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Susan Stocker Named Interim Dean of Kent State’s College of Nursing

Posted Jul. 19, 2013

Kent State University has named Susan Stocker, Ph.D., interim dean of the College of Nursing. Stocker currently serves as dean of Kent State University at Ashtabula. The announcement was made today by Todd Diacon, Kent State’s senior vice president for academic affairs and Provost.

Photo of Susan StockerStocker will begin serving as interim dean of Kent State’s College of Nursing on Aug. 1 while a national search is conducted for a permanent dean. Stocker succeeds Laura Dzurec, Ph.D., who is stepping down from the dean position but will continue working for the university teaching and pursuing research work. Stocker will maintain her current position as dean of Kent State Ashtabula in addition to the new interim college dean appointment.

“Dean Laura Dzurec merits our deepest appreciation for producing success after success in the College of Nursing, and now she will apply her considerable talents to her first loves of teaching and research,” Diacon said. “I could not be more pleased that Dean Stocker, a successful and seasoned nurse and administrator in the Kent system, has agreed to lead the College of Nursing on an interim basis.”

Stocker said she feels privileged to serve the university and its College of Nursing in this interim position.

“I am honored that Provost Diacon has asked me to step into this interim role, and I look forward to working with the College of Nursing to keep its programs on a steady course until a new dean is named,” Stocker said. “Though I will be dividing my time between the College of Nursing and the Ashtabula regional campus, I am confident that the Ashtabula Campus leadership team will help keep things running smoothly and continue to serve the needs of our students. All upcoming campus projects will continue as planned.”

Since 2001, Stocker has been serving as dean of Kent State Ashtabula. She also currently holds the rank of associate professor of nursing at Kent State. Since finishing high school, Stocker had attended college either part or full time until 2007 when she completed a doctorate from Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services.

Stocker led the capital campaign that raised $6 million dollars in the Ashtabula area to help finance the Robert S. Morrison Health and Science Building at Kent State Ashtabula. The state-of-the-art learning facility opened its doors to students in August 2009.

During her career as a registered nurse and educator, Stocker has served in a number of leadership capacities and has received numerous honors. She served as the president of the Ohio Nurses Association from 1997-2001 and was appointed to the Ashtabula County Medical Center Board of Trustees. Stocker was inducted into the Madison High School Alumni Hall of Fame in 2007, was honored as the Roger T. Beitler Distinguished Former Student award for the Ashtabula Campus of Kent State, received the President’s Award from Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County and was the first faculty member on the Ashtabula Campus to receive the prestigious Kent State University Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award.

Stocker resides in Ashtabula, Ohio.

Photo of Laura DzurecDuring her tenure as dean of the College of Nursing at Kent State, Dzurec supported the college’s faculty and administrators as they refined and enhanced academic and research programming in nursing.  College of Nursing graduates across all levels are recognized in practice, teaching and research as the best in Northeast Ohio and nationally, according to Dzurec. She worked with faculty and staff to strengthen the curricula across programs, as faculty built a nationally recognized focus in self-care for students and for faculty.  Both Kent State’s College of Nursing, as a unit, and individual faculty members have received awards from national organizations for their support of students in the use of self-care.  Their research in self-care and related areas continues to grow. 

“After nearly 20 years as a nursing education administrator, the attraction of teaching and research – especially as the focus of teaching and research in the college had evolved – proved to be too much for me to ignore,” Dzurec said. “More and more, I found my energies drawn to the work the faculty were doing. So it seemed like a good idea to get myself to a place that would allow me to actually do the work the faculty was doing.”

Dzurec plans to engage even more actively in research in self-care with students and faculty, and to continue the interdisciplinary work she has been doing in workplace dynamics, just culture, communication and bullying.

“While it seems contradictory, bullying emerges readily when people don’t engage in self-care,” Dzurec said. “I look forward to focusing on ways to support students in learning to take care of themselves and in learning to take care of others so that patient care and education benefit. I think I can do that best by engaging actively in teaching and research.”

Dzurec lives in Kent, Ohio.

For more information about Kent State’s College of Nursing, visit www.kent.edu/nursing.

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Media Contacts:
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595
Lindsey Myers, lmyers28@kent.edu, 440-964-4567