Dr. Lynn Clark Callister
Distinguished Nursing Professor
Brigham Young High School
Class of 1960

BYU Nursing Professor Honored
By Lindsay Cook
BYU NewsNet
August 13, 2007

Years ago, a young girl observed how tenderly the nurses cared for her mother as she died of cancer. It was there, at her mother's bedside, she resolved to become a nurse.

"I never could have imagined the privileges and opportunities in nursing that have come to me..." said Lynn Clark Callister, reflecting on her life and service in health care since that moment as a little girl. "Amazing, amazing opportunities have come to me for which I am grateful."

Callister, now a professor in the BYU College of Nursing, recently received the highest honor bestowed from the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses - the 2007 Distinguished Professional Service Award.

She received the award at the AWHONN annual convention held in Florida in June. The award is given to a member of the association whose accomplishments and contributions exemplify a commitment to excellence.

Thousands of her fellow nurses gave her a standing ovation when she received the award-all in tribute to the outstanding work she performed in the field over the years.

"I was so touched to be honored by my colleagues," she said.

Lynn Callister Clark, BYH Class of 1960

Callister is one of about ten nurses in Utah who is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. She is co-chair of the Expert Panel on Global Health and Nursing. She also writes a column in a global health in women and children journal.

"[Dr. Callister] personifies all the qualities of AWHONN's most distinguished professional," said Jean Jackson, a spokesperson for the organization.

Callister's contributions through research and education have spanned the globe to places like Guatemala, Jordan, Africa, Eastern Europe, the People's Republic of China and Finland amongst others. She will be in Russia for part of this month to continue her work teaching nurses and consulting on research and humanitarian projects.

"I have had many memorable experiences," she said, "...from interviewing Muslim women in a Palestinian refugee camp to interviewing women in humble homes in the Guatemalan highlands."

Callister said one of her most memorable experiences was speaking at the United Nations International Commission on the Status of Women. There, she attended meetings to discuss how to reduce global maternal mortality rates.

"I am helping health care providers to recognize the importance of listening to the voices of women-respecting their perspectives, understanding their socio-cultural context and increasing their ability to provide culturally competent care," Callister said.

Callister said her success would not have been possible if it weren't for the support and funding provided by the Kennedy Center for International Studies, the BYU College of Nursing, the Women's Research Institute and the Fulbright Foundation.

"I am grateful for professional colleagues who have mentored me and cheered me on," she said. "I am grateful for my 11 children and my amazing husband who provide love and support, and for incredibly bright and motivated students who inspire me."

Callister says she plans to continue to teach students, mentor faculty colleagues, disseminate information in publications and presentations internationally and make a difference wherever she can.


Lynn Clark [Virginia Lynn], is a member of the Brigham Young High School Class of 1960. She served as Senior Class Secretary. She was a member of the Pep Club, a Junior Varsity Cheerleader, chaired the Junior Prom Committee, and graduated from Seminary.

Lynn Clark participated on Debate and Interpretive teams. She was a Banner Carrier. She participated in the Model United Nations, and was a Student Delegate to the Republican Convention. She served on the Senior Honor Panel.
Lynn earned a BS Degree in Nursing at BYU in 1964. She studied nursing at Wichita State University in Kansas and received an MS Degree there in 1969. She earned her PhD degree from the University of Utah in 1993.

Lynn married Reed Richards Callister, and they have raised 11 children in a blended family. Lynn is a Professor of Nursing at Brigham Young University.

Lynn's parents are Harold Glen Clark and Virginia Louise Driggs. Lynn's mother died on March 16, 1950, in Provo. Her father died on March 2, 1984, also in Provo.

Harold and Virginia had six children: Carol Jean Clark, Harold Glen Clark, Jr., Mary Louise Clark [BYH Class of 1952], Donald Driggs Clark, Virginia Lynn Clark [BYH Class of 1960], and Joseph William Clark [BYH Class of 1962].

Her father married Mary Deane Peterson Gilbert in December of 1950, and the family added two siblings, both of whom went to BY High: Paul Gilbert [Class of 1961] and Lark Gilbert [Class of 1964] Cheesman. Harold and Mary Deane subsequently had another child, Rebecca Clark [Class of 1971] Knudsen. Mary Deane passed away April 13, 2006. She had been a past faculty member at BY High.

Lynn Clark Callister Receives
Fourth Official Recognition This Year

By Elizabeth Obreza
BYU News Net
October 24, 2007

Even after publishing over 100 articles and researching childbirth in nearly 10 different countries, student success is still professor Lynn Callister's true passion.

"We are so blessed in the College of Nursing to have very, very motivated students," Callister said. "To see their profit and personal growth is very rewarding."

The National League for Nursing recognized this BYU professor's dedication to education at the beginning of the month with the Excellence in Teaching Award.

The league award is the fourth official recognition Callister has received this year.

This honor is awarded to one member of the NLN at the organization's annual Education Summit. Contributions to teaching, scholarly expertise and support of students' self-direction are a few of the criteria to be a recipient.

Callister focuses her research on cultural perceptions of childbirth. "Nurses take care of women from all over the world," Callister said. "They can give better care... the more they know about different cultures."

Callister has mentored over 30 undergraduate students in their independent research projects during her BYU professorship. Cambria Jones, who took her nursing research course, is one of the five students Callister is currently mentoring.

Jones wrote her honors thesis, turned Office of Research and Creative project, about Hispanic immigrant childbearing.

"She really treats me as an equal even though she is helping me," Jones said.

Callister and Jones wrote a joint article based on Jones' research to be published in The American Journal of Nursing by the end of the year.

"I did the research and she did a lot of the writing," said Jones, who was impressed that Callister asked her for suggestions on how to improve the manuscript.

Stephen Wilkinson, a pre-med biology junior, asked Callister to mentor him in his honors thesis about perceptions of childbirth among Ghanaian women. Wilkinson learned about Callister's research experiences, which have taken her to Ghana, when they lived in the same ward.

"She really lets me be self-directed about my timetable and goals," Wilkinson said. "She has given me a lot of independence and a sense of ownership that made it a better project."


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