Baltimore, Md. – Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN, CS, FAAN, dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing, recently announced the appointments of two new associate deans. Barbara G. Covington, PhD, RN, has been appointed associate dean for information and learning technologies and associate professor in the Department of Organizational Systems/Adult Health (OSAH), and Barbara Smith, PhD, RN, FAAN, has been appointed associate dean for research and professor, OSAH.
In her role as associate dean for information and learning technologies, Dr. Covington will provide leadership and direction to network and computer support services, the IT Customer Service Window, the clinical simulation laboratories, and distance learning and web-based programs. She will also provide leadership in strategic planning related to the integration of innovative, effective and efficient information and learning technology systems into the educational programs of the School of Nursing. Covington will be responsible for the development, implementation and continuing evaluation of these systems and for supporting both faculty and students in integrating current and future technology into the teaching and learning process in the traditional classroom, in clinical settings and in distance learning environments.
Covington comes to the School from her previous position as associate dean for information technology and curriculum resources and assistant professor at the School of Nursing, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where she provided leadership and direction for the School of Nursing's network and computer support services, the curriculum resource center, the clinical simulation laboratories, distance learning and web enhanced programs. In addition, she taught health care and nursing informatics in both the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs.
Covington possesses over 30 years experience in civilian and military health care systems, distance education and health care informatics. In the past eight years, she has focused her teaching, consulting and research on innovative teaching/learning approaches in both patient and nursing education, using technology, copyright law in distance education and health care systems implementation. She has done information and technology support and web design work on funded grants with the Department of Nursing, Veterans Administration Hospital, San Antonio; the National Institute on Aging; the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation; and the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research.
Under Dr. Barbara Smith's leadership, the Office of Research will build an effective infrastructure that supports and facilitates the research faculty, while creating synergy between researchers and other collaborators across the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus to continue the School's success as a premiere research institution. Smith has an extensive research background investigating the effects of exercise in a variety of chronically ill populations including cardiovascular disease, HIV, cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis. She has had continuous funding over the last decade and has served as a regular member of the National Institute of Nursing Research's (NINR) IRG; chair of the American Nurses Foundation's Scientific Review Committee, and as an ad hoc member of numerous special emphasis panels for the National Institutes of Health/Center for Scientific Review, reviewing proposals from NINR, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; and the National Institute of Mental Health. She is a senior scientist in the Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Center for AIDS Research and the Clinical Nutrition Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).
Smith comes to the School of Nursing from her previous position as professor and Marie L. O'Koren Endowed Chair at the UAB School of Nursing. In addition, she was a Sparkman Scholar at the UAB's Sparkman Center for International Public Health where she worked with nurse faculty to build research capacity in Lusaka, Zambia.
"We are privileged to have these two exceptional professionals join our cadre of distinguished faculty," said Dean Allan. "I look forward to working with them as we continue to advance the mission of the School of Nursing."