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.
Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, has served the School of Nursing community for more than 25 years as a nurse practitioner, teacher, scholar, and administrator. When appointed as dean in 2012, Rideout said that her “greatest source of pride will be in seeing the continual success of our students, faculty, and staff and in helping the school carry out the strategic goals that will position us as leaders in research, practice, and education.”
Dean Rideout has invigorated and diversified enrollment, and launched an ambitious strategic plan while continuing to work with children and families as a pediatric ostomy nurse practitioner, and serving as vice president of the University of Rochester Medical Center.
She has also been a champion for diversity issues – both on the faculty and student level – and has been an influential voice in national discussions on interprofessional education, nursing school leadership, and the future of nursing education. In 2016, Rideout was honored for her commitment to issues of diversity and inclusion with a UR Presidential Diversity Award. Under her leadership, the School was selected five years in a row for the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.
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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 April 1, 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.
Senior Associate Dean of Operations
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.
Associate Dean for Education and Student Affairs
Lydia Rotondo, DNP, RN, CNS was named associate dean in 2015 and continues as the director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. As associate dean, Rotondo works closely with program directors, faculty, and students to meaningfully respond to emerging educational needs to meet the health care workforce demands of the future. She says health care reform will call on students to “demonstrate competence in working in interdisciplinary teams that employ evidence-based practice, utilize information technology, and critically appraise the quality and safety of the health care environment.”
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.
Chief Financial Officer
With a public accounting background and over 30 years of financial experience at the University of Rochester, Kelly Talarczyk, MBA, has served as an advisor to the Dean since 2015. She provides overall financial and strategic direction for the budgetary and fiscal affairs of the School of Nursing, including planning, monitoring, and controlling financial plans and policies. In her role, Talarczyk has implemented a mission-based accounting focus to support new initiatives and investments to maximize each mission’s potential to ensure the long-term sustainability of the school.