College of Education and Health Professions Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Name Change

Interim Dean Kate Mamiseishvili (middle) poses with Charles Stegman and Ro Di Brezzo, who were instrumental in renaming the College of Education and Health Professions 25 years ago.
Beth Hall Photography

Interim Dean Kate Mamiseishvili (middle) poses with Charles Stegman and Ro Di Brezzo, who were instrumental in renaming the College of Education and Health Professions 25 years ago.

Nearly 200 alumni, former deans, faculty, staff and friends of the College of Education and Health Professions gathered recently to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its name change.

The college added "health professions" in 1997 to better reflect the diversity of its academic and professional programs.

Interim Dean Kate Mamiseishvili welcomed the crowd at the Dec. 12 event, noting that teacher preparation has been part of the U of A since its founding in 1871. However, various degrees in health-related fields were added to the college over the years. Charles Stegman was the college's dean when the naming decision was made. He and faculty members like Ro Di Brezzo in exercise science were the driving force behind the name change.

Stegman, who also spoke, said when he arrived at the university, health programs made up half of the college's offerings. He said the name change reflected who the college was and where it was going. "Twenty-five years later and look at the college," he said. "I'm just proud to have been part of the beginning. I wish you much continued success."

Another honored guest at the silver anniversary event was Chancellor Charles Robinson, who made a champagne toast to the college and shared some thoughts about its scope.

"The College of Education and Health Professions, I need not sell it to this group. It's very important to the University of Arkansas. I think of your college as being the college which really cares and trains people to help people," he said. "This is an easy salute. I'm so glad and happy to propose a toast to the College of Education and Health Professions. May you have 25 more wonderful years."

Mamiseishvili, originally from the country of Georgia, thanked Robinson, calling him a "tamada," which roughly translates to toastmaster. It's more significant, though. "It's used to describe someone who's welcoming, kind, a leader, a connector. Someone who is most respected, whose words and ideas resonate as both important and inspiring," she said.

Guests received commemorative coasters with the words "25 Years of Care" inscribed. A slideshow ran throughout the event, highlighting a social media series that counted down 25 ways the college cares for Arkansans. The series was a play on words related to the college's new initiative, WE CARE, an acronym for Wellness and Education Commitment to Arkansas Excellence. Mamiseishvili and her leadership team launched the initiative over the summer. It serves as a blueprint for how the college is participating in innovative research, outreach and educational programs both on campus and across the state.

This year also marks the 25th year since the college's Master of Arts in Teaching graduated its first students, and the nursing department became the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing through an endowment.

Today the college's six departments prepare students for a range of professions in education and health. In addition to its longstanding role of preparing educators and educational leaders, the college also trains nurses, speech-language pathologists, public health specialists, recreation and sport professionals, counselors, occupational therapists, athletic trainers and human performance researchers.


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