Nursing educator named to Janice M. Riordan Distinguished Professorship at Wichita State

Nursing faculty member Jolynn A. Dowling MSN, APRN, NNP-BC, IBCLC, has been named to the Janice M. Riordan Distinguished Professorship in Maternal Child Health at Wichita State. The professorship was established in 2007 to honor the work of Janice M. Riordan RN, EdD, FAAN noted author, lecturer, researcher, consultant on breastfeeding and lactation management and former professor in the School of Nursing at Wichita State University. The College of Health Professions gratefully acknowledges the primary donor, Michael L. Riordan, M.D.

Jolynn Dowling (Jo) earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Wichita State University. She earned her certification as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) from South Dakota State University and 10 years later earned her certification as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Jo worked in a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 17 years, with five of those as a lactation consultant, before joining the faculty in the School of Nursing at Wichita State University in 2005. Her clinical work as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner included critical care for newborns and families, critical care newborn transport with LifeWATCH, and management of complex lactation issues. This expertise led to her involvement with establishing community connections to reduce the impact of infant mortality.

In addition to teaching undergraduate nursing courses, Jo has coordinated the graduate course in Human Lactation; a course developed by her undergraduate advisor, graduate mentor and professional colleague Dr. Janice Riordan. She is currently developing workforce badge courses related to human lactation. Jo worked as an independent consultant to the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition for the United States Breastfeeding Committee Continuity of Care Connections Project to assist Wesley Medical Center to achieve Baby-Friendly Hospital designation – the first in the state of Kansas.

In 2015 she facilitated the transition of the Continuity of Care Connections community team to form the Wichita Area Breastfeeding Coalition (WABC). On behalf of the WABC, she applied for technical assistance administered through the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition to help Wichita earn the Community Supporting Breastfeeding designation. This designation was recognized by the Wichita City Council in May 2016. Jo currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Infant Death and SIDS Network, is current Past Chair of the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition, serves as Community Outreach Coordinator for the Wichita Area Breastfeeding Coalition and is a member of several other professional organizations. She serves on department and college committees, including the Faculty Senate at WSU.

Jo is married with two adult daughters. She and her husband are avid Shocker fans and longtime men’s basketball season ticket holders. They are Lifetime WSU Alumni Association members, and are proud to have both daughters enrolled at WSU to carry on the family Shocker legacy.