Kirkhof Welcomes New Dean

December 27, 2007
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Cynthia McCurren, the new dean at Grand Valley State University’s Kirkhof School of Nursing, never entertained the thought of any other profession.

“That was the only career I aspired for,” said McCurren, a native of Missouri. “My father was a minister, and I was sort of principled in choosing a caring profession, motivated to do something like that.”

McCurren moved into her new $140,000 post in November, taking over from former dean Phyllis Gendler, who plans to spend more time working on research.

McCurren and Gendler share professional interests in interdisciplinary work and in the gerontology field, which McCurren said is one of the factors that convinced her to leave the University of Louisville, where she most recently served as interim dean of the nursing school.

“I have a background in gerontological nursing research in the area of the care of elders, with a specialty in delirium and depression among elders,” she explained.

The Kirkhof School includes more than 500 undergraduate and graduate students and a faculty and staff of about 100.

McCurren, 57, holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing from the University of Missouri and a doctorate from the University of Kentucky. She held a number of positions at Louisville, which she joined in 1983.

“I found it very hard to leave,” McCurren added. “This was one of those matches that seemed really right. I was looking for a place to make a difference.

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