Ensuring that students feel valued and improving the culture of the College of Nursing are two priorities for Coretta M. Jenerette, ‘## MSN, ’04 Ph.D. nursing, in her role as the associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusivity in the College of Nursing.
Since August 2018, Jenerette has worked to implement holistic admissions processes focusing on the undergraduate nursing program, students’ transition from the lower division to the upper division and ensuring students have the resources to be successful in the rigorous nursing program.
“Being able to manage the clinicals as well as all the other aspects of learning can be quite challenging. For minority and underrepresented students, it can be even more challenging because they are under resourced when they begin the classes, so finding the right balance of ways to help them and also to make sure they have a great experience while in college it can be a challenge but I think it’s something the administration in the college and the university as a whole are committed to doing,” says Jenerette.
A native of Georgetown County, Jenerette knows first-hand the challenges for some of the students in her program. “I grew up as one of the underserved people that I’m also trying to help who have similar experiences that I had as a first-generation college student. Those experiences put me in a unique position to do the work as a diversity officer.”
If I’m the only person of color on an admissions committee that has the experience similar to an applicant, sometimes I can shed light on an experience that the applicant addressed in their application so that other people may not have the experience or insight to understand what it actually means. Sometimes interpreting something for people who have not had a similar experience is very important.
Coretta Jenerette, Ph.D.
College of Nursing associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusivity
Jenerette comes to UofSC by way of the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill where she served as inclusive excellence advocate for the College of Nursing and learned the essence of diversity and inclusion responsibilities. This position prepared for the most for her role at UofSC.
The support and resources of the Council of Academic Diversity Officers (CADO) and the university’s chief diversity officer have already proved invaluable to Jenrette in her short time in her role. “Just because of the work that we do, we understand the importance of social support and support networks. Because all of us are fairly new in these positions, the members of CADO are advising me on a strategies to try and resources to utilize.”
When Jenerette is not developing programming for undergraduate students, she will be developing simulations for Ph.D. programs regarding social determinents of health through the Josiah Macy Jr. Faculty Scholars Program as well as continue her research to improve health outcomes in individuals and families who live with sickle cell anemia.