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Averett Announces Interim Dean of Nursing Program

February 5, 2014

Averett University is pleased to announce that Dr. Darnell Cockram of Martinsville has been named interim dean of its new nursing program. Cockram worked with the nursing program at Danville Regional Medical Center (DRMC) from 1978 until 2002, serving as director of education and director of nursing education.

"We're so pleased Dr. Crockram came out of retirement and made a commitment to Averett for the next two years," said Dr. Janet Laughlin, vice president for academic affairs. "She has a long history in the Danville region as well as in the field of nursing, and we're excited she has joined the Averett family. All who have met her, including our students, appreciate her knowledge and wonderful sense of humor."

In addition to her years at DRMC, Cockram served on a book review for Prentiss Hall on nursing clinical leadership; was a part-time coordinator for the Southside RN to BSN program for Virginia Commonwealth University; was a content expert for an Envision Inc. video "Critical Thinking in Nursing;" and she was a consultant to DRMC's vice president of nursing, helping revise nursing practice bylaws and develop a curriculum for teaching the nursing process with critical thinking. She also held an array of nursing positions.

"When Dr. Laughlin first called to see if I would consider being interim dean of the school of nursing, I thought 'What a great challenge!'" Cockram said. "I could not refuse. I love challenges.

"My goal is to work with Averett and the school of nursing faculty and staff to continue the development and implementation of the University's first baccalaureate of nursing program. This will be the first baccalaureate nursing program in Southside Virginia."

Cockram is also involved in several civic organizations including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The National Museum of Women in Arts, the Wednesday Club of Danville and is vice president of the Friends of the Reynolds Homestead. In 2002, she was named "Educator of the Year" by the Danville Pittsylvania Chamber of Commerce.

She received her registered nurse degree from the Martin Memorial School of Nursing, her bachelor of science in nursing degree from the University of Virginia, her master of nursing degree from Emory University and her doctor of education in higher education administration from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.