Florida Atlantic University has named Safiya George, Ph.D., as the new dean of the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. She is only the third dean to be appointed in the college’s 40-year history. George previously served as a member of the faculty at Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing until she was recruited in 2015 to the Capstone College of Nursing at the University of Alabama, where she has served as assistant dean for research, director of the Office of Scholarly Affairs, and a member of the advisory board of the Alabama Life Research Institute. She also has served as faculty in the Honors College and faculty-in-residence for residential honors students at the University of Alabama.
George will assume her role as dean effective July 8, where she will spearhead FAU’s College of Nursing, which is nationally and internationally known for its excellence and philosophy of caring science. She also will oversee and build upon the college’s vibrant research focus areas, which include healthy aging across the lifespan, health equity, holistic health, and transforming health care environments. The college enrolls more than 1,100 students in four nursing degree programs on campuses in Boca Raton and Davie, as well as at Harbor Branch in Fort Pierce, offering bachelor’s, master’s, Ph.D. and the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree programs. The college has nearly 7,000 alumni and more than two-thirds of them reside in South Florida and provide vital health care services in the region.
“We are very pleased to announce the new dean of the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing following a national search,” said Bret Danilowicz, Ph.D., FAU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We warmly welcome Dr. George to our Florida Atlantic University family to continue the college’s legacy of outstanding educational programs, research, practice, and service missions. Her leadership and research productivity demonstrate the quality as well as quantity of her work and also signals her national reputation in the areas of holistic health, spirituality and HIV. We extend our deepest gratitude to Dr. Marlaine Smith for her numerous contributions and successes in her role as dean since 2011.”
George earned her Ph.D. and MSN degrees from Emory University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University in religion and health. Since 2015, under her leadership, Capstone College of Nursing has experienced tremendous growth in scholarly activities, including significant increases in extramural funding. She is described as a great mentor, role model and colleague by executive leadership, faculty, staff and students at the Capstone College of Nursing.
George’s primary research area aims to promote the health and holistic well-being of individuals with or at risk for HIV/AIDS through evidence-based psychosocial interventions focused on social determinants of health. Her research previously has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including the National Institutes of Nursing Research, the Georgia Department of Community Health, the John Templeton Foundation, Emory University Religion and Public Health Collaborative, the Biomedical Imaging Technology Center, and the University of Alabama.
George’s current work is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, HRSA, ViiV Healthcare’s Southern Initiative Positive Action program, and the NIH-funded Resource Center for Minority Aging Research. In addition, she has received a number of honors and recognitions for her work. Most recently, she received the 2019 President’s Faculty Research Award at the University of Alabama in April. Her holistic approach to research also garnered her an international award in 2015 – the Daniel J. Pesut Spirit of Renewal Award.
In 2017, George was elected to serve on the international board of directors for Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society for Nursing, where she also has held numerous leadership roles, including chair of the International Service Taskforce, elected member of the Leadership Succession Committee and vice president of the Epsilon Omega Chapter.
George is a board certified adult nurse practitioner (ANP). In 2018, she was inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.
“I am both humbled and excited about the opportunity to join the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and to serve as dean. I truly look forward to working with everyone, including our phenomenal faculty, staff, students, alumni, advisory board as well as members of the community-at-large,” said George. “I have a passion for people, holistic health, caring and nursing science and I believe that I can contribute to and further support the impressive initiatives and programs at the college and across the campus. I already have grown to love Florida Atlantic University and the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, especially the caring philosophy that transcends and represents everything about the college.”
The Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing is ranked No.1 in online graduate nursing programs in Florida and No. 23in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. In 2017, with a 100 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®), FAU BSN graduates, first-time test takers, ranked among the highest (No.1) in Florida and the United States.