Patricia Cowan, Ph.D., R.N., Invested in Linda C. Hodges Dean’s Chair

By ChaseYavondaC

Cowan succeeds Lorraine Frazier, who left UAMS last year, as both the chair and dean. Cowan began at UAMS on Nov. 9, 2015. She came from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis where she served as professor and associate dean for academic and student affairs in the College of Nursing.

An endowed chair is the highest academic honor a university can bestow on its faculty. A chair can honor the memory of a loved one or may honor a person’s accomplishments. It is supported with donations of $1 million, with the chair holder using the interest proceeds for research, teaching or service activities.

UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D., and UAMS Provost Stephanie Gardner, Pharm.D., Ed.D., presented Cowan with the chair medallion.

“To invest someone is the highest form of academic recognition,” said Rahn. “Today, we celebrate Dr. Cowan and the importance of her work at UAMS and in the College of Nursing.”

Jean C. McSweeney, Ph.D., associate dean for research in the College of Nursing, speaks at Cowan's investiture.

Jean C. McSweeney, Ph.D., associate dean for research in the College of Nursing, speaks at Cowan’s investiture.

Jean C. McSweeney, Ph.D., the college’s associate dean for research, said she felt certain UAMS would remain a leader in nursing education under Cowan’s leadership.

“Dr. Cowan has a vision for our college and is dedicated to meeting the needs of our students, hiring the most qualified faculty and retaining our excellent faculty and staff,” said McSweeney.

Donna K. Hathaway, Ph.D., R.N., Cowan’s mentor and a distinguished professor at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, said her underlying passion for teaching and preparing the next generation of nurses would serve UAMS well.

“It’s this thread and her passion for education, along with her experiences and work ethic that perfectly position her to be the dean of this college,” said Hathaway. “It also provides her the vision to make the best use of the resources that are afforded by the dean’s chair.”

Cowan earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Missouri and her Master of Science in Nursing at the University of Kansas. She earned a doctorate in nursing science at the University of Tennessee.

She has more than 30 years of experience in all areas of nursing including academics, clinical practice and research. Her research interests include lifestyle interventions in overweight youth and adults and cardiovascular and metabolic outcomes. She participates in a multi-professional research team and is interested in translational research.

Cowan is a member of the American Heart Association, American Nurses Association, Southern Nursing Research Society and Sigma Theta Tau International.

Cowan highlighted Linda Hodges' impact on the College of Nursing and said she hopes to inspire others as Dr. Hodges has.

Cowan highlighted Linda Hodges’ impact on the College of Nursing and said she hopes to inspire others as Dr. Hodges has.

“We are fortunate to have the Linda C. Hodges Dean’s Chair to support the work of the college and develop innovative academic programs that lead to better health care outcomes for the residents of Arkansas,” said Cowan. “We would not have this chair if not for the inspiration Dr. Hodges provided through her leadership. I am thankful to receive this honor and hope I am able to inspire others as Dr. Hodges did.”

Linda C. Hodges, Ed.D., R.N., served as dean and professor of the College of Nursing from 1989 to 2006. During her tenure, the college greatly expanded its academic programs to include the state’s first online higher education academic degree program, numerous master’s specialty tracks, including the first nurse practitioner program in Arkansas, and the state’s only Ph.D. in nursing program.

In 2000, Daphine D. Doster, a pioneer in nursing education in Arkansas who was active in establishing the state’s first nursing school, bequeathed funds to establish a professorship to recognize Hodges’ leadership in the College of Nursing. It was later elevated to an endowed chair.

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.