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Melissa Cole named dean of JCU’s College of Health

Dr. Cole in her new role as dean of the College of Health.
John Carroll University
Dr. Cole in her new role as dean of the College of Health.

On April 3, after a national search, Dr. Melissa Cole, MSN, APRN, ANP-BC, CENP, was named the inaugural dean of JCU’s newly created College of Health. From Sept. 2023 until now, Cole served as the interim dean of the college. She also served as the inaugural director of Nursing and Strategic Health Care Initiatives since Nov. 2022.

In her role as director of Strategic Innovation, Cole was “responsible for evaluating the national demand for healthcare professionals and the academic landscape to identify opportunities for creating a College of Health.” Following the creation of a strategic plan for the College of Health, she was able to lead the college as the interim dean.

Cole holds a bachelor’s in Nursing from Ursuline College, a master’s in Nursing from the University of Tampa and a doctorate of Nursing Practice from Case Western Reserve University. Her work experience undoubtedly stood out in a pool of candidates.

“I have 20 plus years of experience in healthcare leadership and academia, including my recent roles at JCU as the director of Nursing & Strategic Health Integration at John Carroll University, and vice president of Integrated Delivery Operations at University Hospitals Health System,” Cole told The Carroll News. “I also continue to practice as a nurse practitioner in emergency medicine at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.”

“My background in both strategic program development and operational management, along with my hands-on clinical experience and passion for education equip me well for the role of dean of the College of Health,” Cole continued.

In addition to being qualified, Cole has another motivation for taking this role: “My dedication to transforming healthcare at a macro level by advancing healthcare education and my vision for an integrated, forward-thinking college drove me to pursue this leadership role.”

Cole also shared her main goals for the college, including curriculum innovation, research leadership, community engagement and student success. In addition, she shared what she is most excited about in taking this role, including the opportunity to impact education and healthcare, all the collaboration opportunities and the potential for innovation.

Looking at her visions for the college, she hopes it becomes “a leader in health education nationally, known for its excellence in preparing competent, compassionate and innovative healthcare professionals.”

Cole plans to build this vision soon with some new initiatives. New interdisciplinary programs that “blend health sciences with business and technology, aimed at preparing students for the evolving landscapes of healthcare industries” will be coming soon to JCU. Along with this, the nursing program is considering growing to include master’s and doctoral level offerings. The fall semester will also debut a new major program: Public Health, which will offer a Medical Laboratory Scientist concentration in partnership with STEM and Cleveland Clinic.

To conclude, Cole shared her personal philosophy: “I believe in leadership that fosters integrity, collaboration and continuous learning, values that I hope to embed in our college’s culture and curriculum.”

With all of her success in establishing this college so far, it will be exciting to see how much further the college is expanded under her leadership.

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About the Contributor
Bella Congelio
Bella Congelio, Opinion Editor
Bella Congelio is a sophomore English major from Elyria, Ohio. She has a concentration in professional writing and is minoring in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. In addition to being a campus beat reporter for The Carroll News, she is a member of the Sweet Carrollines and the Theater Club. In her free time, Bella is always reading a book, loves to cook and bake, and is always listening to music.

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