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Three new deans announced at the University of Utah

Published May 31, 2013 6:48 pm

Researcher will be the first dean of new School of Dentistry.
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The University of Utah has selected three new deans to lead its graduate school, new dental school and the College of Nursing.

Rena D'Souza, a biomedical professor and dental researcher from Texas A&M University, will be the first permanent dean of the U. School of Dentistry. D'Souza served as chairwoman of the biomedical sciences department at Baylor College of Dentistry from 2006 to 2012, where she promoted a more unified approach to education and research, according to a U. press release.

She developed an evidence-based dentistry curriculum and won about $7.5 million in grants for her own research, which includes craniofacial development, genetics, tooth development and regenerative dental medicine.

The dental school is set to enroll students in the fall.

The U.'s new College of Nursing dean, meanwhile, will come from the University of Maryland, where she has served as a professor and associate dean.

Patricia G. Morton is an expert in nursing education, critical care and cardiovascular nursing, according to the release. The nurse practitioner was appointed as the editor of the Journal of Professional Nursing last fall. She replaces Maureen Keefe, who has served as the school's dean since 2001.

Both women will start their new positions on Aug. 1.

David Kieda, chairman of the physics and astronomy department, is the new dean of the graduate school. He replaces Charles Wight, who left last year to become president of Weber State University.

Kieda is an internationally known researcher on the use of astronomical telescopes to study the fundamental particles and forces in the universe, according to the release.

Kieda joined the U. faculty in 1990 after earning a doctorate in physics from the University of Pennsylvania and an undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is now leading several gamma-ray observatory projects and has 30 patents on electronic components, safer medical devices and novel material properties.

lwhitehurst@sltrib.com

Twitter: @lwhitehurst