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Rebecca Neiduski named dean of the School of Health Sciences

Neiduski will provide leadership for graduate programs in physical therapy and physician assistant studies and follows Founding Dean Elizabeth Rogers, who retired in 2016.

Following a national search, Elon University has selected Rebecca Neiduski as the new dean of the School of Health Sciences. She begins her new role on June 1, succeeding Founding Dean Elizabeth Rogers, who retired in 2016.

Rebecca Neiduski, Elon's new dean of the School of Health Sciences

Neiduski comes to Elon from Concordia University Wisconsin, where she has served as chair of the Occupational Therapy Department since 2013. She brings to Elon a wealth of clinical, academic and administrative experience.

During her tenure in leadership at Concordia, Neiduski supported the expansion of the Occupational Therapy Department, adding two new graduate-level programs and growing the number of faculty during the past three years. With more than 15 years in clinical settings alongside her academic experience, Neiduski is an award-winning professor and practitioner of occupational therapy with an emphasis on treating the upper extremities.

As dean of the Elon University School of Health Sciences, Neiduski will report to the provost and oversee the Department of Physical Therapy Education and the Department of Physician Assistant Studies with nearly two dozen full-time faculty members and more than 250 graduate students. The dean is responsible for providing intellectual and administrative leadership for the School of Health Sciences while strengthening Elon’s engaged, active and experiential education offerings within a rigorous and challenging academic environment.

Elon Provost Steven House said Neiduski has a proven record of collaboration with extensive experience in working with other departments within the university setting, at both the student and faculty levels.

“Dr. Neiduski is an accomplished and creative educator, scholar and leader,” House said. “Her enthusiasm and energy is contagious. I am delighted that Becky is joining our community and look forward to supporting her as she works with the faculty and staff in the School of Health Sciences to deliver on their commitment to provide a distinctive and exceptional educational experience.”

“It is truly a privilege to join the faculty and staff within Elon’s School of Health Sciences, which is a group clearly committed to providing innovative and student-centered education,” Neiduski said. “The next 20 years will be a time of great change and opportunity in health care, and I look forward to collaboration and growth both internally and with our alumni and community partners. I am honored to contribute to the culture of excellence at Elon University.”

Neiduski has a bachelor’s degree in health, kinesiology and leisure studies from Purdue University and a master’s degree in occupational therapy from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She began her academic career at Maryville University in St. Louis, where she spent 10 years as a member of the occupational therapy faculty. While there, she prided herself on collaborations and engagement across disciplines, and successfully pursued a doctorate in educational foundations at Saint Louis University. Neiduski joined the occupational therapy faculty at Concordia University Wisconsin in 2013, where she has worked to grow the resources within the occupational therapy department, including the addition and mentoring of seven full-time and adjunct professors during the past three years.

As a scholar, Neiduski has been a consistent contributor to such peer-reviewed publications as The Journal of Hand Therapy and has provided review as the hand therapy editor for the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. Neiduski recently received the 2016 Nathalie Barr Lectureship Award from the American Society of Hand Therapists, which is awarded as one of the society’s highest honors to a therapist who has made significant contributions to the development of professional techniques, the profession and research.

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Neiduski has participated in more than a dozen medical missions to Guatemala and has provided occupational and hand therapy services in Nicaragua, Haiti and Cambodia. Her work to provide humanitarian aid led to her receiving the Paul Brand Award for Professional Excellence from the American Society of Hand Therapists in 2014. 

Owen Covington,
2/1/2017 11:15 AM