Chancellor Carol Folt announced Wednesday afternoon that Dr. Nilda (Nena) Peragallo Montano has been selected as the new dean for the UNC School of Nursing. She will begin January 1, 2017.
Peragallo Montano is currently dean and professor for the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies; professor on the graduate faculty at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile School of Nursing and adjunct professor at Australian Catholic University in North Sydney.
“We are pleased to welcome Nena Peragallo Montano as the dean of the School of Nursing,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost James W. Dean, Jr. “She is an internationally recognized expert and widely published researcher who has dedicated her career to improving individual and public health, with a particular focus on minorities and other underserved minority populations. I am confident that the combination of her academic and clinical experience will help the School of Nursing continue to grow as a leader for nursing education, research and practice.”
Peragallo Montano has been at the University of Miami since 2003, where she has a strong record of successful competitive research funding. From 2007-2015, she served as Director and Principal Investigator of the Center of Excellence for Health Disparities Research: El Centro, the first National Institutes of Health P60 center grant awarded to a school of nursing. She is also Co-Principal Investigator of El Centro, which has been funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities since its inception.
“Serving as dean of Carolina’s School of Nursing is a wonderful opportunity to continue the school’s tradition of excellence since it became the state’s first School of Nursing to offer a four-year baccalaureate degree in 1950,” said Peragallo Montano. “I am committed to working with students, faculty, staff, alumni and leaders in the School of Nursing and across the University to improve the health and well-being of the people of North Carolina, the nation and the world.”
UNC-Chapel Hill’s Board of Trustees approved Peragallo Montano’s appointment, effective Jan. 1, 2017. She will succeed Donna S. Havens, who has served as interim dean since 2014. During Havens’ tenure, the school’s graduate programs have grown significantly. This expansion includes the graduation of the first class of Doctor of Nursing Practice students, along with additional cohorts of Hillman Scholars who are working to obtain both a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate in nursing. The School of Nursing placed 21st in the 2016 U.S. News and World Report Best Graduate School Master’s Program rankings.
Peragallo Montano is past president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses and founding co-editor of Hispanic Healthcare International. Prior to joining the University of Miami, she held positions at the University of Maryland at Baltimore School of Nursing, the University of Illinois College of Nursing in Chicago and the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
Peragallo Montano earned a doctorate in public health from the University of Texas, a master of science in nursing from the University of West Virginia and a bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Chile. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, a member of the nursing honor society Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) and an inductee of the STTI Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame.