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Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion
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The distinctive character of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is defined by the faculty's demonstrated capability to fulfill the values of the Teacher- Scholar Philosophy; a philosophy guided by a serious and continuing commitment to teaching, scholarship and service in the belief that scholarship complements and enriches excellence in teaching and service.

Adapted from The Teacher Scholar Philosophy of SIUE, Teacher Scholar Philosophy Working Group, 6/2/08

Dr. Rita E. Arras, Ph.D., RN

Assistant Professor, Department of Family Health & Community Health Nursing

Research Focus:

Minority Men's Health--Prostate Cancer

Preventing Tobacco Use in Pregnancy

Rita Arras

Recent Honors / Awards / Recognition:
Nominee for Teaching Excellence Award from School of Nursing 2007

Primary Courses Taught:

Nursing 475, Both practicum and theory


1978 – B.S., Nursing, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

1991 – M. S., Community Health Nursing, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

2002 –Ph,D., Health Education, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

How does SIUE support your professional growth or activity as a Teacher-Scholar?
Faculty in the School of Nursing are working together, supporting each other, and being guided by senior scholars, Dr. Louise Flick and Dr. Bill True, to develop research grants.  I also appreciate the Graduate School’s internally funded research programs, which supported my research on tobacco use in pregnancy.  Finally, I value the atmosphere at SIUE that encourages faculty to involve students in research, share research findings with students, and conduct collaborative research with public health agencies to improve the health of the region."

What is a unique aspect of your professional life that enhances your service to the academic or greater community?       "I strive to bring together all three aspects of my professional life, service (through volunteer efforts with St. Clair County Health Department), scholarship (collaborating with colleagues at St. Clair and other Health Departments on community based participatory research projects), and teaching (involving students in action-oriented projects in the clinical setting that enhance service delivery for the health department)."

How has one mentor or event shaped your career decision to become a university professor?  "Emeritus Professor Dr. Margaret Beaman has been an important mentor; first as a professor and chair of my thesis committee, then as a colleague, and always a friend.  Dr. Beaman has encouraged me to pursue more education, been a great sounding board for research ideas, and a steady source of inspiration."

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