SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - From Catawba College: Catawba College has established a new School of Health Sciences & Human Performance and has named Associate Professor of Health Sciences, Dr. Jim Hand, as its founding dean.
The new School will house these academic majors: Athletic Training, Exercise Science, Therapeutic Recreation, Sport Management, Recreation, and Nursing (Bachelor of Science in Nursing Pre-Licensure and the RN to BSN program). At its inception, the School of Health Science & Human Performance currently offers academic majors that enroll 217 of Catawba's current undergraduate student population (of Catawba's 1325 undergraduate enrollment for the 2017-2018 academic year).
Dr. Hand will be tasked with assisting in recruitment of students to the aforementioned academic majors, providing oversight to the nursing accreditation process, and developing new undergraduate and graduate programs, as resources are made available. He will work collaboratively on the nursing accreditation process with new faculty in place in the Department of Nursing, including its new department chair, Dr. Valerie Rakes.
"We're excited to begin the new academic year with the School of Health Sciences & Human Performance, and pleased to have our administration's support behind this effort," Hand shared. "Although we will be phasing out our Athletic Training program with the graduates in the Class of 2020, we will continue to serve the athletic community in our other programs, like the Sports Medicine track that is offered in the Exercise Science major. This track features collaborations with local hospitals, doctors' offices, occupational and physical therapy offices, and the V.A. hospital.
"In all of our academic program offerings in the School of Health Sciences & Human Performance, it is important to us that we give back – that's a big part of who we are as a college with the core values of scholarship, character, culture and service. We want empathetic students who have servant hearts and who are passionate about their academic discipline."
Dr. Jim Hand, Dean of the School of Health Sciences & Human Performance
Dr. Hand joined the Catawba faculty in 2010 as an assistant professor and director of Athletic Training Education. He was granted tenure by a vote of the College Board of Trustees in 2014. Prior to joining Catawba, he served as an assistant professor of Motorsport Management at Winston-Salem State University, as an assistant professor of Human Performance and Sports Medicine and director of Athletic Training Education and assistant professor of Sports Sciences and coordinator of Clinical Education at California Lutheran University, and as an assistant professor of Sport Science and director of Athletic Training Education at Wingate University.
Hand earned his undergraduate degree in Recreation Management with a minor in Sports Medicine from Culver-Stockton College, his master's degree in Physical Education from Ohio University, and his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership form California Lutheran University.
Dr. Valerie Rakes, Chair and Associate Professor of the Department of Nursing
Dr. Valerie Rakes joined the Catawba faculty in June of this year. A registered nurse with 29 years' experience in both hospital practice and academic settings, her teaching expertise includes leadership, behavioral health, therapeutic communication, maternal-child, and pediatric nursing courses. She is currently involved with an evidence-based practice project to increase clinical reasoning in undergraduate baccalaureate nursing students utilizing technology and theory-driven educational methods.
Rakes' educational background includes an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing from Fayetteville Technical Community College; a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Cabarrus College of Health Sciences; a Master of Science degree in Nursing (Leadership in Healthcare Educational Systems) from East Carolina University; and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (Leadership and Education) from Gardner-Webb University.