Allendale, S.C. – April Cone has been named campus dean of the University of South Carolina Salkehatchie.
USC Salkehatchie has campuses in Allendale and Walterboro, and it is one of four regional USC Palmetto College campuses – including USC Lancaster, USC Sumter and USC Union – in the University of South Carolina System.
Her appointment was announced on Friday, May 13, by USC Palmetto College Chancellor Susan Elkins, who cites Cone’s administrative leadership, her track record for training graduates who ably live and work in the Salkehatchie region, and her connection to the internal and external stakeholders that can benefit the campuses’ continued growth, development and community engagement.
“USC Salkehatchie serves a vital role in providing affordable, accessible and flexible education to meet the needs of our students, their families and the surrounding region,” Elkins said. “Dr. Cone is the right individual to lead the USC Salkehatchie campuses as we continue to address the educational needs of the people and the communities in the region.”
Cone is no stranger to the Salkehatchie region or the University of South Carolina System. She has served as a registered nurse in Allendale, S.C., for nearly 20 years. And, for more than a decade, she served as nursing academic program manager for USC Salkehatchie and managed the campuses’ nursing program partnerships with the UofSC Columbia College of Nursing and the USC Beaufort Department of Nursing. She has also served as a clinical assistant professor at both institutions.
“Having been a member of the Salkehatchie family for almost 12 years, I have seen first-hand the impact our small but mighty campus has made, and continues to make on students and their families, as well as faculty, staff and the community!,” said Cone. “I am honored, humbled and excited to have the opportunity to lead USC Salkehatchie and continue to advance our mission of providing higher education and intellectual leadership for the Salkehatchie region and beyond.”
Cone was recommended for the position by a 16-member search committee representing a cross-section of stakeholders from USC Salkehatchie’s five-county service area and led by John Catalano, associate provost for USC Palmetto College and interim campus dean of USC Salkehatchie.
“I am very pleased with the results of this search,” said Catalano. “USC Salkehatchie will benefit from Dr. Cone’s ability as a leader, a scholar, a fundraiser and her connections to the community. She was the ideal candidate and will be a successful dean.”
Cone has led USC Salkehatchie’s Rural Nursing Initiative program, which has been influential in training nursing professionals who plan to live and work in the region. In that capacity, she secured and managed part-time and full-time faculty, engaged with internal and community stakeholders, secured and managed funding to further enhance the impact of the program and other teaching and student-centered duties. Since the initiative was launched, she has secured more than $440,000 and managed more than $1.2 million in grant funding, with over $830,000 focused on progression and success of underrepresented minority students.
Her accomplishments at USC Salkehatchie include the creation of the campuses’ first-ever high-fidelity clinical nursing simulation lab, collaboration with high-level administrators at multiple UofSC System institutions to facilitate the successful BSN program partnership transition from UofSC Columbia to USC Beaufort, professional publications and scholarship, serving as a clinical assistant professor at both the Columbia and Beaufort campuses, and extensive service activities that illustrate a strong commitment to higher education, student success, diversity, evidence-based practice, teaching innovation and collaboration.
A University of South Carolina alumna, Cone earned the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in nurse executive leadership from the UofSC College of Nursing. She previously earned master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees in nursing.