Advanced practice nurse and philosopher Mark Lazenby named dean of UCI nursing school
Priorities include increasing workforce diversity, addressing healthcare disparities
Irvine, Calif., July 27, 2021 – Mark Lazenby, advanced practice nurse and philosopher, has been appointed dean of the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing at the University of California, Irvine, following a nationwide search. He will assume his new role on Jan. 1, 2022.
Lazenby is currently a professor of nursing and associate dean for faculty and student affairs in the School of Nursing at the University of Connecticut, where he’s also an affiliate professor of philosophy. In his leadership position, he provides strategic vision and direction for faculty, staff and students and oversees the school’s global and honors programs; the offices of enrollment management, advising, teaching and learning; and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
“Our School of Nursing is poised for growth, and Mark Lazenby is the right leader to move us forward,” said UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman. “His passion is an inspiration, and his interdisciplinary expertise will be critical as we reinvent the future of nursing in the context of an integrative approach to whole-person wellness and an unshakable commitment to health equity in our community and beyond.”
After earning a Ph.D. in philosophy of religion at Boston University in 2001, Lazenby spent the next five years as a member of the philosophy faculty at Gwynedd-Mercy College in Pennsylvania. He received an M.S.N. from the Yale University School of Nursing in 2009 and then went to the King Hussein Cancer Center in Amman, Jordan, as a Fulbright Postdoctoral Research Scholar. Returning to Yale, he served the next nine and a half years as a faculty member in the schools of nursing and divinity before joining the University of Connecticut.
“Mark Lazenby’s passion for nursing and his understanding of the current challenges and opportunities in nursing ensure that he will be a strong advocate in leading the school,” said Hal Stern, UCI provost and executive vice chancellor. “He will foster an environment that values equity and diversity and encourages excellent teaching, impactful scholarship and effective practice to advance the school’s reputation and visibility.”
The recipient of many scholarly accolades and honors, Lazenby was named a fellow by the American Academy of Nursing and the American Psychosocial Oncology Society. He has been awarded federal and foundation research grants on the psychological and spiritual aspects of cancer and palliative care; written scores of peer-reviewed articles and three books, edited two others; and presented at prestigious professional conferences around the world.
“I became a nurse during my career as a professional philosopher because I witnessed that nurses never turned away from my loved ones who needed care,” Lazenby said. “My vision is that the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing will leverage its strengths in interdisciplinary research and practice, community engagement, and interprofessional education to set a blueprint for the profession and the nation on how to achieve health equity today and prepare nurse leaders for the future of health.”
The nursing school’s founding dean, Adey Nyamathi, will continue to serve through the end of the calendar year.
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 224 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.
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About UCI’s Brilliant Future campaign: Publicly launched on Oct. 4, 2019, the Brilliant Future campaign aims to raise awareness and support for UCI. By engaging 75,000 alumni and garnering $2 billion in philanthropic investment, UCI seeks to reach new heights of excellence in student success, health and wellness, research and more. The Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing plays a vital role in the success of the campaign. Learn more by visiting https://brilliantfuture.uci.edu/sue-and-bill-gross-school-of-nursing.