BY Bryan Casey
Maura Daly Iverson became the new Dean of the College of Health Professions as of Dec 30.
Iverson is a Physical Therapist and Behavioral Scientist/Clinical Epidemiologist with a primary focus in rheumatology and was former associate dean of Northeastern University’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences.
The university’s advancements attracted Iverson to the school.
“Sacred Heart is nimble and innovative and has a welcoming presence,” said Iverson.
Research is very important to her, as her previous studies focused on rheumatological conditions.
“I began my research conducting clinical trials of exercise to determine which forms of exercise, and at what dose, are most effective to manage Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and Osteoarthritis (OA),” said Iverson.
After her time studying Rheumatoid Arthritis, Iverson turned her attention to another research method which utilizes technology within a classroom setting. This work focuses on “the implementation of technology in teaching including the use of google glasses to teach clinical evaluation skills,” said Iverson.
Iverson identified these new technologies at Sacred Heart and wishes to fully utilize these resources to improve the curriculum.
“I am looking forward to expanding student learning experiences, both locally, globally and virtually, through virtual reality, technology and interprofessional engagement,” she said.
While Iverson has only been at Sacred Heart for two months, she has big plans to utilize other departments at the university to create a well-rounded program. This will allow health science students to gain a new understanding of their personal impact within the realm of medical care.
Iverson said, “I plan to expand the courses on spirituality and health care/wellness with new collaborations from the College of Arts & Sciences.”
This cross-platform idea is unique, and Iverson wishes to further enhance the student focused program by adding new scholarship and study abroad opportunities.
“I do hope to develop strong relationships with donors to create scholarships for our students and to expand global learning opportunities, focused initially on our fantastic Dingle campus and later across the globe,” said Iverson.
This student-focused passion for studying globally stems from her own experiences abroad. Iverson has lived in Demark and Sweden on fellowships and was a 2016-2017 US Fulbright research scholar. This competitive scholarship is an honor to achieve, and Iverson looks forward to mentoring any Sacred Heart student interested in applying.
Although Iverson loves exploring and studying abroad, she always returns to her lifelong home of Boston.
“My parents met at an Irish dance in Southie. My mother was training as a nurse, and my father, a policeman. So, a typical Boston story.”
The setting of Boston inspired her to take on an active lifestyle, sparking her love for swimming, sailing and participating in Dragon boat races.
Running is also one of her favorite hobbies, and in 1998 she ran the Dublin Marathon. Also, if Iverson decides to visit Ireland, she will always have a room on her family’s farm in Glenamaddy, Galway.
While Iverson’s love for exercise inspired her to pursue health sciences, there were other leading factors which motivated her. Iverson’s brother was ill as a teenager and he had to undergo physical therapy treatment. Upon witnessing her brother’s experiences, she wished to pursue the field of PT.
Other health science professors have commented on Iverson’s impact on the college.
Dr. Christopher Petrosino, a Physical Therapy professor, said, “Iverson is creating new connections for the College of Health Professions in national and international health care networks which may prove very beneficial to the college.”
Junior Health Science major Grace Annesar said, “Iverson has a background that I believe will really give the college an edge, as well as enhance our opportunities.”