Dr. Holisa Wharton, interim nursing dean at Lander University since the summer of 2016, has been named the new permanent dean of the William Preston Turner School of Nursing.
The announcement came from Lander President Richard Cosentino following the conclusion of the university's nationwide search to find a successor to Robbie South, who retired in May 2016. "We were thrilled to find we already had the most qualified individual within our ranks," President Cosentino said.
Dr. David Mash, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Lander, said that despite the lengthy search, "Holisa was far and away our top choice."
"In the months since she began interim duties, she had to take on the role of a real dean," Mash said. "There have been real challenges that have proven her mettle to be the kind of dean we were looking for, including initiatives with enrollment, future strategy, and with Self Regional hospital here in Greenwood."
Wharton brings 20 years of nursing and leadership experience to her new post. Before coming to Lander in 2010, she spent 13 years in several positions, including:
While at Piedmont Tech, Wharton completed her master's in nursing education at Clemson University - and was then asked to return and be a part of a new Clemson health care genetics program. She was one of the first two graduates to come through the program.
Wharton intends to use her new knowledge, as well as a considerable portion of her original nursing training, to advance Lander's nursing program into new realms.
"One of my goals is to increase the number of students admitted to the nursing major in response to growing demands from state and local health care agencies," Wharton said. "Another is to continue to build on a long legacy of excellent nursing education at Lander."
As to attaining the new appointment, Wharton said, "I had tears of shock and relief when Dr. Mash told me the news, and I am very excited about it."