Fall 2021 Newsletter

A Note From Dean Swanson

Dr. Kristen M. Swanson, Dean of the College of Nursing

After many months of living at a distance, it is good to be among students, faculty and staff again. It has been a longtime coming and, although there is still work to do as we fully transition back to campus life, there is much to celebrate this academic year. The first of which is welcoming to campus new students as well those who are returning after a prolonged period of remote studies.

This fall quarter marked a significant event in Seattle University’s history, which I was fortunate to attend, the inauguration of Eduardo M. Peñalver, SU’s 22nd president. It was uplifting to hear his address about his vision for our future—a new era for our university. If you were not able to attend in person, or access the livestream, you can view highlights of the event, including President Peñalver’s inspiring address online.

I’m happy to announce that Midwifery Week, October 3-9 this year, is having an extended celebration at the College of Nursing as we received notification from the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education that the DNP Nurse-Midwifery program has been granted 10 years, the maximum amount of continued accreditation. I am grateful to Dr. Elizabeth Gabzdyl for her leadership as program director and thankful to the nurse-midwifery faculty who paved the way for our outstanding midwifery students to realize their dreams of delivering safe care to parents and infants.

The month of October is also Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month (MUAM), which is celebrated by sonography organizations and professionals across the country and raises awareness about the essential contributions of ultrasonographers. The Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Ultrasound program, which joined the College of Nursing in 2017, was ranked #13 in the U.S. by Best Value Schools in 2021. I’m proud to be colleagues with a wonderful team of diagnostic ultrasound faculty, led by Terry Read. This is ranking is a testament to their excellent work educating our students.

I also want to congratulate two faculty members, Dr. Jerome Mendoza Dayao and Dr. Renée Rassilyer-Bomers (a triple SU alum) who were both recently named to the Puget Sound Business Journal 40 under 40, a list focusing on young, creative, innovative industry leaders. The impacts they have made in their nursing careers are profound and I am pleased our students benefit from their mentorship.

In addition to the pandemic there have been many transitions in our society, not the least of which is a growing awareness of the need to overcome the many systemic impacts of racism on what is taken for granted. We have much to learn about the ways in which our words and actions will privilege some while dismissing others. As we prepare a workforce of health professionals, it is essential our curriculum addresses the needs of all who seek our care and that we graduate care providers prepared to serve with compassion, skill and humility.

As a health care professional, as a nurse, I can’t stress enough the importance of continuing to care and support ourselves and each other, especially those among us who are struggling. The stress we have all experienced during the past year and half, are still experiencing, is real. Patience, openness… may feel in short supply some days, but it is getting better. We are returning to campus, yes, and to our lives, hopefully stronger than ever, together.