Our Faculty

headshot of Gale A. Spencer, PhD, RN

Gale A. Spencer, PhD, RN

Distinguished Teaching Professor/Decker Chair Community Health Nursing/Interim Director, Kresge Center for Nursing Research

Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences


Gale Spencer was named to the rank of SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor at the Decker School of Nursing in 2007. She is also a recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching (1994) and received the Faculty Excellence Award in Graduate Mentoring from the Graduate School (2004). A mentor to students and junior faculty as well as a national leader in community health nursing education, Spencer was appointed to an endowed professorship, the Decker Chair in Community Health Nursing, in 2006.

Spencer has had many years of experience in both practice and teaching in community health nursing. Her research interests include community health assessment, geography and health, as well as intimate partner violence (in both dating and marital relationships).

She has held a variety of positions in the Decker School including counselor for registered nurses, faculty member, director of Kresge Center for Nursing Research (1994-2006) and as the Dr. G. Clifford and Florence B. Decker Chair in Community Health Nursing.

Spencer started the master's program in community health nursing in 1985 as the co-project director. She became project director in 1987 and has held that position continually since then. This program was funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) from 1985-2015. The Community Health Program educates community health nursing master's students for administrator, educator and nurse practitioner positions in New York and for practice throughout the U.S.

Spencer has served or serves on advisory boards for major national associations such as program planner and member of the Educational Board for the Public Health Nursing Section of the American Public Health Association; member of the New York State Nurses Foundation Research Committee; member of the New York State Public Health Association Board; chair of the Lourdes-At-Home Advisory Board; and member of the Hartwick College Nursing Advisory Board. She has also served as chair, Salvation Army Advisory Board; member, Family and Children's Society Board of Directors; member, Mothers and Babies Board of Directors, vice president, YWCA Board of Directors; and president, SOS Shelter Board of Directors.


  • PhD, post-secondary education administration, Syracuse University
  • MS, community health nursing with a concentration in nursing administration, Syracuse University
  • BS, nursing, Hartwick College
  • Nursing diploma, Charles S. Wilson Memorial Hospital School of Nursing

Research Interests

  • Dating violence in college students
  • LGBTQ healthcare needs
  • Use of the Health Belief Model to investigate health providers' practice behaviors between geography and health

Clinical Interests

  • LGBTQ healthcare needs
  • Effect of dating violence on the health of college students
  • Effect of flooding on pulmonary disease and mental health in the Southern Tier of New York

Teaching Interests

  • Epidemiology and biostatistics
  • Community health
  • Nursing research


  • State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1994-95
  • Binghamton University Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1994-95
  • Center for Disease Control Public Health Conference on Records & Statistics, Washington, D.C., 1995
  • Woman of Achievement Award, Broome County Status of Women Council, 1996
  • Visiting professor, DeMontfort University, Leicester, England, 1998-2002
  • Fellow of the Wakonse Institute, 1998
  • Binghamton University Graduate School Award for Excellence in Graduate Mentoring, 2004
  • Hartwick College Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award, 2013

Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae