ASU Nursing Director Named Davidson Chair

Dr. Wrennah Gabbert, chair of Angelo State University’s Department of Nursing and director of the nursing program, has been named the James A. “Buddy” Davidson Chair in Nursing Excellence in ASU’s College of Health and Human Services.

The endowed chair was established through a $1 million grant from the James A. “Buddy” Davidson Charitable Foundation in Midland. The grant was paid out over three years with the first installment coming in 2009. Endowed chairs are used to enhance a professor’s salary and to provide additional funds for research, teaching and service activities. To be the holder of a chair is one of the most prestigious honors a professor can attain and, as such, provides an attractive tool for recruiting renowned faculty.

Gabbert returned to ASU this summer after spending the last six years at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, filling various teaching and administrative posts at the TTUHSC School of Nursing in Lubbock and TTUHSC Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing in El Paso. Most recently, she served as a professor and the senior associate academic dean for the School of Nursing at the TTUHSC El Paso campus. She previously served as a professional specialist in the ASU Nursing Department from 1997-2007.

In June, Gabbert was named director of ASU’s nursing program, and she is now chair of the newly re-formed Nursing Department, replacing Dr. Susan Wilkinson.

“Dr. Gabbert has a very impressive background and we are so happy she has joined us,” said Dr. Leslie Mayrand, College of Health and Human Services dean. “Meanwhile, at her own request, Dr. Wilkinson will return to the faculty after providing outstanding leadership to the nursing program for the past six years.”

Gabbert’s administrative experience will be utilized immediately as the ASU nursing program returns to its status as a separate academic department and faces an upcoming site visit and evaluation for accreditation by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

“I feel my experience and expertise in curriculum and program development, as a CCNE site visitor, and as an associate academic dean will facilitate and support our hard-working faculty and staff during our upcoming CCNE accreditation site visit for the nursing programs,” Gabbert said, “and as we continue to work and collaborate to develop curriculum and programs to meet the needs of our students, communities and stakeholders.”

In addition to her faculty and administrative roles at ASU and TTUHSC, Gabbert has served as a primary care nurse practitioner, outreach nurse, nurse educator and director of education at various health care facilities and hospitals in Texas and Arizona. She holds an associate degree from Tarrant County Junior College; bachelor’s and master’s nursing degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington; pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) and family nurse practitioner (FNP) certifications from UTA; and a doctoral degree from Capella University in Minneapolis.

The James A. “Buddy” Davidson Charitable Foundation in 2010 also pledged an additional $1 million to endow a chair in ASU’s Agriculture Department. The James A. “Buddy” Davidson Chair in Agriculture is currently held by Dr. Will Dickison, who is responsible for the agricultural science and leadership program.

The James A. “Buddy” Davidson Charitable Foundation previously established the James A. “Buddy” Davidson Scholarship Endowment for the ASU Nursing Department in 2006 and provided funds to support research projects by ASU biology students in 2008. 

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