Fedora’s longtime career at COS began in 1985 when she was hired to teach theory classes for the Licensed Vocational Nurse program. In January 1986, upon the retirement of Hazel McCarthy she became the second Director and Instructor of Nursing.

It is a significant moment when a school’s faculty recommend the elevation of one of their retired members to emeritus status. It does not happen all the time; the recognition is reserved for those who have completed their career as faculty and during their career went above and beyond – and are seen by their peers as having been exceptional.

In a press release last week, College of the Siskiyous announced that they’ll recognize the Geri Fedora, former Faculty and Director of Nursing at COS, who retired in 2011, as their newest Emeritus.

Fedora’s longtime career at COS began in 1985 when she was hired to teach theory classes for the Licensed Vocational Nurse program. In January 1986, upon the retirement of Hazel McCarthy she became the second Director and Instructor of Nursing.

For the next 25 years, thanks to her leadership, the COS Nursing Program would steadily expand, with millions of dollars in new grant funding, growing numbers of students, addition of a new RN program, additional faculty positions to handle the expanded teaching load, and upgraded clinical and instructional technology, all while maintaining one of the highest student pass rates for national nurse licensure exams in the State of California (99%), COS said in a press release.

In 2005, Fedora researched the medical simulation field, and applied for and received hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding necessary to furnish a state-of-the-art hospital simulation lab with eighteen patient beds, virtual IV simulators, advanced software-controlled, instructor-directed manikins, and other modern nursing care education technology at the newly built Rural Health Sciences Institute at the Yreka Campus in Yreka. During this same time period, Fedora worked tirelessly to develop the LVN to RN Step-Up Program from the ground up, COS said.

She played a vital role in program design, curriculum development, achieving state accreditation, and acquiring the grant funding to sustain the new program, the college noted. In fall 2007, she became the first COS Nursing Program Director.

During her tenure at COS, Fedora developed long-term successful relationships with Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta and Fairchild Medical Center to allow COS nursing students to receive hands-on clinical training in a real-world nursing environment. She also worked closely with all the local organizations creating the Nursing Advisory Council, including Siskiyou County Public Health and Home Health Departments, community pre-schools, and geriatric/long term care facilities to realize as many types of student nurse training opportunities as possible, the press release noted.

In addition to her Siskiyou County-based educational role, Fedora was active in state-wide nurse educator leadership and served as member of a number of state-wide professional nurse educator associations including the California Vocational Nurse Educator Association Executive Board from 1992 to 2004 (including the position of president), the school said. She was also active on various COS Academic Senate and Faculty Association committees, including curriculum and staff development. In May 2007, Fedora was recognized by her peers and the students as COS Outstanding Faculty of the Year.

“Fedora is an exceptional instructor who challenged her students to meet the standards of professional nurses while being totally committed to helping them succeed,” the college said in a press release. “She has changed the lives of hundreds of COS students who are providing highly skilled nursing care in their communities today. College of the Siskiyous is proud and honored to recognize Gerri Fedora as Emeritus Faculty.”