08:45 AM

Waukesha County Technical College names Michele Nelson new School of Health dean

Michele N  -- dean SOH, cropped

PEWAUKEE, Wis. (Friday, August 23, 2019) – Waukesha County Technical College has promoted Michele Nelson, associate dean of Nursing, to the position of dean, School of Health (SOH) – a role she moved into earlier this month.

“Michele has had a nice, progressive career at WCTC, starting as a full-time faculty member, then an associate dean and now the dean,” said Brad Piazza, Ph.D., vice president of Learning. “Each step of her career at the College has been preparing her for her new role.”

Additionally, Piazza recognized the many contributions of Sandra Stearns, the outgoing dean of the School of Health, who will retire at the end of August after 16-plus years with the College.

“We want to thank Sandy for her exceptional work and wish her well in her retirement,” he said.

Nelson spent 10 years working as a registered nurse, mostly with spinal cord injury patients, before moving into a teaching role. She taught junior- and senior-level nursing classes and clinicals at Milwaukee School of Engineering before joining WCTC’s Nursing faculty in 2008. At WCTC, Nelson taught classes including Health Promotion, Advanced Skills, and Intermediate Clinical Practice among others. In 2016, she was promoted to associate dean of Nursing, and earlier this month, she became dean of the School of Health.

“I am looking forward to building relationships with the SOH faculty and support staff, and getting to know the students,” she said. “I am also looking forward to having discussions with faculty and support staff, visiting classrooms/clinical sites and gaining a better understanding of all of the programs within the SOH.”

During her tenure as associate dean of Nursing, Nelson worked closely with faculty to reshape the delivery of select Nursing courses. Upon realizing students were seeking online courses and taking them elsewhere, instructors responded by converting five of eight courses to a hybrid format, and the result was an uptick in enrollment.

Beyond her work at the College, Nelson serves on the Nursing advisory board for Mount Mary University (also, WCTC and Mount Mary offer a 1-2-1 Nursing option), and she is actively involved at the state level with the Wisconsin Technical College System Nursing Administrators and the Administrators of Nursing Education of Wisconsin (ANEW). She earned both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“I feel very fortunate to be a member of a successful health division, and I am passionate about making the School of Health even better than it is today,” Nelson said.

WCTC’s School of Health offers 15 associate degree and technical diploma programs, including Nursing, Medical Assistant, Dental Hygienist, Surgical Technology, Health Information Technology and more. The school also offers specialty certificates and numerous health continuing education courses.

About Waukesha County Technical College

Waukesha County Technical College, the leader in workforce development, prepares learners for success within the region and global economy. The college offers more than 170 areas of study including associate degree, technical diploma, apprenticeship and short-term certificate programs and customized training for employers. To learn more, visit