Season’s Greetings from College of Nursing Dean Versie Johnson-Mallard

As we approach the end of another eventful year, I am delighted to reflect on the remarkable progress we have achieved within our College of Nursing.

I am delighted to share exciting news about the building renovations undertaken throughout this past year, and the increase in scholarships we have been able to offer our students. Thanks to the collective efforts of our generous donors, faculty, and staff, Kent State University College of Nursing has begun transformative renovations and expanded access to our nursing programs for our beloved nursing students.


We are excited to embark on a transformative renovation project approved by The Kent State University Board of Trustees at the December 6, 2023, meeting. This project will continue to elevate the academic landscape at the College of Nursing. As part of our ongoing efforts to optimize space, we envision the office of Student Services undergoing a strategic location change to the first floor of the college. This move will better serve the needs of our students by providing easier accessibility and centralized support.

As part of our future initiatives, we aim to explore additional opportunities for potential renovations throughout our building as we strive for continuous improvement and innovation. 

Additionally, I am thrilled to announce an eagerly anticipated event coming in the spring – an occasion when we will officially name the auditorium in Henderson Hall the Cheryl Swinehart Dariushnia Auditorium. This naming event will celebrate the generosity and support of our esteemed donor, Ali Dariushnia. Stay tuned for more details. We hope you will join us for this meaningful occasion.


The auditorium, a hub of learning and gathering, has been outfitted with a fresh coat of paint which infuses vibrancy into the atmosphere. Additionally, the auditorium seats have been reupholstered, providing both comfort and a touch of modern style.  

Nursing students listen to a faculty member's lecture in the newly renovated Henderson Hall auditorium

On the second floor, enhancements have been made to further enrich the student experience. Students utilizing our simulation and skills labs now benefit from newly constructed cubicles, which provide convenient storage for their personal items. Furthermore, the second floor also received fresh paint which has helped to brighten the hallway. Complementing this update, new and inviting furniture has been strategically placed, offering additional areas for our students to engage, study and unwind in between classes.

Nursing students place their belongings in the new cubicles before the start of their simulation.
Nursing students lounge on the new furniture before the start of their simulation.

Additionally, through strategic office relocations, we have transformed an existing area on the floor to create a vibrant and welcoming student lounge. This space boasts group study rooms, catering to the diverse needs of our students. Moreover, our graduate programs academic advisor is also housed within this space, providing dedicated support and guidance to our rising scholars.

Two nursing students utilize the student lounge to study between classes.

As part of our dedication to ensuring timely and relevant communications, two state-of-the-art television monitors have been strategically installed on the second floor: one within the office of Student Services and another in a location adjacent to this vital hub. We have received positive reviews from our students, as these monitors serve as conduits for disseminating crucial information, providing students with real-time updates, pertinent announcements and essential resources. Whether it’s highlighting academic opportunities, campus events or crucial deadlines, these monitors serve as invaluable tools, promoting more connected and informed students. These additions ensure our students are empowered with the knowledge they need to thrive academically and socially within our vibrant college and university community.

Nursing students converse at a table under one of the new communication monitors.

All these thoughtfully designed spaces aim to encourage collaboration, innovation and a sense of community among our student body by providing an environment that not only supports academic excellence, but also fosters a sense of belonging and well-being for all members of our college.


Furthermore, this academic year, the college has awarded more than $72,000 in student scholarships, representing a commendable increase of 23.8% compared to the previous year. This increase in scholarship funding has directly benefited 56 students, marking an impressive increase of 100% in the number of students receiving this vital financial aid. This achievement not only reflects our dedication to academic excellence but also highlights our pledge to foster an inclusive environment where all deserving students can thrive, succeed and engage in a true sense of belonging.

In acknowledgment of our scholarships, we extend our heartfelt appreciation to the generous and unwavering support of our esteemed donors. Their philanthropic contributions are instrumental in making these funds available. Through their selfless dedication and commitment to empowering our students, these benefactors have made a profound impact on the lives of countless individuals this year. Their belief in the transformative power of education and their willingness to invest in the aspirations of our students exemplify the spirit of generosity and community that defines Kent State University College of Nursing. We are profoundly grateful for their invaluable contributions, which continue to pave the way for a brighter future for our students, their future patients and our institution.

As we embrace the festive holiday season and look forward to a well-deserved break, let us cherish these accomplishments and the spirit of community that binds us together. I extend my deepest gratitude to all who have contributed to the success of our college, whether through their academic achievements, support for the renovation projects or steadfast dedication to our shared values.

I wish every one of you a joyous holiday season filled with warmth, happiness and the company of loved ones. May the New Year ahead bring renewed opportunities for growth, success and continued achievements.

Warm regards,

Versie Johnson-Mallard, PhD, RN, APRN-BC, FAANP, FAAN
Henderson Memorial Endowed Leadership Chair
Dean and Professor

POSTED: Friday, December 1, 2023 11:40 AM
Updated: Tuesday, December 12, 2023 10:31 AM