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AMERICUS (Feb. 3, 2016)—Interim President Charles Patterson, Ph.D., today announced that Rachel Abbott, Ph.D., interim dean of the Georgia Southwestern State University School of Education, has been named the school’s permanent dean. Abbott’s new role is effective immediately.

“I would like to thank Interim President Dr. Charles Patterson and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Brian Adler for their continued support,” Abbott said. “It is an honor to be named the dean of the School of Education, and I am excited to continue to work side by side with the outstanding education faculty, staff and students. Our mission will remain focused on students as they prepare to be educators, exercise science and wellness professionals or graduate students.”Rachel Abbott

“I am very confident that Dr. Abbott is well-prepared to continue her leadership role as Dean of the School of Education,” said Patterson. “Dr. Abbott’s active support of K-20 education, teacher preparation and student engagement are needed to advance Georgia Southwestern’s role as a State University within the region and throughout the state.”

Abbott has served as the School of Education’s interim dean since June 2014 and has been a member of the GSW faculty since August 2009. Prior to that, she served as an assistant professor at the University of West Georgia for six years. Abbott is also Georgia Southwestern’s accreditation/NCATE coordinator for the GSW School of Education.

“Dr. Abbott has excelled in moving the School of Education forward on multiple fronts,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs Brian Adler, Ph.D. “New and reactivated degrees have resulted in enrollment growth, and Dr. Abbott has worked collaboratively to establish a vision for the school that has resulted in a strong and revitalized sense of community." 

Specializing in health and human performance, Abbott is a member of the Georgia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and is a Certified Health Education Specialist with the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing.

Abbott holds a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Longwood College in Farmville, Va., a Master of Science in food and nutrition from Florida State University and a Ph.D. in health education and health promotion from the University of Alabama.

- GSW -

Georgia Southwestern State University, located in Americus, Ga., is a public, four-year unit of the University System of Georgia with nearly 3,000 students. Georgia Southwestern offers outstanding professional programs of study as well as programs in the arts, humanities, sciences and graduate programs in business, computer science, education, English, and nursing. Founded in 1906, Georgia Southwestern is recognized as one of the best value colleges in the Nation. Visit for more information.


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