Texas A&M names Fahrenwald as dean of nursing

BROOKINGS – Texas A&M University has appointed Nancy Fahrenwald as professor and dean of the College of Nursing, effective June 1.

Since 2013, Fahrenwald has served as dean and professor of South Dakota State University’s College of Nursing, where she oversaw enrollment growth of four educational sites, including programs at bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. She started at SDSU as an instructor in 1995 and served as the inaugural associate dean for research before being appointed dean. She received her Bachelor of Science in nursing from South Dakota State, Master of Science in nursing at University of Portland and Ph.D. in nursing from University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Prior to joining academia, Fahrenwald pursued clinical specialization as a public health nurse and served in community health nursing roles in South Dakota and Washington. Her clinical background was further developed as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, Africa, working on AIDS prevention and control and teaching enrolled community health nurses.

“On behalf of the administration, faculty and staff at South Dakota State University, I would like to thank Nancy for her service to our university and state,” said Dennis Hedge, provost and vice president of academic affairs. “Dr. Fahrenwald has been a visionary leader for the betterment of nursing and health care during her time at SDSU, and her impact will be felt for many years. She continued a legacy within the College of Nursing of preparing health-care professionals to have a positive impact on their local communities and throughout the world. While we are saddened that Nancy will be leaving SDSU, we know this is an exciting opportunity and wish her the best.”

Fahrenwald’s research impacts are related to education on organ donation and transplants with American Indian populations, tobacco-free school policies and strengthening tobacco-cessation programs for rural citizens and American Indians. 

She helped form a transdisciplinary rural health research team that has created partnerships, processes and sponsored programs for improved health and health care in the state and region. She has taught at all levels of nursing education. She serves nationally as a leader on the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science and as a government affairs committee member for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. 

Fahrenwald has served on numerous review panels for the South Dakota Department of Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. Fahrenwald has received numerous awards for her research, teaching and service activities including being named a Millennium Leadership Institute Protégé by American Association of State Colleges & Universities, Champion Award from South Dakota Women’s Cancer Network and in 2015 was named one of the Top 30 Most Influential Deans of Nursing in the United States by Mometrix.

“This is certainly a bittersweet time for me both personally and professionally,” Fahrenwald said. “The experiences and accomplishments during my time at South Dakota State are due to the many wonderful people I worked with and the relationships we built over the years. I am truly honored to have been the dean of nursing at SDSU. 

“I am extremely excited about the position at Texas A&M and the opportunity to serve at another land-grant university,” Fahrenwald continued. “Like South Dakota, there is a tremendous need for well-prepared nurses and health-care professionals, and my experiences at SDSU have prepared me well for the challenge.”

Fahrenwald will remain at SDSU through the spring semester.


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