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Finalists for Dean of Nursing and Health Professions to Visit Campus Mid-February

02/01/2021

Edmund Acevedo
Edmund Acevedo

Tara Tietjen-Smith
Tara Tietjen-Smith

Shawn Drake
Shawn Drake

JONESBORO – Three finalists for the Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions will make visits to Arkansas State University during mid-February, Provost Alan Utter announced this week.

The chair of the search, Dean of Sciences and Mathematics Lynn Boyd, reported the selection committee’s finalists as Dr. Edmund Acevedo of Virginia Commonwealth University, Dr. Shawn Drake of Arkansas State University and Dr. Tara Tietjen-Smith of Texas A&M University at Commerce.

Each will have a public presentation open to the campus community during their visits to A-State in February.  All three sessions will be in room 202 of the Health, Physical Education and Sport Sciences Complex.

Dr. Edmund Acevedo is the first finalist on Feb. 15, 3-4:30 p.m. Currently the associate dean for strategic initiatives in the College of Humanities and Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University, Acevedo was a professor and chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences at VCU for a decade from 2006 to 2016 prior to becoming the associate dean for graduate studies at VCU for three years.  In the past two years he has served to direct implementation of VCU’s new strategic plan for the College of Humanities and Sciences.  Prior to VCU, he was an associate professor at the University of Mississippi and associate professor at Southeastern Louisiana.  He also served as an assistant professor at the University of New Orleans, Kansas State University and William Paterson University.  A graduate of Springfield College, he earned his master’s at the University of Maryland and his doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Dr. Tara Tietjen-Smith is the next finalist on Feb. 18, 1-2:30 p.m.  Currently a full professor at Texas A&M University at Commerce, Tietjen-Smith has served as the department head for Health and Human Performance in the School of Nursing for the past five years, overseeing one of the largest departments on campus both in total faculty and students.  Previously she was the graduate coordinator for TAMU-Commerce’s College of Education and Human Services.  During her time at Commerce, she was co-founder of the School of Nursing and Health Science, which included securing funding for and participation in planning of a $54 million building for the School of Nursing and Health Sciences which opened in January 2020, and the Academy for Health Potential, an entrepreneurial non-profit working in the East Texas community.  Prior to joining TAMU-Commerce in 2003, she was an assistant professor at Belmont University.  She earned her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern State University of Louisiana, then received her master’s from NSU before completing her Doctor of Arts at Middle Tennessee State.

Dr. Shawn Drake is the last finalist on Feb. 23, 3:30-5 p.m.  Currently a full professor and department chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at Arkansas State, she also serves as the assistant dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions at A-State.  Drake joined A-State in 2002 as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 2008.  Prior to arriving in Jonesboro, Drake was an assistant professor at Valdosta State and served as an adjunct faculty member at University of Southern Mississippi.  She also has experience working in hospital settings as a cardiopulmonary rehab coordinator and a physical therapist.  A graduate of Arkansas State, she earned her master’s degree in physical education and exercise science from A-State prior to completing her doctorate at Southern Mississippi.  Drake has also earned a second master’s degree in physical therapy from A-State.

The current vitas of each candidate are available on the dean’s search webpage at AState.edu/CoNHPDeanSearch.