After a five-month, nationwide search, Linda Seestedt-Stanford, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences at Western Carolina University (WCU), has accepted the position of vice president of health sciences at Mary Baldwin. The clinician, teacher, and administrator will help lead the development of three graduate programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and physician assistant studies. She officially takes her post on August 6.
“I couldn’t be more pleased to be selected as the vice president of health sciences at Mary Baldwin University,” Seestedt-Stanford said. “The Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences is well positioned to create a national model for health professions education, and through our graduates support the growing health care needs of the citizens of Virginia. This is truly an exciting time for Mary Baldwin University and for me. I look forward to becoming a part of the community and working collaboratively with health care practitioners and leaders to effect the best health professions education programs in the region.”
The news of Seestedt-Stanford’s appointment comes just days after Mary Baldwin officials announced that Lisa Donegan Shoaf will become the founding director of the new Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Like Shoaf, Seestedt-Stanford brings a wealth of relevant experience to the college, having served at two institutions that established graduate programs in health sciences.
“I am absolutely delighted to welcome Dr. Seestedt-Stanford as our founding vice president. She is an ideal combination of experience, creativity, and energy,” said Mary Baldwin President Pamela Fox. “Her past experiences in fostering new programs and new facilities in colleges of health sciences at Central Michigan and at Western Carolina, where she was founding dean, will ensure that the Murphy Deming College fulfills its vision of being a national model in health sciences education and community transformation.”
While at WCU, Seestedt-Stanford also served as interim provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs. In her current role as dean, she oversees 11 accredited programs in the health sciences, six of which are at the graduate level. Among her many achievements, Seestedt-Stanford helped to create the vision and coordinate planning for a 170,000-square-foot health sciences building on WCU’s new “Millennial Campus.”
In addition to her duties as assistant dean at The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions at Central Michigan University (CMU), Seestedt-Stanford maintained a private health care practice for more than 20 years in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. While serving on the faculty at CMU, she also developed an audiology program that provided assessment and intervention to deaf and hard-of-hearing infants and children.
Seestedt-Stanford earned a PhD in higher, adult, and lifelong education at Michigan State University; a master of arts in audiology from CMU; and a bachelor of science in communication disorders from CMU.
In her role at Mary Baldwin, Seestedt-Stanford will lead the development of new academic programs, attract and recruit new faculty, and create partnerships — within the college community and beyond. She also will play a pivotal role in creating the overall vision and mission for the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences.
“Linda respects and understands the rich, 170-year legacy of Mary Baldwin University,” Fox said. “She supports our culture and values and is committed to fully integrating Murphy Deming into the mission of Mary Baldwin.”