Mel Haberman named interim dean of the College of Nursing

Mel Haberman

WSU Health Sciences Chancellor Daryll DeWald and WSU Provost Dan Bernardo are pleased to announce the appointment of an interim team to lead the College of Nursing as Dean Joyce Griffin-Sobel step downs to pursue special projects for the university.

These three faculty, all members of the College of Nursing’s executive leadership team, have deep understanding and insight into the opportunities and challenges in modern nursing education and research:

  • Mel Haberman, PhD, is Interim Dean. A member of the College of Nursing’s first graduating class, Dr. Haberman is also the College of Nursing’s first Waldron O. and Janet S. Lindblad Distinguished Professor in Geriatrics.
  • Celestina Barbosa-Leiker, PhD, is Interim Executive Associate Dean and Associate Dean for Research. In her research leadership role, Dr. Barbosa-Leiker has helped elevate the College of Nursing’s national stature in nursing research.
  • Renee Hoeksel, PhD, is Interim Executive Associate Dean. As a Professor in the College of Nursing’s Vancouver program, Dr. Hoeksel brings statewide perspective and decades of educational innovation to the leadership team.

Chancellor DeWald and Provost Bernardo thank Dean Griffin-Sobel for her leadership of the College of Nursing, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Under her stewardship, the College of Nursing was named a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing (2017-2021). Her focus on interprofessional education helped launch a unique partnership with the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine to provide health care to homeless and low-income people and their pets. Most recently, the College of Nursing jumped to a 27th-place ranking nationally for nursing schools in the U.S. based on the amount of National Institutes of Health research funding they received, a significant increase from a 45th-place ranking in 2017.

Washington State University is conducting a nationwide search for a new permanent dean for the College of Nursing. Under the leadership of this interim team, however, WSU is confident that the College will continue to build and grow, with a strong focus on producing health care professionals for the state of Washington.