Dear College of Nursing community: A message from Dean Badzek and Dean Fields

April 21, 2021

Below is a message to the Penn State College of Nursing Community from Dean Laurie Badzek and Associate Dean for Equity & Inclusion Sheldon D. Fields.

On Tuesday, April 20, the jury in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin returned the following verdicts:  

  • Count 1 – Second-degree felony murder: Guilty  
  • Count 2 – Third-degree murder: Guilty 
  • Count 3 – Second-degree manslaughter: Guilty  

As this trial comes to an end, our heartfelt thoughts and sympathies remain with the family of George Floyd. We hope his family finds solace knowing justice was delivered with the jury’s verdict. We echo the voices of those who have been calling for the condemnation of the violence that led to the tragic death of Mr. Floyd and countless other people of color across our country.

As we now seek to understand and heal from the deep hurt, division, and the sense of vulnerability that exists among our communities of color, let us remember that institutional and structural racism are long-standing issues in our country and there is much work still to be done. This has been a taxing and stressful time and the guilty verdict is only step one in the healing process. Every individual in our nursing community has a personal responsibility to actively identify and work to eliminate racism wherever and whenever we encounter it. It is not enough to be non-racist, we must all strive to be anti-racist.

Should anyone in our Penn State Nursing community encounter an act of racial bias or violence, or bear witness to one, we encourage you to report it. If you see something, say something. Report Bias at The College of Nursing support efforts to monitor and document any ongoing threats. For immediate assistance call campus police or 911.

As a nursing community committed to compassionate, unbiased care that preserves the dignity of every person we encounter, we call upon all in our community to stand in solidarity with anyone in need of our care. We also continue to denounce xenophobia, hate, misogyny, racism and discrimination.  We urge our colleagues, faculty, staff and students, along with college and University leaders to continue to denounce these acts as well.  

For anyone seeking support or resources, please contact the following: 



— Laurie Badzek, Dean, and Sheldon D. Fields, Associate Dean for Equity & Inclusion, College of Nursing


(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 23, 2021