Gail Rice is a Professor Emerita from Loma Linda University, health science campus in southern California. She considers herself most of all to be a faculty developer for health professional educators. Fourteen of Gail’s 15 closest relatives are health professionals and/or professors of higher education. It is no surprise that Gail is a nurse and public health educator with a doctorate in higher education; she completed fellowships in medical education from Harvard Macy Institute and the University of Southern California. She is also a wife, mother, grandma, educator, presenter, author, innovator, musician, artist, gourmet cook—well, some of those things are stretched a bit.
Gail taught maternal child nursing at the University of Illinois College of Nursing, with labor and delivery laboratories at the Cook County Hospital. She also taught maternal-child health for Loma Linda University’s School of Public Health. For 18 years Gail served the childbearing community of Riverside, California, offering preparation for birthing classes to 12,000 families. During this time, she struggled to meet needs of diverse clients—professional athletes and wheel-chair veterans, multigravidas and a pseudocyesis patient (false pregnancy), law enforcement personnel and a gentleman who stole a wallet out of her purse, and single expectant mothers with no coach and a teenager who brought her boyfriend, brother, and both parents with her to the class.
Gail is probably best known for her dynamic and innovative presentations. She has taught courses and workshops for faculty members and graduate students in schools of nursing, public health, medicine, dentistry, allied health professions, pharmacy, religion, behavioral science, as well as arts and sciences. She is most excited about several signature courses she offers for health professional teachers at her university. Professors, after attending a workshop, seminar, or course, say, “If only I had learned this at the beginning of my career,” and graduate students write “Before attending this course, I didn’t want to teach, but now I see how transforming good teaching can be. I can’t wait to apply what I have learned to teaching my discipline.”
She provides inspiration for professors and faculty developers nationally in Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Australia, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Japan, Thailand, and Europe, as well as the United States—she has been an adjunct faculty member for the Harvard Macy Institute since 2010 and a speaker at the annual Innovations in Medical Education Conference for the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. Conference attendees often say, “I would have attended this entire conference for Gail’s presentation.”
Her most recent publication (2018) is Hitting Pause: 65 Lecture Breaks to Refresh and Reinforce Learning. This book reminds us that whoever is doing the talking is doing the learning—and that an occasional pause to listen will make learning so much more powerful. “If we can connect to our learners as individuals,” Gail says, “if we teach our students with creativity, compassion and empathy, we will surely make a difference. In this time of great pandemic-related pandemonium, there has never been more need for slowing down, for teaching with sensitivity and serving with empathy.”
Gail and her professor husband, Richard, love family, travel, the arts, literature, cinema, good food, great conversations, Christian worship…..
Comments about Gail’s teaching
“Dr. Rice is the best teacher I have ever encountered in my 18 years of education. She really cares about our learning. For this course, she has designed learning activities, games, experiences, and simulations to make each learning goal actually achievable.”
“Every faculty member at this campus should take this course from you. Teaching would take a huge jump forward if this were the case.”
Comment from an attendee of a session taught at the Teaching Professor Conference in 2020, “You are the teacher I have always aspired to be.”