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AMERICUS (June 4, 2014)—Rachel Abbott, Ph.D., assistant professor of health and human performance, has been named interim dean of Georgia Southwestern State University’s School of Education. Abbott is filling the position vacated by Dean Lettie Watford, Ph.D., who retired in July of 2013 and YeVette Howard, Ph.D., who served as interim dean during the last academic year. Abbott’s new role will begin July 7.

“I want to thank Drs. Blanchard and Adler for the opportunity to serve as interim dean for the School of Education,” Abbott said. “I am honored to have the support of Dr. Adler and my colleagues. I look forward to working with the School of Education faculty, staff, and P-12 partner schools to meet the needs of our teacher candidates and to positively impact P-12 students.”

“Rachel Abbott brings the kind of energy and creative talents that we need in our School of Education,” said President Kendall Blanchard, Ph.D. “Even though hers is an interim appointment, I am confident our education programs will continue to prosper under her leadership.”

Abbott 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 where she served for six years. Since 2010, she has also served as the accreditation/NCATE coordinator for the GSW School of Education.

“Dr. Abbott ably helped guide the School of Education through an arduous reaccreditation process,” said Brian Adler, Ph.D., vice president for Academic Affairs, “and she is extremely current on other large changes coming down the pike from state and national accrediting agencies. I am looking forward to working with her.”

"I've also appreciated working with Dr. Howard during this past year as we have made some difficult readjustments in the structure of the School of Education,” Adler said. “Toward that end, I am also looking forward to working with Dr. Sheryl Venable in her new capacity as programs chair."

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.

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