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Emory's Lewis Named New UB Nursing Dean

Release Date: December 15, 2011

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Marsha Lewis has been named dean of the UB School of Nursing.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Marsha L. Lewis, PhD, RN, associate professor and associate dean for education in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University in Atlanta, has been named dean of the University at Buffalo School of Nursing.

The announcement was made today by Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and dean of the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Lewis' appointment follows a nationwide search. She will join UB in February 2012.

"Dr. Lewis is that rare individual who has the research, educational, clinical and administrative skills required to move the School of Nursing forward, including expanding its funded research programs, enriching the school's educational curriculum, developing inter-professional learning programs with the other four health science schools and fulfilling UB 2020's strategic goals," Cain said in announcing her appointment. "She is a nationally recognized investigator and leader in academic nursing. We are most pleased and fortunate to have her in Buffalo."

Lewis is a specialist in psychiatric-mental health and nursing education, with expertise in curriculum and instructional systems, and a research program for caregivers of persons with dementia. She succeeds Davina Porock, PhD, UB associate dean for research and scholarship, who served as interim dean of the nursing school for the past four months after Jean K. Brown stepped down as dean after a three-and-half-year tenure.

"I am excited to join the UB team and to have the privilege of leading the School of Nursing," Lewis said. "My enthusiasm for this position stems from the opportunity to help shape a stellar future for the school. The vital elements are in place, with academic programs responding to the changes in health care; a research-rich environment; an excellent, collegial faculty and staff; and inter-professional collaboration. I am looking forward to a close working relationship with UB's strong, supportive leadership," she said.

Linda McCauley, dean of Emory's School of Nursing, said Lewis is "eminently qualified" for the UB deanship.

"This new appointment recognizes Dr. Lewis' leadership as a seasoned nurse educator and researcher," McCauley said. "I know she will lead the University at Buffalo's School of Nursing to new heights. I am grateful to Dr. Lewis for her vigorous work at Emory. She has made many long-lasting contributions to the school and we will miss her immensely."

Lewis currently has a $1.5 million research grant under review by the National Institutes of Health to develop family caregiver skills for the promotion of calm behavior in persons with dementia.

She has received 19 research grants and seven educational training-program grants from the National Institute of Nursing Research, the National Institute of Aging, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, the Alzheimer's Association and the NIH-Fogarty International Research Collaboration.

Lewis' grants have funded research that addresses a number of important issues in nursing and care giving, such as caregiver stress, online caregiver training and development, and testing of a Hispanic training program related to Alzheimer's disease.

Lewis is the author or co-author of more than 20 refereed original journal articles and the author or co-author of one book and two book chapters. She has collaborated on the development of four different educational software programs and three educational videos.

After earning a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Lewis went on to get a master of science degree in nursing and a doctorate in education from the University of Minnesota.

She began her career in higher education as an instructor at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing in 1977, became assistant professor in 1992 and rose to director of graduate studies in 2001. In 2006, Lewis was appointed to the position she currently holds at Emory University.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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