The quality of the Boise State faculty precipitates the quality of instruction for our students and the quality of intellectual capital that enriches the social, cultural and economic success of the region. Endowed faculty positions, such as the JoAnna “Jody” DeMeyer Endowed Chair in Nursing, honor and recognize the distinction of superior faculty while providing invaluable financial support, above and beyond salary, for use in research, teaching or service activities.
Dr. Jane Grassley is a professor in the School of Nursing and holds the Jody DeMeyer Endowed Chair for Nursing at Boise State. She’s the third professor to hold the endowed chair that was established in 2006 from a $3 million gift from the estate of Jody DeMeyer. A leader in the Treasure Valley nursing community, DeMeyer was a chief nursing officer with St. Luke’s Regional Health System, served on the faculty at Boise State and helped raise funds for nursing scholarships with her involvement in the Friends of Nursing organization.
Dr. Grassley joined the School of Nursing in 2010 where she’s conducted research that evaluates effective interventions for improving the breastfeeding support that mothers receive from nurses. She’s held a joint appointment with the Women’s Services at St. Luke’s to collaboratively develop research projects with the Treasure Valley hospitals’ lactation consultants.
Endowed chairs provide flexibility for faculty to try new ideas or pursue unexplored paths critical to innovation. Endowed chairs allow faculty members to acquire additional library resources, buy a piece of equipment or travel to a conference not supported by existing grants. Funds from endowed chairs enrich the student experience as well. They support graduate and undergraduate student partners in research projects and provide the means for them to attend conferences. Endowed chairs enable Boise State to have top faculty creating cutting-edge research directions and teaching approaches for our students.
As the DeMeyer endowed chair, Dr. Grassley provides mentor guidance for colleagues in developing their research programs as well as pursuing funding for her research projects. She’s able to use endowment funds to pay for a cohort of undergraduate student research assistants to assist faculty colleagues in conducting their research. Also, she’s able to provide funding for students to attend conferences where students often present posters among doctoral students.
“Watching the undergraduate research assistants catch a vision of themselves as nurses who can influence nursing practice through research has been fun and meaningful. Serving as the Jody DeMeyer Endowed Chair has provided the time and resources not only to influence these students but to mentor faculty colleagues
and nurse community partners.”
— Dr. Jane Grassley
Following nine years of teaching at Boise State, Dr. Grassley will retire in May where she’ll spend time knitting, traveling, visiting children and grandchildren, and binge-reading murder mysteries.