UAMS Hires Shanea Morrison Nelson, Ph.D., As Executive Director of Pathways Academy

By Yavonda Chase

Part of the UAMS Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Pathways Academy is a comprehensive learning and community engagement program focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and health care disciplines for students in public middle and high schools across Arkansas.

Nelson will be responsible for planning and directing the operations of the Pathways Academy while also developing partnerships within the community.

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Nelson to UAMS and our Pathways Academy,” said Brian Gittens, Ed.D., MPA, UAMS vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion. “She has dedicated her career to public service with a focus on college access programs and community development efforts serving the most vulnerable populations. This experience will be invaluable in the success of the Pathways Academy.”

She joins UAMS from South Louisiana Community College, where she served as the director of workforce development services. Prior to that, she held such positions as the director of community development in Lafayette, Louisiana; the project director for the McNair Scholars Program at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia; and director of student success at College of the Ouachitas in Malvern.

Nelson earned a Bachelor of Arts in interpersonal and organizational communication at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, a master’s in public administration and a doctorate in educational leadership, research and counseling, both at Louisiana State University.

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; 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 including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report recognized UAMS Medical Center as a Best Hospital for 2021-22; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide for the third year; and named five areas as high performing — colon cancer surgery, diabetes, hip replacement, knee replacement and stroke. Forbes magazine ranked UAMS as seventh in the nation on its Best Employers for Diversity list. UAMS also ranked in the top 30% nationwide on Forbes’ Best Employers for Women list and was the only Arkansas employer included. UAMS has 2,876 students, 898 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 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, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.