Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
I am indeed honored and humbled to introduce myself to you as your new Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University.
Why am I here?
Throughout my career, I have been committed to exploring connections between the health and life space of vulnerable individuals and designing programs and strategies that can make life better. I have had the opportunity to collaborate with individuals and organizations representing each of the professions represented in the College of Nursing and Health Professions. I am a researcher, mentor, and educator. I have been involved in many initiatives bringing evidence to education and practice and I have helped to design various clinical practices.
I was attracted to Drexel University because of its central mission of civic engagement and the College of Nursing and Health Profession’s commitment to social justice, health equity and interprofessional education, research and practice. I have been very impressed with the ambition and passion of College of Nursing and Health Professions’ students, faculty and staff to address complex health issues, including health inequalities and social determinants on health—like housing, education and the environment—and the use of creative therapies and novel interprofessional approaches to make people’s lives better. I see our College students, faculty and staff working from of a strong sense of purpose—that is, all of us are trying to make powerful and transformative contributions to the health and wellbeing of our communities, both from our respective disciplines as well as through interprofessional efforts.
These first few months of my deanship will be an important initial period of “discovery.” I look forward to meeting each of you. We are planning a variety of “meet and greets” and other forums to facilitate meaningful exchanges. I will be actively listening, learning and asking a lot of questions. I want wanting to know:
What is working well?
- What do we value?
- What do we want to keep?
What is not working or what is not working as well as it could?
- What are we not doing that we should or could be doing?
- What are we doing that we can stop doing (that does not add value)?
What is your vision for your own professional growth? For your major/department? For CNHP? For Drexel?
Based on my meetings and hearing from you, I will share my impressions, aggregated comments and a plan for moving forward purposely and productively. I am very action-oriented, passionate about solving problems and will be floating ideas to hear your honest opinions and learn about your ideas. This is a team sport!
My sincere thank you
I want to express my sincere gratitude to Dean Emeritus Gloria Donnelly, PhD whom I have met with numerous times to learn of the history and state of the College. I am also grateful to Sue Smith, PhD in her efforts as interim dean and for making this transition as smooth as possible. Drs. Donnelly and Smith along with all of you, have left the College in excellent standing and I am eager to roll up my sleeves, meet with all of you and get to work. Also, my gratitude goes to President Fry, Provost Blake and the University and College leaders whose support and guidance have been exceptional, providing a solid foundation for positively moving forward.
Thank you all for a very warm welcome. I view this next chapter in my career as a wonderful and important opportunity to optimize impact in health, education, practice and science. I am committed to working with all of you to maintain excellence, grow research, education and evidence-informed practices and support everyone to do their best and maximize our impact.
Laura N. Gitlin, PhD
Dean and Distinguished Professor
Click here to learn more about Dean Gitlin.