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Visiting Professor: Dr. Teresa Stone, RN, RMN, BA, MHM, PhD FACMHN

Dr. Teri Stone has been teaching at the Faculty of Nursing, Chiang Mai University since 2014 and is currently an adjunct professor. Her areas of expertise include leadership, mental health issues, cross cultural health, health beliefs and qualitative research. Her PhD from the University of Newcastle, Australia was on mental health, leadership, health beliefs and cross cultural health. In addition, she has a graduate certificate in tertiary teaching, a master degree in health management and a bachelors degree in Psychology.

1.  Please describe your role at the Faculty of Nursing

I see myself as a facilitator of learning for faculty and students as well as teaching.

2. What has been your most rewarding experience in your time with FON CMU thus far?

Hard to pinpoint one! The nurturing relationship that the faculty has towards its students and community is inspirational. Post graduate students are so lucky to be studying in such a rich environment with experienced Thai faculty and opportunities to mix with peers from all over the world. I love to trace the journeys that the PhD students take after graduating from Chiang Mai University to become leaders in their own countries.

3. Where are you from/where do you call home?

Difficult question! I was born in the north of England. We have always moved around a lot and I went to nine schools before I was ten years old. I spent three years in Malaysia as a child and I think that laid the groundwork for my love of Southeast Asia. I set off for Australia after I finished my nursing qualifications but got side tracked and worked in Hong Kong for a year. I finally moved to Australia in 1987 and that seems like home but then so does the UK and Thailand and Japan….

4What foreign universities have you worked for/will work for and when?

I have spent a lot of my career in clinical and health service management and was rather late going into academia. I have worked at the University of Newcastle and University of New England in Australia, Yamaguchi University in Japan and Wuhan University in China.

5What draws you to international work?

The people! The culture! The opportunity to meet and learn from people from other contexts.  I never tire of learning about culture. My passion outside of work is textiles and I love exploring markets and meeting craftspeople.

6What are some of the challenges of international work?

Well in my old age I seem to find it impossible to pick up new languages although I have gotten pretty good at understanding Japanese. It really does bring home to me just how hard it is for researchers to publish in a second language. Thanks to the internet, isolation from family is not the big problem it once was. When I first worked in Australia I was working in remote Aboriginal areas and there were no phones and a weekly mail plane. That was isolation.

 Working with indigenous communities in Australia

Working with indigenous communities in Australia 

7. What can Thailand learn from other countries and their research methods/practices?

It is tough to be a researcher in Thailand maybe everywhere because there are so many competing demands on time. Finding time to devote entirely to research is difficult.

I would urge Thai nurses to pay attention to the process as well as the outcome of their research: ensure that research studies are well designed and thoroughly peer reviewed at the beginning of the research process.

8. What can other countries learn from Thailand and the research methods here?

I think other countries have a lot to learn from Thailands engagement in the community. This leads to rich research and collaboration between clinical and academic nurses as well as the general public. Academics in Chiang Mai are clinically current and have credibility with their clinical colleagues.  Some countries do not value clinical experience and that is a great shame: in my view you cannot be an effective educator or researcher without this experience.

Thai nurses also seem to be working in occupational health areas that other nurses have not considered such as implementing farm safety programs, road safety, chemical awareness programs for hairdressers. These are programs that really make a difference to the health of the community.

9. What would you say most motivates you to do what you do?  What are you most excited or passionate about?

Facilitating learning is what I am most passionate about; engaging people to think critically and bring creativity to their clinical and research work and to always have patientsinterests as their first priority.

Mental health care needs urgent attention in most countries and there is stigma and fear about people with mental health problems even by nurses. I hope that I can transform nurses attitudes about this and through them improve the conditions in their countries.

10.   Whats next for you in your work?  What are you looking forward to?

I would be very happy to keep working in this capacity for the foreseeable future. I am also looking forward to a time when there is less emphasis on the quantity of publications and more value put on quality and the translation of research into improvements in clinical practice and teaching environments.


Selected Awards and Honors

Fellow of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses

NSW Quality Teaching Award

University of Newcastle Faculty Teaching and Learning Excellence Award

Australian College of Mental Health Nurses research award

Baxter Health Award for Management Development Program

Institute of Nursing Executives of NSW and ACT prize for achievement

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