Nursing associate professor Linda (Somerhalder) Howe died on May 13. She was 67.
Howe had been an undergraduate associate professor at the UCF College of Nursing since 2012. Her research interests included nursing and institutional history, nursing education strategies, pharmacogenomics, and deep tissue injury prevention and healing.
In her 30-year academic career, Howe has served in various faculty and leadership roles at universities and colleges in Florida, Maryland and South Carolina. Prior to UCF, Howe spent 12 years at the School of Nursing at Clemson University and retired from there as an associate professor emerita. She began and spent most of her clinical career in intensive and critical care.
An active member in local and national nursing professional organizations, Howe recently served on the NLN Board of Governors for two terms and as president-elect of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Theta Epsilon Chapter. Howe was a member of the editorial board for Nursing Education Perspectives and reviewer for Journal of Nursing Education. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina, M.S.N. from Texas Woman’s University and B.S.N. from the University of Texas.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. Howe, who was an esteemed member of our faculty,” said Dr. Mary Lou Sole, dean of the UCF College of Nursing. “During her time at UCF, she made a lasting impression with her creativity in the classroom and dedication to students. Through her innovative teaching strategies and endowed scholarship, she will continue to touch lives and make a positive impact on nursing students at UCF and beyond. It was a privilege to work alongside Linda, and she will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her.”
Honored for innovative teaching strategies
In October 2015, Howe was honored for her innovative teaching strategies and inducted as a fellow into the National League for Nursing’s Academy of Nursing Education. She was the creator of The Village, a unique, case-based approach to teaching pharmacology that engages students, increases understanding of content and encourages self-discovery. The teaching method is affordable and can be easily adapted to other subjects. As a result, it is currently in use in more than 70 schools in the U.S. and her article in Nursing Education Perspectives has been downloaded a few hundred times.
Howe also used the book “The Other End of the Stethoscope” to teach nursing values. Written by a man who was blinded and catastrophically injured at age 18, the book documents his experiences in the health care system. It helps students see things from a patient’s perspective, and teaches ethics, caring and patient education. She had presented her findings on this method at the NLN and several other venues.
Howe had received numerous other honors and awards throughout her career. Most recently, Howe was honored with the Heather Scaglione Award from the Florida Nurses Association, a Nursing Excellence award finalist from the Orlando March of Dimes, and a Professional Service Award from the UCF College of Nursing.
Dedicated to students, leaves lasting legacy
A champion of nursing students, Howe served as the faculty mentor/consultant of the Student Nurses Association (SNA) chapter on the Orlando campus throughout her three years at UCF. Under her leadership, the SNA chapter became an award-winning chapter earning recognition at the state and national level for its commitment to community service and nursing. For the past two years in a row, the chapter was named the Diamond Chapter of the Year by the Florida Nursing Students Association. The chapter also earned the “stellar chapter” designation from the National Student Nurses Association.
In addition to supporting UCF Knight nurses in the classroom and as a mentor, Howe, together with her husband John, recently established a scholarship to support future NICU nurses. The Elizabeth Marie Howe Memorial Endowed Nursing Scholarship was created in memory of their daughter who passed away after only a few short days of life. In honor of Dr. Howe’s life as a nurse and educator, memorial contributions can be made to this scholarship online or by calling the college’s Development Office at 407-823-1600.
Memorial service on Saturday, May 21
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2016, at 3 p.m. at Newcomer Funeral Home & Cremation Services located at 895 S. Goldenrod Road, Orlando, Florida. Visitation will be held prior to the service starting at 1 p.m. Family and friends may share memories and leave condolence messages for the family on the funeral home’s website.