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Dr. Sarah Latham Named Acting Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Dr. Sarah Latham

April 29, 2004 -- Dr. Sarah Latham will become acting dean of Jacksonville State University's College of Nursing and Health Sciences on May 1, filling in for Dr. Martha Lavender, who is on administrative leave for one year. Dr. Latham will maintain her current status as graduate professor of nursing, a position she has held since 2002.

Dr. Rebecca O. Turner, JSU's vice president for academic and student affairs, said Dr. Latham was appointed to the position following a selection process that involved receiving applications from and conducting interviews with three internal candidates.

Said Dr. Turner, "Dr. Latham has a wealth of experience at JSU, a student-centered focus, and the support of faculty and staff in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. I look forward to working closely with her during the next year."

In response to her appointment, Dr. Latham said, "The College of Nursing and Health Sciences is replete with extraordinarily gifted individuals who are firmly committed to our mission. It will be a joy and honor to continue working with them in providing the highest quality nursing education possible."

Dr. Lavender is taking a leave of absence to work with EAI Corporation, located at McClellan's Center for Domestic Preparedness, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She will help prepare first responders for mass casualty events in the event of an attack by weapons of mass destruction. Her position will be deputy program manager for resident training.

"I'm pleased to be able to assist in the development of nursing's role in addressing public health needs of citizens if such events occur," said Dr. Lavender.

Dr. Lavender called Dr. Latham a "master educator," who "has a wonderful sense of humor that puts students at ease in the classroom and creates a rich learning environment."

Dr. Latham has been at JSU since 1982, first serving as assistant professor, then full professor in 1993. She served as coordinator of student services from 1997 to 2003.

Dr. Latham studied nursing at the University of Alabama School of Nursing, where she obtained her bachelor's and master's degrees and a doctorate in nursing. She has also worked at Baptist Medical Center-Montclair in Birmingham and University Hospital in Birmingham.

She has worked on numerous committees at the college and university levels. She is a member of the American Nurses Association, the Alabama State Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau and Phi Kappa Phi.

Dr. Latham was president of the research council of the Alabama State Nurses Association in 1989-1990 and served as chairperson for the eligibility committee for Sigma Theta Tau from 1998 to the present. She has served on the board of directors of the Pastoral Counseling Center for Calhoun County, an affiliate of Baptist Medical Center. She has also served on the board of East Alabama Hospice and the educational program committee for the Alabama League for Nursing. She has served as a representative to the Alabama Stroke Task Force of the Alabama State Nurses Association.

Latham was a co-recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award given by JSU in 1999-2000 and was the recipient of the Lamplighter Award 1995 given by the Alabama League for Nursing. She was the Alternate Outstanding Educator in 1999 of the Women Committee of Excellence program presented by the Cottaquilla Council of Girl Scouts. She also has experience as a consultant to Mountain View Hospital in Gadsden.

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