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Image of Gale Spencer at Binghamton University

Nurse-educator emphasizes hands-on learning

Gale Spencer is a national leader in community health nursing education and a mentor to both students and junior faculty, helping to shape the current and future vision of the Decker School of Nursing.


“I believe, because of my subject area, that the learner must participate in real-life activities to make learning meaningful,” she said. “This is a particularly useful methodology for adult learners, and because I teach predominately in the graduate program it is very appropriate for my students. For my Epidemiology class, I use case studies of real epidemics from the Centers for Disease Control, and require the students to find and create a case study of an epidemic.”

Spencer, who holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Hartwick College, earned master’s and doctoral degrees from Syracuse University. She was appointed to an endowed professorship, the Decker Chair in Community Health Nursing, in 2006, and was named a distinguished teaching professor the following year.

“I think that the most rewarding part of the classroom is seeing the student’s aha moment, when what they are learning becomes meaningful to them,” said Spencer, who joined Binghamton’s faculty in 1975. “It is also rewarding to see your students grow and mature and become successful in their chosen field, whether it be in teaching or in practice.”

Learn more about the Decker School of Nursing and its award-winning faculty.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08