Dean Morton Welcome Message
Nov 1, 2013 3:00 PM
Earlier this year when I visited Salt Lake City to interview for the position of dean, I had been positively blown away by the natural splendor of the Wasatch Front. Between the sunny yellow flowers along the foothills (arrow leaf balsamroot, I’m told) and the edible campus gardens that help source the University of Utah Farmers Market, I thought surely spring must be the area’s most prized season.
Then, in August, we moved here, and officially made Salt Lake City our new home. The way Emigration canyon cooled to a chill after a hot summer day had me placing summer as a strong front-runner for most desirable season.
And now, here we are in fall. I know I don’t need to tell you about the breathtaking vibrancy of the fall leaves of Red Butte, just outside the windows of our Annette Poulson Cumming Building. The natural beauty so unique to our community surrounds us—and invigorates us—as we join together every day to conduct cutting-edge research, educate both undergraduate and graduate students to become leaders in nursing, and deliver clinical services to help keep our community healthy.
But what I do want to tell you is that I see a lot of parallels between the journey I have been on with my introduction to Utah’s four seasons and the journey I am on with my introduction to the College of Nursing community as your dean. Each day, I learn (from you) something new about what makes us a true standout in nursing education. We are empowering students to engage in signature learning experiences that can help define their career path in nursing. We have been awarded a T-32 grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research to add formal interdisciplinary research training in cancer, aging, and end-of-life care to our foundational core curriculum. And we are caring for our community with resources that help individuals who have suffered the death of a loved one navigate the holiday season. We also are fortunate to be integral partners in the inter-professional initiatives of the health sciences including for example, the Institute for Healthcare Transformation, the Center for Medical Innovation, and the Academy of Health Science Educators.
Just when I think I have a solid understanding of who we are and what we are accomplishing in the areas of research, education and practice, you teach me about something new you are doing. You are innovators, and as innovators, you do not view excellence as a position to simply hold onto and tout. Rather, you treat excellence as a concept to continually aspire to with new ideas and innovations. I am so proud of the work we do and I am honored to be your dean.
I am also excited for what lies ahead for us in the New Year! After all, I hear we have the greatest snow on earth. (Though I wonder if I am going to feel that way when I have a driveway full of snow and an 8:00 a.m. meeting!)