School of Nursing Celebrates New Associate Deans, Doctoral Program

by Kyle Richardson '06

"Azusa Pacific University is moving forward," said Michael M. Whyte, Ph.D., the university's provost and chief academic officer at a recent installation honoring the School of Nursing. "Change is good. The School of Nursing is a dynamic force and has powerful leadership to help APU move in the right direction."

Continuing its tradition of Christ-centered excellence, Azusa Pacific University honored Aja Tulleners Lesh, Ph.D., dean of APU's School of Nursing, as well as Marianne Hattar, DNSc, and Renee Pozza, as new associate deans. The day-long event also recognized the inauguration of the doctoral program in nursing. The celebration took place Thursday, April 21.

The day included an installation ceremony and a series of guest speakers, including Anne J. Davis, Ph.D., who spoke on social ethics and health policies; Shake Ketefian, Ph.D., who discussed international health and nursing; and Madeline Schmitt, Ph.D., who presented the process of taking a BSN to a Ph.D.

In the position of dean, Lesh directs faculty in the introduction of the doctoral program and expands the interdisciplinary and off-campus academic programs. She generates external resources for the school, recruits faculty and students, and improves the quality of the department through spiritual development, diversity, and community outreach.

As one of the associate deans, Hattar promotes the research agenda of the School of Nursing to further advance university transformational scholarship. Her responsibilities include training to support the research career development of junior faculty and to advance the development of research programs for senior faculty. Pozza, also serving as associate dean, provides leadership and guidance to school-wide curriculum in undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. Additionally, she supports clinical practice issues for students and faculty while developing relationships with clinical facilities.