Dr. Kathrine Kolanko likes to tell of the four Dr. Kolankos.
“My dad worked in the steel mills, and all four of his children now are called doctor. He’d always tell us to go for it, that we could do it.”
Franciscan University’s Dr. Kolanko grew up in Weirton, West Virginia, the eldest of these high-achieving siblings. In 1968, she earned her diploma in nursing from Western Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing in Pittsburgh; in 1978, her BS in nursing from West Liberty State College; in 1984, her MSN from West Virginia University; and in 1999—31 years after she’d first set foot on the academic track—her PhD in nursing from Duquesne University, where she specialized in nursing education and research.
Dr. Kolanko’s wide experience with academic institutions led her to choose to teach at Franciscan. “The reason I came here in 1987, and the reason I’ve stayed is because of the faith environment at Franciscan,” she says.
She educates her graduate students to be teachers as well as nurses to their patients, communities, nursing students, and allied health professionals. In addition to direct instruction, Franciscan nurses model unwavering respect for life through their nursing practice.
“Our graduates care for their patients from conception to natural death,” saysDr. Kolanko. “They advocate for their patients, they show others how to uphold the dignity of all human life.”
She and her husband, Roger Gall, are busy at their parish of St. Paul in Weirton. They have two sons and seven grandchildren “I love the opera, the ballet, and to swim and read,” she says, “but my main hobby is my family.”
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