Letter from Dean Suzanne Mellon
As we enter the spring of 2006, we are grateful for the strong enrollment we are experiencing in our College, which is a testimony to the excellence in education we pride ourselves on. Faculty are pleased with the caliber of the students who have elected to come to the University of Detroit Mercy and especially with their commitment to the mission of our University and College. We are welcoming a new class of accelerated nursing students (currently 67 students) in May, and graduated a class of 50+ this past May, along with the pre-licensure graduates. We will also be inaugurating the first class of the 5-year accelerated Physician Assistant program this fall. Currently we have exceeded our projected starting number of 20 students. The chair of the program and faculty from our College and the Department of Biology are working together to ensure that these exceptional students will have a strong academic base with integration with the professional component of the program from the beginning of their academic experience.
Additionally, we will be starting the new master's track in Nursing Education with a clinical specialization in adult health. There is a strong demand for nursing faculty throughout the region and country, and this track will address this need. Several additional certificate programs for the Health Services Administration program are on the drawing board and awaiting final approval. Our classes for the Nurse Anesthesia and Physician Assistant program had many more applications for spots than we will be able to fill and will be fully subscribed with excellent applicants. As alumni, you can be proud of the strong tradition of excellence that you have set for the next generation of health professionals!
Several weeks ago, we recognized five outstanding alumni for their leadership and excellence in their respective fields: Nancy Dillon, Nursing and current Alumni Council President; Jane Muscat, Health Services Administration; David Dereczak, Physician Assistant; Christine LaLonde, Nurse Anesthesia; and Michaeline Raczka, Dietetics – Allied Health. This year we are also launching an Alumni Wall of Fame, featuring the awardees from the various programs for the past years. This "Wall of Fame" will be displayed prominently in the new College of Health Professions Administrative wing. The Alumni Council has been busy in starting an alumni-student mentoring program that was piloted this winter. Please see the additional article in the Healthy Times regarding this important initiative to connect alumni with students needing additional mentoring and support. We plan to expand this program in the next academic year. Please consider volunteering as a mentor for a student in your discipline.
In our Strategic Plan for the College, we are identifying several key initiatives to build on in the next three years. Chief among these are continued strength and growth in enrollment, investment and continued development in faculty scholarship and research, and increased technology integration throughout the curricula in all programs. As alumni, we need your continued support to ensure that we deliver quality programs to all our students. We thank you for your current support and encourage your continued participation in activities in the College and support for initiatives in scholarships, faculty research, and technology integration that will continue to prepare excellent practitioners, administrators and leaders that truly make a difference in our community.
Dean, College of Health Professions
McAuley School of Nursing