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Celebrating 75 Years of Innovation in Nursing Education and Research

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Meet alumna Jacqueline Maria Dias, Class of 1991

Jul 13, 2021

For the 75th Anniversary of the School of Nursing, we created a virtual book and invited alumni to contribute their reflections. Here is another example from our book.

Dias library

Photo above: Dr. Dias in the library – “my second home”

What I’m up to now

Chair & Associate Professor, University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

Please share two or three highlights or interesting experiences from your life with your fellow classmates.

I feel I have always been associated with Mac all of my professional life, almost like tied to the umbilical cord, first with the Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery in Karachi Pakistan from 1986-2019 as McMaster set up the baccalaureate nursing program. At the Aga Khan University I held the positions of Director General Nursing Diploma Program, Director Post RN Program, Director, BScN program and Founding Director of Blended Learning where I transformed the BScN curriculum from a didactic to blended learning pedagogy. Furthermore, I was the Founding director for the Centre for Innovation in Medical Education - the first simulation centre in Pakistan at the Aga Khan University. In January 2019 I joined the University of Sharjah, UAE. McMaster University was instrumental in setting up the BSN program in 1999 so once again I could see the seeds McMaster had planted at University of Sharjah.

Today I am blessed to be the Chair and Associate Professor of three programs at the University of Sharjah: Department of Nursing, Post RN Bridging Program, BsN and Masters in Adult Critical Care. I launched the first Masters in Adult Critical Care program in the country at the University of Sharjah. Additionally, I am Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK and an Anne Marie Schimmel Scholar.

I had the opportunity to return to Mac several times. In the summer of 1996, I returned to attend a conference hosted by the School of Nursing. In the summer of 2015, I returned for observational visits of the simulation center at Mac and Mohawk College. It was a memorable experience walking the grounds of McMaster. Thanks Mac! You gave the direction, and I feel blessed to be associated with McMaster University.

Please share some of your favourite memories from your time in McMaster's School of Nursing.

I have nostalgic memories of Drs Andrea Bauman, Cathy Tompkins, Janet Landeen, Lesli Van Dover. I recall the fun along with learning in the PBL tutorials. Little did I realize at that time I was learning life skills. I have formed friendships which have lasted: Maria Scattalon, Diana Varga, Manuela Lopez.

If you could give the 18-year-old version of yourself some advice, what would you say?

Mac will prepare you with the life skills you need. Enjoy the learning and cultivate friendships.

Dias convocation

Photo above: McMaster Convocation held in Karachi Pakistan at Aga Khan University, November 1991. Extreme Right - Jacqueline Maria Dias, Extreme left - Nisha Thobani and next Yasmin Jiwani


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