Message from the Dean

Suzanne Mellon

Healthy Times, Summer 2003

Suzanne Mellon, R.N., Ph.D., has taught psychiatric/mental health, research, leadership and management, and community mental health, as well as family content in the UDM graduate nursing programs and theoretical foundations of nursing. Her area of specialization is in psychiatric mental health nursing and family mental health. Her area of research expertise and interest is in family survivorship of a cancer illness. She holds a B.S.N. from the University of Michigan, a M.S. in Nursing from Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. from Wayne State University.

Dean Mellon received the President's Award for Faculty Excellence in 1996 and the first Doctoral Nursing Student Fellowship from the Helen Newberry Joy Foundation in 1996. She joined the University of Detroit Mercy in 1989. Prior to her current position as dean, she has served on the faculty and as associate dean and chair for McAuley School of Nursing.


Dear Alumni,

The beginning of this academic year 2002-2003 finds our College in the midst of much change! Many new initiatives have begun within our College, and we celebrated an enrollment growth with 935 students throughout all our programs!

Our Physician Assistant, Nurse Anesthesia, and Health Services Administration programs continue to attract many students from within our region, as well as outside our metropolitan area.

The McAuley School of Nursing saw an increase in traditional pre-licensure students, which is critical in this time of an acute nursing shortage. Our new 12-month accelerated program for individuals with degrees in other fields is showing a great beginning, with a large waiting list for next year's class! Our online BSN completion program, in partnership with Trinity Health, is in the second term of the pilot launch and is being well-received from the nurses across four states, from Michigan to California. We started another three cohorts of BSN completion students onsite in partnership with Providence Hospital, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, and Mercy General Health Partners in Muskegon.

One achievement that we are very excited about is the awarding of a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Nursing, to fund the McAuley Nurse Managed Clinic. This initiative is being done in collaboration with Trinity Health Primary Care Clinic on the near-East side of Detroit that serves the poor and uninsured. Dr. Joan Urbancic is the project director, and we have hired an experienced practitioner coordinator for the clinic, Ms. Jane Dean. The clinic is just starting, but presents multiple opportunities for service to those in need, clinical placement opportunities for our students, both graduate and undergraduate, and faculty practice and research.

We are also actively involved in planning for our move to the McNichols campus in fall 2003 into the renovated Ford Life Science Building. We have a task force working with an architectural firm to plan the space requirements and facilities needed to continue to deliver quality health professional programs. We plan to bring the heritage of our College and School of Nursing to the other campus, and integrate the traditions of our disciplines that have roots firmly grounded in the charisms of the Sisters of Mercy and Catherine McAuley, the namesake of our school of nursing, into the life of the McNichols campus. We have several areas in the renovated Ford Life Science Building that will showcase the history and traditions of our heritage. Seminar rooms will also be a part of this $2.5 million renovation.

We intend to have a Heritage Reception Hall that symbolizes the history and traditions of our roots and the service to the poor and underserved that has been a hallmark of our College.

We are also planning a reflection room, along with state-of-the-art practice labs and computer simulation and testing labs. Other high technology classrooms, a human anatomy lab, an alumni board room, and other seminar rooms will also be a part of this renovation.

Major efforts are underway to raise funds to assist with this renovation. We are seeking the support of individuals, alums and friends of the College, as well as help from area foundations. I ask each of you to become part of this project and by making a gift before the end of the year. Gifts of all sizes are appreciated and DO make a difference.

I have been speaking to groups of alumni in the community, the College and School of Nursing Advisory Boards about the building project and their ideas for ensuring a smooth transition and integration into the other campus, along with new ideas for fund development. I have received great input and suggestions, which we intend to incorporate as we move forward.

Our Alumni Council has been actively engaged in re-connecting alumni from our College with current students. We are planning a week-long Alumni Week in February that will culminate in an open house for alumni and students prior to the basketball homecoming game.

It is a true honor and a pleasure to be out in the community and talking with alumni that care so much about our College and School of Nursing. As we plan for our move and continued re-connection with our alumni, please let me know if you'd be willing to host alumni from your class or community that would afford me the opportunity to talk directly about our initiatives and new developments. As we continue to educate the future health practitioners and administrators, I am very committed to serving the needs of our large alumni base. I hope to hear from many of you!