HIV researcher appointed as new FAU College of Nursing dean

Safiya George was an assistant dean at the University of Alabama’s College of Nursing. She officially starts at FAU on July 8.


Safiya George, the new nursing college dean, comes from the University of Alabama, where she researched religion and HIV. Courtesy of FAU News Desk

Kristen Grau, Managing Editor

In less than a month, the nursing college will have its third-ever dean.

Safiya George, a nurse practitioner and former assistant dean at the University of Alabama, snagged the title last month and will begin her role on July 8.

“I truly look forward to working with everyone, including our phenomenal faculty, staff, students, alumni, advisory board as well as members of the community at large,” George said in an FAU statement. “I have a passion for people, holistic health, caring and nursing science and I believe that I can contribute to and further support the impressive initiatives and programs at the college and across the campus.”

George’s predecessor, Marlaine Smith, served as dean from 2011. Smith was awarded FAU Nurse of the Year just last month.

According to FAU’s press release, much of George’s research focuses on religion and holistic health, which encompasses “each person’s physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and environmental strengths and challenges,” according to the American Holistic Nurses Association.

And as a nurse practitioner, her specialty is HIV/AIDS, her previous staff profile says. Some examples of her HIV/AIDS research using a holistic approach include examining…

  • Social and cultural factors that cause high rates of HIV in the U.S. Virgin Islands (2015)
  • Role of religion in black adolescents and young adult females’ risk of HIV-related sexual behavior (2014)
  • HIV care and prevention counseling methods (2015)

At Alabama, she also served on the advisory board of the Alabama Life Research Institute, which conducts biological, psychological, and social research.

“Her leadership and research productivity demonstrate the quality as well as quantity of her work,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs Bret Danilowicz in a statement, “and also signals her national reputation in the areas of holistic health, spirituality and HIV.”

Kristen Grau is the managing editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her @_kristengrau.