Robin Fleming, Alum, Wins Annual Research Award from National Association for School Nurses
Robin Fleming, College of Ed alum in the area of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, won the annual award for completed research from the National Association of School Nurses.
In addition to her UW PhD, Fleming is a registered nurse and a nationally certified school nurse. She currently works as a school nurse at Franklin High School and Schmitz Park Elementary. Fleming also serves as the National School Nurse Association (NASN) Director-elect for the School Nurse Association of Washington, and by serving as secretary of the school nurse section of the American School Health Association.
Fleming’s personal motto is a Joycelyn Elders quote: “"You cannot educate an unhealthy child, and you cannot be healthy without education."
Clearly, Fleming cares deeply about equity of access to health care and its related impact on student learning, particularly to students who are underserved. Her dissertation, a mixed methods study, looked at Seattle Public School’ middle and high school student’s use of health services. She broke down her analysis to examine disaggregated data by student gender, race, ethnicity, poverty, and immigrant status.
As her advisor, Marge Plecki, summarizes, “Her analysis compared usage rates in schools with traditional school nurses and compared them to usage rates in schools with School Based Health Centers. She found that while school nurses saw more students, the number of contacts per student was less than with School Based Health Centers. She also conducted a very detailed analysis of frequency and types of visits that In order to deepen her understanding of the quantitative data…While policymakers and educators recognize the link between good health and success in school, the field needs to better understand the types of policy approaches that will be most effective in ensuring that all students are healthy, a key ingredient to their success.”
Fleming credits part of her success to Plecki’s fantastic advising, enthusing, “I was in the College of Education and LOVED it! The best part was the excellent advising by Marge Plecki, the accessibility and commitment of faculty to student learning, and the relationships and collegiality formed with other students who will remain lifelong friends.”
When asked what else she might add about the importance of this work, Fleming states, “I suppose I would add that an interdisciplinary perspective (that of both education and health care) is crucial to supporting student success, particularly for children who traditionally underperform in public schools.”