The Daily Gamecock

College of Nursing names MUSC professor new dean

Jeannette Andrews to take over January 1

The College of Nursing has named Medical University of South Carolina’s College of Nursing professor Jeannette Andrews as its new dean. Andrews will take over Jan. 1 for outgoing dean Peggy Hewlett, who will continue to serve through December.

Andrews makes a return to the Gamecock family, having earned her doctorate in nursing from USC in 2004 to accompany her undergraduate nursing degree from the Medical College of Georgia.

“I think USC is a great place, (with) a lot of opportunity and a great future,” Andrews said. “(The students) have such a stellar reputation across the state ... I’m excited about joining the family again.”

Andrews has spent five years at MUSC in Charleston, serving as the associate dean for research and evaluation and the director of the Center for Community Health Partnerships. She has held a department chair position at the Medical College of Georgia and leadership roles within the nursing profession.

Andrews was a standout among the final candidates, according to Dr. Michael Amiridis, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost.

“I can tell you I’m very excited about her,” Amiridis said. “We had a very strong pool of candidates. All four finalists that we brought in were associate deans or had previous dean experience at a national level ... (Andrews) really stood out. She was the clear choice.”

Amiridis described Andrews as “very dynamic, very energetic.”

“She comes in with a very strong research record. She also comes in with strong commitment to both graduate and undergraduate education in the College of Nursing,” Amiridis said.

Research has been a point of focus in Andrews’ career. Much of her work has related to “behavioral lifestyle interventions,” she said, including smoking cessation and prevention and weight control. She has been involved in community programs aimed at helping women in public housing neighborhoods quit smoking and develop healthier habits to cope with stress.

Mobile health technology has been another focal area of Andrews’ research, including developing and using mobile technology to measure and report blood pressure and glucose levels as well as facilitate patient feedback.

“I do plan to bring my research with me (to USC) and involve students and faculty,” Andrews said. “I’m always interested in making a difference and making an impact ... There’s a lot of opportunity to improve health care development, and I want to be at the table for making things better.”

Andrews also plans to grow the doctorate program in the school. One of her goals, she said, is to “look at ways to grow our pipeline from the undergraduate to the graduate program.”

Her earliest goal once she arrives, however, will be to first listen and learn and understand how USC’s program operates, Andrews said. She said Hewlett has already been helping her make the transition smoothly.

“She’s been very welcoming, she’s been very supportive,” Andrews said of Hewlett. “She loves the (nursing) school, and she loves the university. She’s just been a jewel in working with me and helping me transition.”
University leadership is confident in the selection of Andrews and looks forward to bringing her on board.

“This is going to be an outstanding team. We’re looking forward to having her here,” Amiridis said.