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Mississippi College

Mary Jean Padgett Chosen as Mississippi's 2007 Dean of the Year

October 25, 2007

Mary Jean Padgett's performance as dean of Mississippi College's School of Nursing and leadership in statewide nursing circles is drawing praise from her peers.

The latest honor for Padgett, a 1973 MC nursing graduate, comes from the Mississippi Association of Student Nurses. At its Oct. 19 awards banquet in Tupelo, the group selected Padgett as Mississippi's 2007 Dean of the Year.

Getting the award, Padgett said, "is made even more special by the fact that the Mississippi College students nominated and provided supporting documentation for me. The Mississippi Association of Student Nurses is a wonderful organization and has been dear to my heart since my first involvement in the early 1970s" as an MC student.

Winners of the award are chosen on the basis of their support for the Student Nurses Association, their actions as a role model, participation in community activities and contributions to the image of the nursing profession.

Padgett "is well-respected by her peers. She's positive and enthusiastic," said Ricki Garrett, leader of the 1,900-member Mississippi Nurses Association based in Jackson. "She is a wonderful dean of nursing."

Garrett commended Padgett for her support of bills at the Capitol to boost salaries for nursing faculty at public Mississippi universities even though the legislation didn't benefit instructors at private Mississippi College.

Padgett received her master's in nursing in 1978 at the University of Alabama-Birmingham and doctorate at the University of Texas in 1993. She's been a professor and administrator at the MC School of Nursing since 1982. She previously worked as a nursing professor at William Carey University and the University of Southern Mississippi and was in clinical practice at the Mississippi Baptist Medical Center in Jackson.

Ron Howard, MC's vice president for academic affairs, applauded Padgett for winning the award from the statewide group of student nurses. "This is a very high honor and one richly deserved by Dean Padgett," he said. "We are very proud of her and her students, faculty and staff!"

PHOTO: Mississippi College's Mary Jean Padgett, chosen as Mississippi's 2007 Dean of the Year by the Mississippi Association of Student Nurses.