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WSU College of Nursing personnel changes announced

By Addy Hatch, College of Nursing

SPOKANE, Wash. – Washington State University College of Nursing Dean Joyce Griffin-Sobel has named new members of her leadership team. 


Lisa Day has been named vice dean for educational innovation. Day is leading an initiative to review and update undergraduate curriculum at the WSU College of Nursing. Previously she was an associate professor at the Duke University School of Nursing in Durham, North Carolina, and was named a Macy Faculty Scholar in 2013. Her scholarship includes a focus on interprofessional education. 

Said Dean Joyce Griffin-Sobel, “I am delighted to have Lisa Day join us from Duke as the vice dean for educational innovation.  She is the perfect person for that role as she is very highly regarded in nursing education for her work with the Carnegie Foundation for Teaching, in particular. Lisa is co-author, along with Patricia Benner, of the landmark book ‘Educating Nurses: a call for radical transformation’ and is a Macy Faculty Scholar. Her visionary approach to pedagogy will truly be transformational to the education of future nurses.”


Sandy Carollo has been named associate dean for academic affairs, overseeing educational policy and academic programs. She will serve in that role in an interim capacity until the academic year ends in May. Carollo is currently the College of Nursing’s associate dean for Central Washington and clinical associate professor in Yakima.

“Sandy is the consummate team player, has in-depth knowledge of all our academic programs, has national accreditation experience and has the optimistic attitude and sense of humor needed for a position this big,” Dean Griffin-Sobel said.

Carollo will work alongside Anita Hunter, the current associate dean for academic affairs, until the end of spring semester. Hunter is reducing her administrative workload but will continue to teach in the College of Nursing.


Celestina Barbosa-Leiker was named associate dean for research. Barbosa-Leiker is an associate professor and director of the Program of Excellence in Addictions Research, which manages more than $20 million in grant funding. Her research areas of expertise include substance use, mental health and health disparities. Her program of research primarily focuses on women’s issues in substance use. Specifically, her contributions to science include testing sex differences in opioid withdrawal and dependence, women’s health and birth satisfaction, and assessing the transition from pregnancy to parenthood while using substances (cannabis or opioids) or in substance use treatment. She has led the college’s research activities on an interim basis since August 2017.

Dean Griffin-Sobel said, “As we increase research capacity in the college, Celestina is the right person to lead that effort. She is a highly accomplished and productive scholar, has the vision needed to help our researchers move forward, and will be the key architect in operationalizing our strategic plan around the science of health. 


Julie Postma was named assistant dean for research. Postma’s research interests include asthma and environmental health, and last year she was honored by the Washington State Public Health Association with a Public Health Leadership Award.

Griffin-Sobel said, “Julie is also an accomplished scholar, and will be a terrific partner with Celestina in moving our College to the next level in research and scholarship. I am delighted to have them both on our team.”


Griffin-Sobel also recently created a new Office of Student Affairs at the College of Nursing, with responsibility for administrative support for program directors, assistant and associate deans; course scheduling; student advising; admission processes; coordination of student organizations; and graduate and undergraduate program supports and efficiencies. Sarah Wilson has been named director of the new office. Wilson previously was project coordinator and Ph.D. program advisor at the College of Nursing.



  • Addy Hatch, communication director, WSU College of Nursing, 509-324-7340,

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