Thursday, September 26, 2013

Giving to Health Studies - A Tribute to Drs. Anita and Douglas Coyle

Dear TWU Health Studies Community,

If you live here in Texas you might have seen this bumper sticker: I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could.  Well, I didn’t get my degree at TWU, but I got here as fast as I could. TWU first got my attention almost 15 years ago. Although I applied to several positions over the years and even took a few courses here, it wasn’t until 2009 that I finally landed a spot in Health Studies as a part-time graduate advisor. Little did I know when I started that Health Studies would become my home rather than just a job. From the moment I arrived, I was welcomed into the friendly, informal atmosphere of the department.

Dr. Douglas Coyle was the graduate program coordinator at the time and he began teaching me about Health Studies since this was not one of my academic disciplines. Not only was he passionate about being a health educator and teaching new health educators, but he was always available to answer any questions I had about our graduate programs or concerns that arose. His wife - Dr. Anita Coyle (1947-2012) who was also a Health Studies doctoral alum and one of our adjuncts - also generously welcomed me into the fold. Whenever I called their house with questions or needed help, Anita would always ask me how I was doing. And, she was always sure to ask about my writing projects as she knew of my love of poetry. I was impressed by the devotion to both TWU and Health Studies that she and Dr. Coyle always expressed.

Earlier this year, after I was promoted to program director, I sent out a letter to our team to express how excited I was to be taking on the new role. That letter turned into a conversation with Dr. Douglas Coyle and I wanted to share a bit of what he said:

Waxing philosophically, I have - in learning about the history of this institution - come to the undeniable conclusion that TWU fills a mission for women, and to a lesser extent men, to build women of confidence with a firm belief in their equal status. The teachers and peers also have a chance to change male attitudes. Especially in my undergraduate classes, one male in a face-to-face classroom, can change the room's dynamics. Over the course of the program, I have seen the dynamics change and women gain the confidence that will serve them well in the workplace. This is the unique quality of TWU. The opportunity to study women's issues in health and other disciplines from original sources by learned women scholars and male scholars with an appreciation of the women's point of view is unlike the educational opportunities in most of our colleges and universities.

Our work is most important and I applaud your decision.

Like both Drs. Coyle, I  too, believe in the mission of TWU. I believe in the mission of Health Studies. And, I believe in the passion and dedication of our students.  That’s why today I am donating to the Dr. Anita Jill Coyle Scholarship Endowment. We need $6,950.00 for it to be endowed. I am asking you to join me in helping to reach that total. Every dollar counts whether it’s $100, $20, or $5.  With your assistance, we can “educate today for a healthier tomorrow.”

To give online specifically to the Dr. Anita Jill Coyle Scholarship Endowment follow these steps: 

  1. Click this link -
  2. Under Donation Information Designation select Other
  3. Type in Dr. Anita Jill Coyle Scholarship

Additionally, you can print and mail in a donation form if you prefer. Please be sure to list Dr. Anita Jill Scholarship in the top line.


Morgan O’Donnell
Program Director

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