Fields appointed as nursing's first associate dean of equity and inclusion

October 08, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The College of Nursing has recently named Sheldon D. Fields as the new associate dean for equity and inclusion. Fields officially assumed his new role on Oct. 1. 

Fields’ role ushers in a new era for Penn State nursing, as he is the first nursing administrator formally charged with championing a culture of inclusivity throughout the college and commonwealth. With the college being officially established in 2013, this appointment is representative of the commitment to building a community that prioritizes diversity in nursing and beyond.

“The college is so pleased to welcome Sheldon to Penn State Nursing,” said Laurie Badzek, dean of the College of Nursing. "To have a nurse leader who is solely devoted to strategically carrying out such important work is a true testament to the college’s growth and development. Sheldon is an excellent inaugural choice for this leadership role, and I am excited to see how he impacts our college.”

Fields comes to the college with significant experience researching health care disparities, specifically focused on preventing HIV/AIDS in men of color. He is an advanced AIDS certified registered nurse and a board-certified family nurse practitioner. Fields is also the first male registered nurse selected for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Healthy Policy Fellowship program, as well as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the National Academies of Practice. Fields is a lifetime member of the National Black Nurses Association, Inc. (NBNA) and currently serves as the organization’s first vice president (2020-22). He chairs the NBNA Health Policy, Research, and Scholarship/Awards committees, and is the founding president of the Greater New York City Chapter of NBNA. Fields also served as a policy adviser to then Senator Barbara Mikulski (Democrat from Maryland) on the Senate HELP committee during the historic health care reform debates and passage of the Affordable Care Act.

“I am truly honored to be chosen and entrusted with this inaugural role in such a prestigious College of Nursing,” said Sheldon. "I look forward to partnering with Dean Badzek, the faculty, staff and students as we envision an innovative plan to promote a more diverse and inclusive nursing workforce.”

Additionally, Fields has held faculty and administrative appointments at Binghamton University, the University of Rochester, Florida International University, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, New York Institute of Technology, and most recently Long-Island University-Brooklyn.

Fields received a bachelor’s degree in nursing and master’s degree in family nursing from Binghamton University. He also earned his doctorate in nursing science from the University of Pennsylvania. Finally, he completed his post-doctoral studies at the University of California San Francisco.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 15, 2021