Susan Dyess has been named the Thomas M. and Elizabeth D. Holder Endowed Chair in the Wellstar School of Nursing.
Dyess will be serving as chair of the Wellstar School of Nursing, North Georgia’s largest nursing program, following her position as interim director since 2021. With a combined 30 years of experience in both nursing and academics, Dyess has used her positions at KSU to promote and foster student success in the college.
“I am honored to be named the Director and Thomas M. and Elizabeth D. Holder Endowed Chair for Wellstar School of Nursing,” Dr. Susan Dyess said, “I am honored to be part of such a committed team who prioritizes teaching excellence, community engagement, research with relevance and student success. Working alongside the dedicated faculty and staff with high-achieving students is a privilege.”
Dyess has been a professor at KSU since 2019 and has been an educator since 1986. Aside from her time at KSU, she has worked alongside students at Florida Atlantic University, Palm Beach Community College and Texas A & M University.
“Susan is an experienced, dynamic and energetic leader who is incredibly passionate about nursing and education,” Dean of the Wellstar College of Health and Human Services Monica Swahn said. “She is the perfect fit to lead the transformation of our Wellstar School of Nursing and to serve in this impactful and prestigious endowed chair position.”
Swahn said that this time is pivotal to the future of the Wellstar School and Nursing’s undergraduate program. Facing a current critical nursing shortage, the Wellstar Health System has continued its support of the program with a shared goal to double enrollment from previous years. In Feb. 2020, Wellstar Health System made a monumental $8.7 million donation to the college, as previously reported on by The Sentinel.
“Our large undergraduate program is widely acclaimed for our rigorous education and student success metrics. So, the key goal going forward will be to maintain these successes while we grow, adapt and innovate,” Swahn said. “Susan is thriving in this demanding role and she brings a fresh perspective, a strong motivation for strategy and innovation, a passion for student success as well as faculty and staff development. These are all key in supporting the transformation of our Wellstar School of Nursing.”
The chair in the Wellstar School of Nursing was established in 2014 from a $1 million gift to the KSU Foundation by Thomas and Elizabeth Holder. The position is responsible for directing the Wellstar School of Nursing’s mission by working with the community, overseeing the school’s budget and resource allocation, promoting faculty development and growing the school as a whole, according to the original job listing.
The Wellstar School of Nursing has approximately 700 students enrolled currently, making it one of the largest programs in the state. The college offers both a bachelor’s and master’s of science in nursing. Students have the opportunity to seek a traditional or accelerated bachelor’s of science as well as a master’s in nursing education, nursing administration and a family nurse practitioner program.