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Old Model School • University of Maine at Fort Kent • 23 University Drive, Fort Kent, ME 04743

UMFK Nursing Professor Recognized for Contributions to Nursing Education

May 26, 2021

Dr. Tanya Sleeper promotion full professor at UMFKThe University of Maine at Fort Kent is pleased to announce that Dr. Tanya Sleeper has been promoted from associate professor to full professor, an honor many faculty work toward during their career.

“After serving in the rank of assistant professor, faculty are promoted to associate professor and then to full professor which involves an in-depth review process,” said UMFK’s President & Provost, Dr. Deb Hedeen. “One must demonstrate that they meet or exceed the defined expectations within teaching, research, and service.”

In 1998, Dr. Sleeper earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing from UMFK. She then went on to earn her master’s in Business from Husson College in 2000, and in 2004, she earned her Master of Science in nursing and became a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner. She earned her Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University in 2013. She is currently pursuing her law degree from Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Dr. Sleeper has been with UMFK since 2008.

Dr. Sleeper, a Board-Certified Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, has conducted research and disseminated the findings through publications and presentations on such topics as health policy, health insurance, genomics, and health leadership. She is a proponent of hands-on experiences and incorporates such methods in her own teaching practice.

“Dr. Sleeper has been instrumental in assisting the nursing program to refine and enhance our nursing program curriculum,” said UMFK’s Dean of Undergraduate Nursing, Dr. Erin Soucy. “Her commitment to high engagement learning strategies is effective and valuable, particularly to enhance student success but it also contributes to curricular refinement. Further, her vast knowledge of healthcare and education means that she contributes in meaningful ways in every aspect of our program, including curricular development, teaching methodologies, and evaluation.”

Currently pursuing a health law degree at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, Dr. Sleeper intends to graduate in May 2022. Dr. Sleeper is particularly well suited to study health law as it relates to healthcare, business, and legal settings. With her prior background and education in nursing, business, and health care policy, she is an ideal candidate to study healthcare law. She brings valuable information to faculty and students in terms of the intersection between health care and the law. Further, she readily shares her insight in terms of academic policy development. During her studies at the Mitchell Hamline school, she has been recognized for her wealth of knowledge and has been asked to present to their alum. 

The Mitchell Hamline School of Law recently honored Dr. Sleeper with the CALI Excellence for the Future Award® which recognizes excellence achievement by law students in their studies. The award is given to the student with the highest grade in the class as determined by the instructor or registrar.

Dr. Sleeper also works for Aroostook Home Health Services/Valley Home Health Services and has in various roles since 1999. She is currently the Executive Director and the Director of Nursing. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine and the University of Southern Maine.

She sits on the Board of Education for RSU 39 as the Chair; is part of the Maine Rural Geriatric Conference planning committee; Vice-Chair of the Pines Health Services Board of Directors; Aroostook District Coordinating Council for Public Health committee member; and the vice president of the Aroostook Mental Health Center board of directors.

In 2008, Dr. Sleeper was given the UMFK Nurse Alumnus award and in 2019, she was given the UMFK Outstanding Faculty Award. St. Joseph’s College of Maine awarded her as the Graduate Nursing Faculty Member of the Year in 2013.

She is part of the editorial board for the International Journal of Nursing and Clinical Practices as well as the Journal of Comprehensive Nursing Care and Research. Dr. Sleeper has been a faculty associate for the University of Maine’s Center on Aging since 2017.

“We are thrilled to celebrate Dr. Sleeper’s promotion to the rank of full professor,” said President Hedeen. “Her contributions as an educator, scholar, and servant are a great benefit to our students and institution. We congratulate her on all of her accolades and honors.”