Afaf I. Meleis
Afaf I. Meleis became the fifth dean of the School in 2002. Under her leadership, Penn Nursing has positioned itself as one of the world’s pre-eminent schools of nursing, internationally renowned for innovative research, teaching, and practice. Leading an intensive strategic planning initiative, Dr. Meleis has overseen a broad program of research development, the integration of nursing practice and nursing education, and a focus on nursing’s influence in health policy. Under her leadership, the School established the departments of Biobehavioral Health Sciences and Family and Community Health; a new Office for Practice and Community Affairs; and new research centers, including the Biobehavioral Research Center, the Center for Health Equity Research, the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health, and the newest Center for Global Women’s Health. The School’s emphasis on “Nursing Science” and “Care to Change the World” reflect the school’s reach, aptly demonstrated in Penn Nursing’s presence in the many education abroad programs, interprofessional global partnerships, international research projects and the many evidence-based models of care implemented in different countries. Internationally renowned for her work in nursing theory and her devotion to the health of women and girls, Dr. Meleis has intensified efforts to improve their health around the world, creating international academic partnerships, developing relationships with the United Nations and other international organizations dedicated to equity and well-being. “Where Science Leads: The Campaign for Penn Nursing,” a $75 million initiative, strengthened the school’s endowment and increased student scholarships and faculty support. The School of Nursing building has been renovated and renamed in honor of Dr. Claire M. Fagin. The undergraduate curriculum has been revised for 2011, integrating theory, practice, and technology to prepare Penn nursing graduates for leadership in the 21st century.