Belgium resident Kelly Dries has been named dean of Cardinal Stritch University’s Ruth S. Coleman College of Nursing following a national search.
Dries, who has been an associate dean in the School of Health Sciences at Milwaukee Area Technical College since 2009, will assume her new job on Aug. 6. She succeeds Ruth Waite, who is retiring after 11 years with the university.
“Kelly Dries clearly emerged as the best choice in our search for a new dean due to her impressive grasp of leadership and a deep understanding of what it takes to develop and grow academic programs,” said Anthea Bojar, executive vice president for academic affairs.
“In our conversations, her love of Stritch and its mission was clearly evident. Kelly exemplifies the best qualities of nursing — she is a person for whom her job is also her vocation.”
Dries is also an instructor at Stritch, where she earned her master of science degree in nursing in 2003 and is pursuing her doctorate in leadership in higher education. She anticipates achieving that goal in 2014.
“When I learned Dr. Waite was retiring, I decided to apply for the job,” said Dries who moved to Belgium in 1998 with her husband John. They have two daughters, Maria and Nadia, ages 10 and 11.
“I strive to be a good role model for my girls,” Dries said. “I want them to grow up to be strong, well-educated women who are able to earn a living doing something they love.”
Dries earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1996.
At MATC, Dries provides direction over several programs, including respiratory therapy, surgical technology, healthcare services management, nursing assistant, medical assistant, health unit coordinator and medical interpreter.
Prior to MATC, Dries served as an assistant personnel director and instructor in health and human services and coordinated healthcare at Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland.
Dries held several positions with Extendicare Health Services Inc. in Milwaukee, Cedar Springs in Cedarburg, Meadow View Manor in Sheboygan and Family Tree Residential Facilities in Cedarburg.
“I am honored to be chosen as the next dean of the Ruth S. Coleman College of Nursing,” Dries said. “I look forward to working with such an outstanding group of professionals, and I am committed to bringing innovation, enthusiasm, compassion, and vision to those I serve.
“It is important to me to create a sense of ‘specialness’ about being a student within the College of Nursing — to provide not only the theoretical and technical knowledge needed to be a dynamic nurse, but also to instill a sense of caring, compassion and purpose.”