LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2017) – The University of Kentucky College of Nursing recently promoted two faculty to the rank of associate dean. Kristin Ashford was promoted to associate dean of Undergraduate Faculty and Interprofessional Education Affairs, and Sheila Melander was promoted to associate dean of MSN & DNP Faculty and Practice Affairs.
“Both Dr. Ashford’s expertise and leadership as well as Dr. Melander’s are critical to the advancement of the nursing profession,” said Janie Heath, UK College of Nursing dean and Warwick Professor of Nursing. “We are honored to have that expertise and leadership right here in the college to help drive the passion for caring for others, generating research and meeting the evolving health care needs in the Commonwealth and beyond.”
Ashford received her bachelor of science in nursing from Washburn University, Topeka, Kan., and a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Louisville. She received her Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Kentucky in 2007 and began her research career as a National Institutes of Health NIH Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health Scholar.
Ashford also serves as an associate professor and director of the Perinatal Research and Wellness Center. She is the director of the Scholars in Nursing Pathway and currently serves as the principal investigator on a National Institute of Drugs and Alcohol Impact of Electronic Cigarettes on Perinatal Immune Response and Birth Outcomes study. Her research interests include preterm birth and tobacco use/secondhand smoke exposure during pregnancy.
Melander earned her bachelor of science in nursing and master’s degree in nursing from the University of Evansville and her Ph.D. from the University of Alabama. She is a nationally known adult-gerontological acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP) leader and past president of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. She started and taught in one of the earliest master’s-level ACNP tracks in the U.S. and was one of the first practitioners to be involved with advanced genetic counseling for cardiovascular disease treatment and prevention.
Melander also serves as a professor at the UK College of Nursing. With more than 15 years of experience working as a cardiovascular ACNP specialist in both hospital and office settings, she was instrumental in facilitating the development of a second multi-organizational white paper addressing nurse practitioner employment, which is currently being used across the U.S. in both primary and acute care settings.
Ashford and Melander assumed their roles on Aug. 1, 2017.