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Release: Jan. 12, 2001

UI College of Nursing names external affairs director

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa College of Nursing has named Elizabeth Swanson, Ph.D., to the newly created position of external affairs director. Swanson assumed her duties Nov. 30.

As director of external affairs, Swanson will work to enhance recognition of the college's accomplishments and programs, encourage greater involvement by graduates of the college in its activities and promote higher levels of private financial support for the college. Her duties will include oversight of the college's publications and outreach efforts, planning alumni activities and recognition, and assisting fundraising initiatives.

Swanson earned bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing, and a doctorate in post-secondary education, at the UI. She joined the College of Nursing faculty in 1970 and currently holds the rank of associate professor. She also served as associate dean for international programs and as associate vice president for health professions education at the UI, and chaired the nursing college's theory and health promotion studies. Most recently, Swanson was director of advancement for the National Patient Safety Foundation in Chicago while on leave from the college.

As a nurse scholar, Swanson has authored or co-authored dozens of articles and book chapters and edited or co-edited numerous books. Her principal interest is geriatric nursing, including the use of music therapy to reduce stress in Alzheimer's patients and nursing home residents. A member of Sigma Theta Tau International, the nursing profession's honor society, she also is one of several health professionals from the UI who collaborated with Russian colleagues to establish a family practice clinic in St. Petersburg. She was elected Honorable Professor by the St. Petersburg Medical Academy for Postgraduate Studies in 1999.

"I'm thrilled that Liz has agreed to serve as director of external affairs for the college," Melanie Dreher, Ph.D., professor and dean of nursing, said. "She is highly qualified for this role, having had extensive experience in development, communication, interdisciplinary administration and international relations."

Swanson said she welcomes the opportunity to work with Dreher and colleagues in the college in this new capacity. "Around the country, leaders in academic nursing recognize our programs as being among the best," Swanson said. "I'm looking forward to letting people both in and outside of Iowa know what a great resource they have here in the College of Nursing."