SU hires new dean of nursing school

Shenandoah University has a new dean of its nursing school.

Kathleen LaSala, who holds a doctorate in nursing degree with an emphasis in administration and public policy, will begin her new job June 30. She replaces Dr. Kathryn Ganske, who has served the university for 22 years.

LaSala is currently employed by the University of South Carolina, where she is the associate dean of academic affairs and a nursing professor at South Carolina’s College of Nursing.

LaSala noted that she is excited about the opportunities that Shenandoah University offers, especially when it comes to the school’s involvement in the area.

“The University and Eleanor Wade Custer School of Nursing have an outstanding reputation,” she stated in an email. “I was looking for a leadership opportunity that would impact a community/region that I care about deeply, but with an organization that has a commitment to excellence.”

According to LaSala, the university has several intriguing characteristics.

“I really like the size of the School, the different program options, and the fact that they have multiple sites to meet the needs of the region,” she stated in the email. “The programs are well-recognized and have very strong faculty. SU has built a state of the art building to meet the needs of health science and nursing students, with the life sciences laboratories, simulation and clinical skills laboratories and classrooms that allow for distance education opportunities.”

With her background in academic administration, LaSala stated she is very prepared for her new position.

“I have a strong background in leading nursing education programs, including leading individuals and teams, program development, implementation and evaluation,” she said. ” I have worked with some of the best leaders in the nation, with the opportunity to learn and grow from many different experiences.”

Having attended school at both Radford and the University of Virginia and being a native of Harrisonburg, LaSala stated she views moving to the Northern Shenandoah Valley as a homecoming of sorts.

“I was definitely attracted to the School’s location in the Shenandoah Valley,” she stated.  “I have lived in Colorado for 15 years and South Carolina almost three years, but I will always consider ‘home’ the Shenandoah Valley. I look forward to the opportunity to be there again soon.”

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com