University of Vermont

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Welcome from Our Dean

Patty Prelock
It is my great pleasure to welcome the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Class of 2020 to the University of Vermont. You are a bright, talented and passionate group of young people who will be the future leaders of health care.

Capitalize on the opportunity that lies before you! You are privileged to be part of an academic health sciences center comprising a highly ranked university hospital and colleges of medicine and the health professions.

From the Dean's Office

Dean's office hours by appointment. Please call (802) 656-2216.

As you start your college journey, I hope you will embrace the academic, social and service opportunities the University and the College provide. You are part of a unique inter-professional cadre of health disciplines. Challenge yourself to consider different perspectives. The power of your new learning environment is the educational immersion offered to you over the course of the next four years.

For our returning undergraduate and graduate students, the College celebrates your success as you are already emerging as leaders and mentors to one another and to our first year students. The links you provide for our new students to the academic and social environment are invaluable. As always, the Dean's Office, our staff and your faculty are here to support you on your educational journey as you continue to grow as clinician scientists and providers!

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences is dedicated to meeting our society's need for well-prepared interdisciplinary health care professionals who are ready to join the workforce and to bring value to the work of other team members—ultimately improving patients' and clients' outcomes. We are committed to the University of Vermont's vision of excellence in health.

As students, you are part of a vision for academic excellence, innovative research and high quality practice. We are excited that you have selected the University of Vermont and our College. You are joining a thriving learning community with accredited academic programs, successful researchers, award winning teachers and expert clinicians.

Engaged faculty will ensure you have meaningful classroom and clinical experiences as well as opportunities to engage in state-of-the-art research. Our exceptional staff will guide you through the processes and procedures of participating in a dynamic and sometimes complex academic and social environment. The Dean's Office will challenge you to discover new ideas, take learning risks and step out of your comfort zone to explore the many academic and research opportunities that will be available to you.

Diverse perspectives and collaborations among our colleagues in the health and related professions is a priority for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. We recognize the importance of championing the voice of all individuals who struggle in some way because of a health challenge. We are patient and family centered—working with families and patients to partner in their care. We strive to achieve cultural competence and consider one another and those for whom we provide care in the context of family and community. We demonstrate a mutual respect and positive regard for one another. We are committed to recruiting and supporting a diverse faculty, staff and student body and to provide our students with a distinctive learning experience that is academically rigorous and creates opportunities for meaningful engagement on campus, in the community and in a global context.

Work to your full potential, but don't forget to have balance in your intellectual life. Take advantage of the beauty of Vermont and the connections you make with your peers. The College's goal for your learning is to help you create a four-year plan for your success and to inspire you to take charge of your learning. Ask for help when you need it and offer to help others who may require your support.

Be courageous and positive. Winston Churchill once said, “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities, because it is the quality that guarantees all others.” Your attitude will influence the attitudes of your patients, your colleagues, your friends and your families. Fear and negativity can bring you down, but courage helps you to regain your footing.

Be audacious! I challenge you to dream big during your College experience. Don’t get stuck thinking about the barriers to what you want to accomplish.  You may see yourselves as ‘ordinary young people’ but I see you as young people capable of extraordinary results in your future careers as health professionals. Remember the words of Andre Gide, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

Know your sense of purpose. Never lose sight of what drives you or fuels the passion you have for what you do. Mark Twain tell us “the two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.” I hope your experience in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and at the University of Vermont will support you in finding and developing your sense of purpose. I know each of you will achieve great things this year; and together we can begin to make a difference in the lives of the people we encounter along the way.

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched—they must be felt with the heart." (Helen Keller) My hope for you is a learning experience that touches your heart and not just your mind. Best wishes for a rewarding academic year.

Patricia A. Prelock, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BCS-CL
Dean, College of Nursing & Health Sciences
Professor, Communication Sciences & Disorders
Professor, Pediatrics, College of Medicine

Last modified June 24 2016 10:16 AM