Alumna and professor now interim dean 

Dr. Mabel Ezeonwu looks ahead to having broader impact on nursing and health care in the region.

Dr. Mabel Ezeonwu, professor, has been named interim dean of the University of Washington Bothell’s School of Nursing & Health Studies, effective July 1. She will succeed Dr. Linda Watts, professor in the SNHS, who is completing the second year of a two-year period as interim dean. 

“Mabel brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this role, and we are excited to welcome her leadership as our search continues for a permanent dean,” said Dr. Sharon A. Jones, vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, adding that with the help of a national recruitment firm the University anticipates bringing a new dean on next academic year. 

Ezeonwu is an alumna of the SNHS and holds a Ph.D. in Nursing Science from the University of Washington and an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner certification from the University of Cincinnati. She has demonstrated a commitment to advancing social justice, health and nursing practice throughout her career, and in 2020 she received the UW Distinguished Teaching Award

“The School of Nursing & Health Studies has a world class interdisciplinary faculty and staff who are genuinely committed to our students,” Ezeonwu said. “I am excited about our opportunities for growth and broader impact on nursing and health care in the region.” 

With expertise in nursing and global health curricula, Ezeonwu actively contributes to undergraduate and graduate education across SNHS. Her work integrates global and local community health, focusing on primary care and access. Her clinical background in maternal-infant and primary care fuels her passion for community interventions. And through community health education and partnerships, she advances wellness in line with the school’s mission. 

“I look forward to working closely with our colleagues across the University-wide School of Nursing,” Ezeonwu said, “as well as with our internal and external stakeholders in building and sustaining an exciting and collaborative environment that serves our students and the community.” 

In Watts’ tenure as interim dean, she has led the school in an extensive planning process focused on how to best meet regional needs given the challenges faced by our health care workforce during and since the pandemic, Vice Chancellor Jones noted. 

“I am deeply grateful for Linda’s leadership during this critical period, which resulted in a substantive five-year plan that will allow SNHS to continue to innovate and lead.” 

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