The University of Rochester School of Nursing is guided and directed by a team of accomplished and inspiring leaders who embody our historic mission of unifying nursing education, practice, and research.
Lisa Kitko, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN
An accomplished scholar, researcher, educator, and clinician, Lisa Kitko, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN, was appointed the sixth dean of the University of Rochester School of Nursing, professor of nursing and vice president of the University of Rochester Medical Center in September 2022. She previously served as the associate dean for graduate education and director of the PhD program at the Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing at Penn State University. She has extensive clinical research experience with the palliative care needs of persons living with complex chronic conditions and their family caregivers, especially in the context of advanced heart failure. A fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the American Heart Association, she served as a Josiah S. Macy Jr. Faculty Scholar from 2015-2017, where she developed an interdisciplinary certificate in primary palliative care. A native of Pennsylvania, Kitko received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh in 1990. She earned her master’s as a clinical nurse specialist in 2001 and a PhD in nursing with a minor in gerontology in 2010, both from Penn State.
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Sally Norton, PhD, RN, FNAP, FPCN, FAAN
Associate Dean for Research
Sally Norton, PhD, RN, FNAP, FPCN, FAAN, a longtime faculty member at the School and a nationally-recognized expert in palliative care research, was named associate dean for research in 2019. In a career dedicated to improving the care of patients with advanced illness, Norton’s research has focused on palliative care and end-of-life decision-making with emphases on the communication processes and practice patterns of care delivery in acute and long-term care settings. She has also worked successfully across professions to improve communication and understanding surrounding systems of palliative care and hospice delivery, and to pinpoint the approaches most meaningful to patients and families that lead to the highest quality outcomes.
Renu Singh, MS
Senior Associate Dean, Finance and Operations
CEO, UR Medicine Employee Wellness
With 25 years of leadership experience in health care program design and implementation, finance, and operations, Renu Singh, MS, has a passion for wellness which has led to the development of the school’s evidence-based wellness program, where she also currently serves as CEO.
Lydia Rotondo, DNP, RN, CNS, FNAP
Associate Dean for Education and Student Affairs
The education mission is led by Lydia Rotondo, DNP, RN, CNS, FNAP, who was named associate dean in 2015 and served as director of the school’s DNP program since 2014. Rotondo is a national contributor to advancing DNP education and a member of AACN’s Essentials Implementation Faculty Toolkit workgroup. She has published and presented on DNP scholarship, competency-based education, and integration of technology in nursing education. She was selected as a 2018 AACN Leadership for Academic Nursing Fellow and 2020 Fellow in the National Academies of Practice.
Rotondo’s vision as the associate dean for education and student affairs has been the development of a learning organization that fosters collaboration and creativity to design novel educational approaches in active learning environments to prepare graduates for the complexity of 21st century health care. Under her leadership, there has been strategic investment in building academic-practice partnerships, expanding education technology, and developing academic innovation infrastructure to optimize teaching and learning in an inclusive, supportive environment.
Mitchell Wharton, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, CNS
Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion
Mitchell J. Wharton, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, CNS, an accomplished educator, researcher, and clinician, was named associate dean for equity and inclusion in February, 2021. Wharton has been an integral figure in the school’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts for the past several years. He has been co-chair of the Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness since 2018 and the faculty advisor for the student-led Leading with Integrity For Tomorrow (LIFT) program since 2014. He has also been a co-facilitator for the school’s Racial Equity Series, served on the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Executive Committee for Diversity and Inclusion, and served as the School of Nursing’s representative to the Academic Community Engagement Collaborative. He was honored with the School of Nursing’s Mary Dombeck Diversity Enhancement Faculty Awards in 2020. As associate dean, Wharton will work to more fully integrate issues of diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the school.
Assistant Dean of Clinical Practice
Chief Nursing Executive, URMC
Karen Keady, PhD, MSN, RN, NEA-BC is Strong Memorial Hospital’s senior nurse and oversees a department of 3,500 nurses, patient care technicians, and unit secretaries.