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ASPEN LECTURE: Kathleen Sutcliffe

February 13 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Dr. Kathleen Sutcliffe
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor PhD, MN, BA, BS
Johns Hopkins University

Link to publications

Title of talk: Scholarship of problems and problems of scholarship
I have two goals for this talk. First, to talk about interdisciplinary academic life and its challenges. Drawing from my own experience as a health care practitioner and scholar, I explore how one achieves and persists and remains engaged as a scholar in the midst of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Second, to draw on my scholarly research on resilience and thriving to propose some ideas for how all of us might engage with the challenges of academic life and keep engaged and vital over time.


Kathleen M. Sutcliffe (Ph.D. University of Texas – Austin) is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University with appointments in the Carey Business School, the School of Medicine (Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine), the Bloomberg School of Public Health, the School of Nursing, and the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. She is also Professor Emeritus of Management and Organization at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Her research program has been devoted to investigating how organizations and their members cope with uncertainty and how organizations can be designed to be more reliable and resilient. She has investigated organizational safety, high reliability and resilience practices in oil exploration and production, wildland firefighting, and in healthcare. She has been awarded multiple research awards and her research has appeared widely in management and healthcare journals. A recent book co-authored with the late Dr. Robert Wears is titled Still Not Safe: Patient Safety and the Middle Managing of American Medicine (Oxford University Press, 2020). She is currently serving as a member of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine Transportation Research Board Committee on Emerging Trends in Aviation Safety.

The ASPEN speakers series is jointly sponsored by the Washington State University College of Nursing and Collaboration for InterProfessional Health Education Research & Scholarship (CIPHERS) to encourage discussion of scholarship and educational collaboration among the health sciences.


February 13
10:00 am - 11:30 am
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