Judith Cheek Hays, R.N., Ph.D. ’66
Casady Alumni Achievement 2011Associate Professor Emerita, School of NursingDuke University
Judith Cheek Hays has devoted her professional life to gerontological research, nursing education, and scientific writing. At Duke she is a Senior Fellow in the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development and member of the Department of Psychiatry and School of Nursing faculties, having served as the division chair of the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
"Judy has what Casady fosters and that is a keen intellect and compassion," said Judy's brother, Tim Cheek '77.
Judy's research is widely published in journals related to death, dying, bereavement and widowhood; affective disorders in late life; living arrangements and residential changes in late life; and religion and health in late life. Since 2004, she has served as Editor of the journal Public Health Nursing and on the Publications Board of the American Public Health Association. Her volunteer service has included Chair of Durham’s non-profit, independent fair trade retail store, One World Market and President of the Congregation at Duke Chapel, where she serves as healthcare liaison for Montagnard refugee families.
"I'm very grateful to Casady, where I learned the lessons that have withstood the test of time. Daily Chapel and the Episcopal hymnal taught me to wait and watch for direction that would come from a realm invisible to the human eye. Mrs. (Edwin) Porch taught us that we were part of a larger community and to act accordingly," said Judy.
"It seems like every adult around Casady was always teaching us how to write. From Mrs. Lacey who drilled us on diagramming sentences in the sixth grade to Mrs. (Margaret) Tuck who taught us to write in English; Mr. (Arlen) Gill who taught us to write in French; and Dr. (Robert) Woolsey who taught us how language was constructed in Latin, a language that nobody even wrote anymore," she said.
After graduating from Casady, Judy earned a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Her scientific and clinical training includes a Ph.D. in chronic disease epidemiology and aging from Yale University School of Medicine, a Master of Science in nursing from the Yale School of Nursing, and a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Emory University in Atlanta.