College of Nursing

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Brown named permanent dean of College of Nursing at ECU

October 1, 2009

Dr. Sylvia Brown has been named dean of the College of Nursing at East Carolina University on a permanent basis after serving more than two years in an interim role.

ECU's Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences Phyllis Horns appointed Brown as dean effective Oct. 1.

"Dr. Brown is extraordinarily well qualified to assume this role on a permanent basis," Horns said. "Her professionalism and commitment to the College of Nursing are visible and genuine. She brings a renewed energy to sustaining excellence in the college during the challenging realities of growing enrollments and shrinking resources."

Brown assumed the role of acting dean of the College of Nursing in November 2006 and she has served as the associate dean for graduate programs since December 2003. She succeeds Horns as dean of nursing.

"I am honored to serve as the dean in the College of Nursing," Brown said. "Our college has a rich history of educating nurses who are prepared to meet societal health needs and assume leadership roles. We are recognized as a Center of Excellence because of the dedication and commitment that our faculty and staff have in maintaining high quality programs. As we prepare for our 50th anniversary in 2010, I am excited about the future as we venture ahead to the next chapter of our history."

Brown has been a faculty member at ECU since 1976. During her tenure as associate dean, enrollment of graduate nursing students grew more than 250 percent.

A widely published scholar, Brown's research interests include the development of contemporary instructional strategies for nursing education, pain management, and the impact of ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment on patients and their families. She has written or co-written more than 75 peer-reviewed articles and proceedings, and 27 funded research grants. She is an active member of various professional and service associations on the local and national level.

An eastern North Carolina native, Brown is an alumna of ECU, earning a bachelor's degree in nursing in 1975 and a master's degree in nursing in 1978. She received a doctorate in education from North Carolina State University in 1982. Before beginning her academic career, she was a staff nurse at Pitt County Memorial Hospital.

Brown and her husband, Dr. William Brown, a Greenville obstetrician and gynecologist who graduated in the first medical school class at ECU, have two daughters, Laura and Jessica.

The ECU College of Nursing was established in 1959, the oldest in the health sciences division, and has an enrollment of more than 1,100 students in baccalaureate, master's and doctoral nursing programs. It is the largest producer of new nursing graduates in the state and offers the only nurse midwifery plan of study and alternate entry MSN option for non-nursing bachelor degree holders in the state. The college is a designated Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing. Earlier this year, the college was recognized by U.S. News & World Report for having one of the largest programs for distance education in the magazine?s annual best graduate schools edition.