SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington State University Health Sciences has named Mary Koithan the next dean of the WSU College of Nursing. Koithan comes from the University of Arizona, where she was associate dean for student and community engagement in the College of Nursing and an Anne Furrow Professor of Integrative Nursing.

Koithan, PhD, RN, CNS-BC, FAAN, was chosen after a nationwide search and has more than 30 years of academic and leadership experience in nursing.

“In times like these we are reminded just how critical nurses are to our individual and collective well-being and how important it is that our nursing programs prepare and graduate exemplary nursing leaders,” said Koithan. “I am honored to be the next dean for the WSU College of Nursing and look forward to developing strong partnerships both within WSU and in the communities where our programs grow and thrive.”

Koithan has focused much of her work on improving community understanding of integrative health care delivery models and how to best bring together therapeutic strategies from biomedicine and more traditional healing methods.

“We are very pleased to have Dr. Koithan join the WSU team. Throughout the recruitment and interview process, she stood out to us as being someone who exemplified interprofessional collaboration, as well as inclusive excellence—traits that will serve her well at WSU Health Sciences,” said Daryll DeWald, vice president and chancellor for WSU Health Sciences. “I would be remiss if I didn’t also use this opportunity to extend my deep thanks to interim dean, Dr. Mel Haberman, who has proven to be a consummate leader during our time of transition.”

Closeup of Mary Koithan
Mary Koithan

Haberman has served as interim dean for the College of Nursing since March 2019. Koithan will assume the duties on July 1, 2020. Haberman will then return to his prior position as executive associate dean and professor, while working with Koithan to ensure her successful transition into the deanship.

Haberman commented, “The college has a historical, solid footprint across Washington state and boasts many amazing staff, faculty and students. Mary is joining us at an opportune time—in the midst of exciting collaborations with our colleges of medicine and pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences. I am confident in her ability to leverage this momentum and further strengthen our relationships with our many valued health care and community partners.”

Koithan completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Cincinnati and received her master’s at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She received a PhD from the University of Colorado and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

The WSU College of Nursing has graduated over 10,000 nurses in the past 50 years and has students across the state in Spokane, Yakima, the Tri-Cities, Walla Walla, Puyallup, and Vancouver. Headquartered in Spokane, the WSU College of Nursing is an intercollegiate nursing school with students from area universities studying together. It offers BSN, RN-BSN, MN, DNP and PhD degree options and ranks 27th in National Institutes of Health research funding.

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