener University.
“I learned very early in nursing that doors open with advanced education,” she said. “Working side-by-side with highly educated professionals stimulated my desire to want to know as much as they did and perform flawlessly.”
Explaining her move from bedside nurse to nurse educator, Dr. Robb said, “When I cared for patients in the trauma intensive care unit, I impacted one or two families each shift. As a nurse educator I impact hundreds of nursing students each semester who will ultimately provide care to thousands of patients and families…”
Walter M. May and his wife, Hazel, now deceased, have a long history of philanthropy in the Lehigh Valley. In addition to the endowed chair at Cedar Crest, the Mays also have endowed a chair for Excellence in Cardiology at Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network. Mr. May retired in 1983 from Mack Trucks where his Maxidyne high-torque rise engine revolutionized the trucking industry by making heavy trucks more fuel-efficient. He is in the Automotive Hall of Fame.
Seated from left: Wendy Robb, Ph.D., Walter May,
Cedar Crest College President Carmen Twillie Ambar;
standing: Susan W. Arnold, vice president, Institutional Advancement, Cedar Crest College