On August 6, Linda Seestedt-Stanford officially began her role as vice president of health sciences at Mary Baldwin. Most recently having served as dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences at Western Carolina University (WCU), Seestedt-Stanford will help lead the development of three graduate programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and physician assistant studies.
“I couldn’t be more pleased to be selected as the vice president of health sciences at Mary Baldwin University,” Seestedt-Stanford said. “The Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences is well positioned to create a national model for health professions education, and through our graduates support the growing healthcare needs of the citizens of Virginia. This is truly an exciting time for Mary Baldwin University and for me. I look forward to becoming a part of the community and working collaboratively with healthcare practitioners and leaders to effect the best health professions education programs in the region.”
Seestedt-Stanford joins Lisa Shoaf, founding director of the planned Doctor of Physical Therapy program, who stepped into her role July 9.
“I am absolutely delighted to welcome Dr. Seestedt-Stanford as our founding vice president. She is an ideal combination of experience, creativity, and energy,” said Mary Baldwin President Pamela Fox. “Her past experiences in fostering new programs and new facilities in colleges of health sciences at Central Michigan and at Western Carolina, where she was founding dean, will ensure that the Murphy Deming College fulfills its vision of being a national model in health sciences education and community transformation.”
While at WCU, Seestedt-Stanford also served as interim provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs. In her role as dean, she oversaw 11 accredited programs in the health sciences, six of which are at the graduate level. Among her many achievements, Seestedt-Stanford helped to create the vision and coordinate planning for a 170,000-square-foot health sciences building on WCU’s new “Millennial Campus.”
In addition to her duties as assistant dean at The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions at Central Michigan University (CMU), Seestedt-Stanford maintained a private healthcare practice for more than 20 years in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. While serving on the faculty at CMU, she also developed an audiology program that provided assessment and intervention to deaf and hard-of-hearing infants and children.
Seestedt-Stanford earned a PhD in higher, adult, and lifelong education at Michigan State University; a master of arts in audiology from CMU; and a bachelor of science in communication disorders from CMU.
In her role at Mary Baldwin, Seestedt-Stanford will lead the development of new academic programs, attract and recruit new faculty, and create partnerships — within the college community and beyond. She also will play a pivotal role in creating the overall vision and mission for the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences.
“Linda respects and understands the rich, 170-year legacy of Mary Baldwin University,” Fox said. “She supports our culture and values and is committed to fully integrating Murphy Deming into the mission of Mary Baldwin.”
Mary Baldwin leaders this month, meanwhile, have been meeting with candidates who would lead the planning of an occupational therapy program. Progress also continues on the building site in Fishersville as heavy equipment operators have been working to prepare the site for construction. A ceremonial groundbreaking is planned for mid October.