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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Q&A with Melissa Snyder


Melissa Snyder, Ed.D., is the dean of the School of Nursing at Allied Health at St. Joe’s Lancaster campus. Snyder was previously the associate dean of the nursing division at the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences, which merged with St. Joe’s Jan. 3. The Hawk sat down with Snyder to discuss her role and how she is adjusting to being a part of the larger St. Joe’s community.

The Hawk: How are you adjusting to your position as the dean of the School of Nursing and Allied Health at St. Joe’s?

Snyder: I think that the transition has been going remarkably well from most aspects. I mean, there are glitches. There are things along the way that need to be addressed. But, the overall experience has been very positive, not just from my perspective but from our faculty and staff here at Lancaster. We’ve felt very welcomed and very much a part of the university from the point of the merger. 

The Hawk: What are your responsibilities as a dean?

Snyder: Right now, I’m doing a lot of work to establish relationships with new clinical partners [and] other institutions of higher education that may be interested in some of our programs as part of matriculation agreements; a lot of work with marketing and enrollment to get information out to prospective students about the programs that we offer and the opportunities that we present. So it’s really a lot of different things. That’s what I like about the job most, is that every day is very different from the past day.

The Hawk: Prior to your career in higher education, you worked for 15 years as a staff nurse and a family nurse practitioner. How have these experiences influenced your current work? 

Snyder: First and foremost is the advocacy and the care of the patient. Having come through higher ed and spent time in various positions in higher education as a faculty and then in various administrative roles, I feel like my role as an advocate has shifted from what it was when I was in clinical practice, but now, I’m advocating for students and faculty. So, the role itself has not necessarily changed that much. It’s really who I’m advocating for and the importance of keeping other people’s needs and quality outcomes at the forefront of all decision-making that I participate in.

The Hawk: What are your future goals for the School of Nursing and Allied Health?

Snyder: We really do want to become the destination of choice for students seeking health professions, education in nursing and allied health fields. Also, we want our students to become the future workforce, and we want them to be highly sought after, not simply because there are positions to fill but because they are really the best graduates out there for hire. And I feel very strongly that Saint Joseph’s has a commitment of quality education — the liberal arts basis, and then adding to that the clinical experiences that our nursing students and allied health students will have out in the community. I feel like we really are positioning ourselves to have great graduates with remarkable careers.

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Luke Sanelli
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