The University of North Georgia has selected Dr. Teresa Conner-Kerr as the inaugural dean for the university's College of Health Sciences & Professions, effective Aug. 1, 2014. Conner-Kerr most recently was professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy in the School of Health Sciences at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina.
"Dr. Conner-Kerr is an active scholar and seasoned administrator. Her experience as an academic leader at Winston-Salem State University and history of funded and published research give us great confidence that she has the professional abilities and personal qualities to assume the role as founding dean for the college," said Dr. Patricia Donat, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at UNG. "We look forward to her arrival before fall semester."
UNG's College of Health Sciences & Professions was created in 2013 when the former -Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University consolidated. Dr. Bob Michael, former dean of UNG's College of Education, has served as interim dean since the college's creation.
Conner-Kerr has more than 20 years of experience in physical therapy practice and education. Her doctorate is in anatomy and cell biology from East Carolina University, and she has dual clinical certifications in lymphedema and wound management. She is board certified in wound management by the American Board of Wound Management. She also holds bachelor's degrees in physical therapy
"I want to help the college and university move forward in addressing the healthcare needs of north Georgia," Conner-Kerr said. "This will include designing an inter-professional curriculum that can be delivered anytime, anyplace and anywhere through novel educational technologies. We will continue to build on our historic partnerships regionally while expanding nationally and internationally. We can achieve our goals by engaging our partners and leveraging the plethora of talents and expertise on our multiple campuses."
Conner-Kerr has authored more than 50 scholarly works in peer-reviewed journals and books and has served on the editorial/peer-review boards of several national journals. With a primary research interest in the area of tissue healing, she also has served on the board of directors/executive committee of wound care associations, panels and examination boards, and has presented internationally on the topic of wound management technologies and practices.
In February, Conner-Kerr and 16 fellow medical professionals held an Association of Specialty Professors workshop in Washington, D.C., that focused on wound repair and healing in older adults, including identifying gaps in knowledge, the possible disparities in research for older adults, and setting priorities for area training.
Conner-Kerr also serves as a new product development consultant for wound care technologies and conducts preclinical trial testing for novel wound healing therapies. Other research interests include simulation and gaming technology and their application to health care education. She also has a patent for a prototype patient simulator for pressure ulcer prevention.
"I believe UNG has a strong foundation to become an innovation hub for this region and state; the university's broad platform, focused leadership and the region's growth rate provide an optimal mix to capitalize on the many opportunities in north Georgia, which is part of why I was so drawn to this institution," Conner-Kerr said. "Other things, such as a caring and invested community and a strong military leadership presence, are among the many reasons why I am excited to be here."