By Alex Coleman
Professor emerita Dr. Lynn Callister (BS ’64) has a lifetime of wonderful achievement behind her, and has been recognized yet again for her incredible work in nursing. In August of 2019, a paper funded by Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford was published, creating a database of the top 100,000 scientists in the world based on a combination of publication metrics. Dr. Callister was one of those scientists recognized for her work.
This is a recognition that is well-deserved. Students at BYU can qualify to receive the Lynn Clark Callister Endowed Scholarship for exemplifying the qualities of Lynn Callister—“hard work, compassion, intelligence, dedication, selflessness, and integrity,” said Susan Gilbert, a creator of the scholarship.
Dr. Callister has earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from BYU. She went on to earn a master’s degree in maternal/child nursing, her PhD in parent/child nursing, and then joined BYU’s faculty in 1988. She taught women’s health and maternal/newborn nursing at BYU until her retirement in 2012. “She’s received numerous awards in nursing education and for her research, which was focused on the cultural and spiritual meanings of childbirth,” her bio reads.
In a beautiful insight into years of research and loving completion of her duty as a healthcare provider, Dr. Callister shared some of her experiences in a BYU devotional given in 1998. She said, “In thousands of pages of transcribed narrative data, I found that women made sacred the experience of giving birth, supporting the thesis that there is deep meaning in women’s ordinary and commonplace lives regardless of sociocultural context.” She goes on to say, “The foundational wellsprings of Christian, Islamic, and Judaic religious traditions give these women a pattern and language for creating meaning in their lives. Such intuitiveness demonstrates an openness to the transcendent dimensions of their life experiences. Women spoke of the integration of the spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical dimensions of pregnancy and birth.”
Dr. Callister has always been a great emissary of BYU’s motto, “Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve.” She continues to work to improve the lives of women around the world and inspire those who come into contact with her legacy. The College of Nursing congratulates her in her most recent recognition as one of the top 100,000 scientists in the world, and thanks her for her continued service to humanity.
Dr. Lynn Callister, courtesy of BYU photos