University of Vermont

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Dean's Welcome to the Class of 2018

On your path through the college experience, let no obstacle - great or small - stand in your way.

At UVM you will learn new things and connect with others who share your passion as a future health care professional – and who are likely to have different perspectives. This is the power of the learning environment in which you will be immersed for the next four years. Allow yourself to think differently, open new doors and consider the unique opportunities that come before you. I know you will find a real sense of community in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Vermont.

You have amazing staff and faculty both in the College and across the campus to ensure you achieve your envisioned future. The key to your success will be your ability to seek new doors to open and know that ‘opportunity is like an express train’—there will always be another opportunity waiting for you to jump on.
For our returning undergraduate and graduate students, the College is extraordinarily proud of all your accomplishments so far. I see many of you as emerging leaders and mentors to one another and to our first year students as you link them to those activities and experiences that will provide real value to their academic and social lives—as well as your own. As always, the Dean’s Office, staff and faculty are here to support you on your journey to becoming the next generation of health care providers, researchers and leaders!

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences is also 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’/clients’ outcomes. We are fully committed to supporting the University of Vermont's vision of excellence in the area of health.

As students, you are part of that vision for excellence in academics, research and practice. We are excited that you have selected the University of Vermont and our College to capitalize on your strengths and engage in our dynamic learning community. As students, you are joining a thriving learning community with fully accredited programs, innovative 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, and we consider each individual in the context of their family and community. We are committed to recruiting and supporting a diverse faculty, staff and student body to provide each of 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.

I encourage you to push yourself to 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 plan for your success and to inspire you to take charge of your learning. Please ask for help when you need it and offer to help others who may need your support. Remember to demonstrate a mutual respect and positive regard for one another. I know each of you will achieve great things this year; and together we can begin to make a difference in the lives of people we encounter along the way.

Best wishes for a rewarding learning experience this academic year. And, in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, remember: “We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.”

Patricia A. Prelock, PhD, CCC-SLP
Dean, College of Nursing & Health Sciences
Professor, Communication Sciences

Last modified August 26 2014 09:37 AM