USU Faculty Newsletter Volume 3, October, 2014

College of Nursing Introductions:

Dr. Renee McLeod (Dean at received her PhD from Widener University (PA) has been a pediatric nurse practitioner for close to 40 years, and has practiced in eight states and overseas. She is a nationally recognized expert in the area of handheld point of care technology to advance interdisciplinary education of healthcare professionals and support evidence-based practice. Her research focuses on transforming healthcare clinicians, educators, and researchers into digital citizens. She is also nationally recognized for her expertise in the implementation of the DNP curriculum for nurse practitioners.

Dr. Cynthia Leaver (Director/ Faculty FNP Program at received her PhD from Catholic University. She has served as a postdoctoral research fellow in integrative medicine at NIH/NINR/CC, and completed the Integrative Medicine Program with Dr. Andrew Wile at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. In addition to a nursing career that has spanned 30 years, Dr. Leaver has taught in nursing programs—both online and on ground—over the last decade.

Dr. Teri Kiresuk (Director/Faculty RN to BSN Program at received her DNP from St. Catherine University (MN) in 2010. She is certified as an Adult Gerontologic Nurse Practitioner with 18 years’ experience working with adults and elderly patients in the primary care setting.

Dr. Carolyn Masengale (Director/Faculty MSN Program at received her DNP from the University of San Francisco with a concentration in Executive Leadership. She has been a registered nurse for 19 years and comes to United States University from her position as Director of Customer Advocacy for CareFusion Pyxis Products in San Diego.

Pat Bentley (Clinical Placement Coordinator (MSN, MBA, NP at has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in nursing and education. Prior to joining United States University, she has been with Brandman University, the Graduate College of Nursing at Arizona State University, Lynchburg College (VA), and San Diego State University.


CCNE: The site team report will be placed on the “Accreditation” portion of the United States University website when errors of fact have been submitted by Dr. McLeod. I encourage even the “non-nurses” among you to read the report as you will be proud of the enormous accomplishments made by our colleagues within the College of Nursing in a very short period of time. CCNE will make its accreditation decision regarding the Master’s Programs at United States University in the Spring of 2015. A follow-up visit will be scheduled by CCNE to assess Bachelor’s Programs in Fall, 2015.
WASC: The six-month DOE mandated site visit after approval of the substantive change for change of ownership/control will be conducted by Professor David Ely (San Diego State) later this month on October 22. The offsite review initiating the reaffirmation process will take place in Alameda on November 12th. The team chair is Dr. Anna DiStefano, Doctoral Faculty in the School of Educational Leadership and Change at the Fielding Graduate University (Santa Barbara). Additional information about the WASC process will be posted on the website in the weeks and months ahead.

Faculty Retreat: The first annual Faculty Retreat was held in Chula Vista in early September. Faculty and staff from all four colleges shared news about their programs and provided updates on selected scholarly research projects. We anticipate scheduling our next retreat for approximately the same time in early Fall, 2015.

Strategic Planning: A strategic planning steering committee was formed by President Cole earlier this month. Initial representatives of the Department of Academic Affairs include Drs. Scheid, Archer, and Masengale. Members of the committee will, from time to time, reach out to the entire university community in order to gather your suggestions and insights. Your timely responses and ongoing engagement will be very much appreciated.

Final Note: I wish to re-emphasize the magnitude of your contributions to United States University. An ongoing commitment to the scholar-practitioner pedagogical model insures that our students enjoy a comprehensive and relative educational experience. The Deans and I are here to assist you in every way we possibly can. I can always be reached directly at My office door and “inbox” are always open to you. My best wishes to all of you for the remainder of the Fall academic sessions.
Dr. Steven Stargardter
Provost and Chief Academic Officer