Allison Vorderstrasse Named Dean of UMass Amherst College of Nursing

Allison Vorderstrasse
Allison Vorderstrasse

AMHERST, Mass. – Allison Vorderstrasse, a faculty member and Ph.D. program director at New York University, has been named the dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She will begin her appointment on July 1.

Vorderstrasse currently serves as a faculty member and director of the Florence S. Downs Ph.D. Program in Nursing Research and Theory Development at New York University (NYU) Rory Meyers College of Nursing. The appointment was made by John J. McCarthy, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs. 

“Dr. Vorderstrasse emerged as the best in an exceptionally well-qualified pool of candidates. I look forward to working with her as she leads the College of Nursing into its 67th year,” McCarthy said.

An adult nurse practitioner with clinical experience, Vorderstrasse received her doctorate and master’s degrees in nursing at the Yale University School of Nursing, with specialties in chronic illness self-management research and diabetes. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y.

As a researcher, Vorderstrasse focuses on development and implementation of innovative behavioral interventions for diabetes and cardiovascular disease that could expand preventive and self-care management support for adults at risk for, or living with, chronic diseases. Her contributions to chronic disease prevention have identified that genetic testing for chronic conditions may improve risk reduction in certain groups. She was among the first researchers to demonstrate that virtual environments are an effective way to provide self-management education and support to improve outcomes for patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Prior to joining the faculty at NYU, Vorderstrasse was an associate professor of nursing and faculty lead for precision health research at the Duke University School of Nursing. She taught at the Duke University School of Nursing from 2009 to 2014. In 2014, she received the Duke University School of Nursing Distinguished Teaching Award. She was inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2015, and in 2017 received the International Society of Nurses in Genetics Founders Award for Excellence in Genomic Nursing Research.

While at NYU, Vorderstrasse led curriculum and program changes in its nursing Ph.D. program that included a new entry point for post-bachelor to Ph.D. students to facilitate earlier entry into careers in research without sacrificing academic rigor in the program. She has worked with global partners to establish a global track option for Ph.D. students that will launch in the fall of 2020. She also focused on faculty and student culture and wellness as a part of her leadership at NYU.