USF Health College of Nursing announces new Vice Dean of Academic Affairs
Beginning in January, Dena Evans, EdD, MPH, MSN, RN, CNL, CNE, will be joining the trailblazing College of Nursing as the new Vice Dean of Academic Affairs. In this new role, Evans will be overseeing student success and undergraduate and graduate programs for the college.
“Dr. Evans brings a wealth of experience in academic programming. She is an accomplished, innovative, and energetic leader and I am excited to partner with her as we expand our college to meet the needs of the Tampa Bay area,” says, Usha Menon, RN, PhD, FAAN, senior associate vice president of USF Health and dean of the College of Nursing.
Evans earned her doctoral degree in Education from North Carolina State University. She holds a master’s in public health and a master’s in nursing from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Gardner-Webb University. Evans, who has been the Director of the School of Nursing since 2017, is a Wharton Fellow and is nationally certified as a nurse educator and a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL).
Evans’ leadership capacity has been recognized by multiple awards and honors, including the Emerging Leaders Institute and the American Association of Colleges of Nurses Wharton Fellow in 2018. The theme of her leadership throughout her tenure has focused on strategies to enhance opportunities for disadvantaged or underrepresented students maximizing their success and creating a more diverse workforce. She has obtained multiple grants to support diversity initiatives, such as the most recently funded grant from the Hearst Foundation, Pathway for Diverse Health Professionals. She expanded this support for diversity to recognize barriers faced by students with silent disabilities, such as those on the Autism Spectrum. She has had over 3.4 million dollars in funding to support disadvantaged students. More recently, she has implemented a study on post-pandemic stress levels among faculty and staff working within academic units preparing practitioners.
Dr. Evans’ research focuses on conflict management, resilience, civility, and academic and social barriers that impede the success of underrepresented, underserved, or disabled students. Dr. Evans’s teaching experience spans courses such as Program Evaluation, Nursing Leadership, Research Methods for Evidence-Based Practice, Pharmacology, Advanced Concepts of Pharmacology, Leadership in Clinical Microsystems, Care Environment and Clinical Outcomes Management, Community Health Nursing, Foundations of Professional Nursing Practice, Curriculum Theory and Design in Nursing.