Maureen Donohue-Smith, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Dr. Maureen Donohue-Smith, associate professor of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, has had many years as a staff nurse and clinical specialist in a variety of private and public inpatient and emergency psychiatric settings. As a faculty member for over 20 years in both Human Services and Nursing, she has focused on the development of strategies for effective service delivery to vulnerable populations.

Her current clinical interests include the integration of mental health in primary care settings, psychological issues affecting the outcomes of bariatric surgery, the psychological impact of exercise on mental health, and the psychological response to physical illness.

Her teaching and research interests include the medical humanities and the use of literature and film to enrich student learning. Her most recent research outlines the strengths and challenges of using the mental illness memoir as a true representation of mental illness from the viewpoint of the sufferer. She has used both mainstream Hollywood films and children’s literature as sources of data for understanding societal messages about mental illness, child abuse, and aging.

She has served as program evaluator for several federal demonstration projects: one to develop community interventions to prevent child abuse, one to establish a Family Drug Treatment Court, and one to establish a consumer-run, community-based respite hostel for individuals with psychiatric disability.

Dr. Donohue-Smith is currently pursuing certification as a Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She is a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau and the Madness and Literature network

Areas of Expertise

Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing
Medical Humanities
Program Planning and Evaluation


Ph.D.   Cornell University         Developmental Psychology
MSN    University of Colorado   Psychiatric Nursing
B.S.     University of Pennsylvania    Nursing


Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
Advanced Nursing Practice for Population Based Care

Memberships and Organizational Affiliations

American Psychiatric Nurses Association Sigma Theta Tau: Honor Society in Nursing Madness and Literature Network

Research Interests

Integration of mental health services in primary care
Medical Humanities
Behavioral health, especially eating disorders and obesity
Contemporary aging and the Baby Boomers


Donohue-Smith, Maureen.  (2011).  The Whole Story: A Conceptual Model for Teaching the Mental Illness Narrative. Mental Health Review: Research, Policy and Practice, 16 (3), 138-146.

Donohue-Smith, Maureen (November, 2006).  Improving the questions students ask. Education Digest, 72 (3), 41-43.

Donohue-Smith, Maureen.  (April 7, 2006).  There is such a thing as a stupid question. The Chronicle Review, Section B of The Chronicle of Higher Education, LII(31) B5.

Donohue-Smith, Maureen.  (2004). Sleeping with the Sober Cannibal:  Human Services and the Liberal Arts Tradition.  The Link, the Quarterly Newsletter of the National Association for Human Service Education.

Donohue-Smith, Maureen.  (1996). “Not Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood:  challenges to effective neighboring among families at risk for child maltreatment.”  Proteus: a Journal of ideas, 13(2), 43-46.

Trief, Paula and Donohue-Smith, Maureen.(1996). Counseling needs of women with breast cancer: what the women tell us. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing, 34(5), 24-29.

Donohue-Smith, Maureen. (1989).  Beyond the presenting complaint: the role of patient distress in medical care visits. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.


First International Medical Humanities Conference. (August, 2010). None But Madmen Know: Understanding Mental Illness through Memoir. Poster presentation; University of Nottingham, England.

Montgomery County Community College. Psychology Program Discussion Series. On Being Mad in the Magic Kingdom: Portrayal of the Mentally Ill in Animated Disney Films (2010). Invited speaker.

Mark Twain Center. (2010). Huck Finn in Foster Care: Resilience and Regeneration in a Child at Risk. Invited Speaker. Commemoration of 100th Anniversary of Mark Twain’s Death. Elmira College. Elmira, New York.

Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association. (2010). We’re All Mad Here: Childhood Fears and Mental Illness in Disney Animated Films (1937-2009). Presentation: St. Louis, Missouri.

XIX International Association World Congress on Gerontology and Geriatrics. (2009). The Old Folks at Home: Portrayals of Aging in Children’s Literature. Poster presentation; Paris, France.

National Association of Student Personnel Administrators in Higher Education. (2008). Can you hear me now? Keeping threats to validity from muffling assessment messages. Presentation; International Institute on Recruitment and Retention. Scottsdale, Arizona.

Society for Research on Child Development. (2007). When Art Fails to Imitate Life: Evaluating Bibliotherapeutic Resources for Child Maltreatment. Poster Session; Boston, Massachusetts.

Institute on the Teaching of Psychology (2006). Yes, No, Maybe So:  Does the Opportunity to Explain Answers to T/F Questions Improve Student Test Scores? Poster presentation; St. Petersburg Beach, Florida.

National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology (2005). Who am I? Who are you? What are we doing here? Teachers reflect on teaching. Co-leader of participant exchange panel on the topic: St. Petersburg Beach, Florida.

National Conference of the Organization of Human Service Education (2003). Sleeping with the Sober Cannibal: Human Services and the Liberal Arts Tradition. Presentation: Nashville, Tennessee.

National Institute for the Teaching of Psychology (2003). Huck Finn in Foster Care: Content Analysis as a Teaching Evaluation Strategy.  Poster presentation: St. Petersburg Beach, Florida.

National Mental Health Consumer’s Conference (2001). The Ithaca Crisis Hostel Project: summary of process evaluation findings from an NIHM demonstration project. Presentation: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

National Organization for Human Service Education. (2000). A Site of Our Own: the Internet as a Tool for Promoting Professional Development among Human Services Students. Presentation with former Elmira College student, Lauren Furey ’00: Denver, Colorado.

New York District #3 Nurses Association Meeting (1999). Invited speaker.  Violence among Youth: an Ecological Perspective. Elmira, NY.

Center for Mark Twain Studies. (1999). Failed Families and the Crisis of Connectedness in Huckleberry Finn. Invited speaker: Quarry Farm lecture series, The Trouble Begins at Eight. Elmira, NY.

New York State English Association Conference. (1998). Presentation: Assessing the Impact of Immigration on Family Processes: Examples from Long Day’s Journey into Night and Angela’s Ashes. St. John Fisher University; Rochester, NY.

District #3 Nurses Association. (1998). Invited Speaker. Violence Among Youth: An Ecological Perspective. Annual meeting; Elmira, NY.

New York State English Association Conference. (1997). The Literary Journey and the Life Course: Using fiction as ‘case study’ in the Social Sciences. Presentation: Iona College, New Rochelle, NY.