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Spurlock transitions to Endowed Chair and passes the baton

The School of Nursing recently announced a series of leadership changes occurring in July 2024.

Amy Spurlock is transitioning out of her current role as associate divisional dean and chief nurse administrator, but she won’t be leaving the school quite yet. Spurlock was named the school’s next JoAnna “Jody” DeMeyer Endowed Chair in Nursing.

Headshot of Amy Spurlock smiling.
Amy Spurlock has served as the School of Nursing’s associate divisional dean since 2021.

Endowed Chairs serve unique roles at universities, earning the “endowed” part of their title through philanthropy. This position is funded through a gift and usually bears the name of the individual who set up the endowment. As an advocate for nursing education, JoAnna “Jody” DeMeyer set up one of Boise State’s first endowed chairs after her passing in 2004.

Stepping into the role, Spurlock looks forward to working with the school and community in a new way, building connections between faculty and local healthcare partners.

“We have a dynamic team and are already making a difference in the lives of patients with our scholarship,” Spurlock said. “Our aim is to continue our scholarly momentum to meet the critical needs of students, patients and the larger community in Idaho and beyond.”

Impacting the school through passion-fueled research

Spurlock aims to elevate the school’s infrastructure for scholarly activity and cultivate a culture of cooperation – not antagonistic competition – within the school.

“Amy is both a great educator and teacher, so she will be able to mentor junior faculty as we build our programs of research,” said assistant professor Sarah Llewellyn. “She is positive and realistic, and will be able to guide faculty in the best direction for their work.”

Llewellyn has already seen Spurlock’s research expertise impact the school, benefiting from Spurlock’s statistical knowledge and inviting Spurlock to speak to her first-semester students.

Amy Spurlock holds a book up in front of a room of students and speaks into a microphone.
Spurlock is pictured speaking to the first semester nursing students during their orientation.

“They think they are getting a lecture on nutrition, but are surprised and excited by her presentation,” Llewllyn said. “She is able to speak to the living nature of research, that knowledge continues to develop over time and that nursing advocacy takes many forms.”

While Spurlock has held an administrative role these last three years, her passion for research hasn’t wavered. In addition to her duties as associate divisional dean, she published ten new articles and is quick to admit that research is her “happy place.”

Over the last decade, Spurlock has continued her work at the forefront of blended tube feeding research.

She and her research partner, Dr. Teresa Johnson, were honored for their earliest translational scholarship in this area, earning the 2012 published research award from the journal ‘Topics in Clinical Nutrition’. Since then, they have conducted research with interdisciplinary colleagues at the Mayo Clinic and other healthcare facilities on the use, efficacy and safety of blended tube feedings.

Phillips to lead as associate divisional dean

Filling the role of associate divisional dean will be Angie Phillips, the school’s current pre-license bachelor’s degree program director.

Angie wears her regalia and smiles as she shakes the hand of one student in a line of students all wearing their blue regalia.
At the school’s Convocation ceremony, Angie Phillips makes a point to congratulate each student graduating from the pre-license program.

“I have worked alongside Angie for almost three years and have the utmost confidence in her abilities as a nurse administrator,” said Spurlock. “Her experience in leading the School of Nursing’s largest program positions us well for future growth to serve the health needs of Idahoans. I am excited to see what her talents and expertise bring to the role of associate divisional dean.”

Before joining the School of Nursing’s leadership team, Phillips served as a nurse director of the acute care services of a critical access hospital from 2017-2021. In 2020, she obtained her Nurse Executive Advanced Board Certification and was nominated as a Nurse Leader of Idaho in 2019.

Phillips cares deeply about training up the next generation of nurses, holding an MSN with a focus in leadership and education from Northwest Nazarene University. She looks forward to completing her DNP from Boise State in December 2025.

“I’m excited to continue to serve the School of Nursing in my new role as an authentic leader who values relationships, collaboration and an emotionally safe culture that promotes creativity and innovation,” Phillips said.

Close up of Spurlock and Poole wearing their doctoral regalia and smiling.
Spurlock (left) and Poole (right) spent spring 2023 mentoring their successors.

Spurlock has spent this spring mentoring Phillips, who has been hired internally on an interim basis. Phillips will serve until Joelle Powers, the new College of Health Sciences dean, conducts a national search for the permanent role.

Amidst these leadership transitions, the school’s culture of diligence and enthusiasm continues to thrive. The new leaders were chosen by their peers and aim to seamlessly lead the School of Nursing to its next chapter.

“Where we are now, as a team, brings me deep joy,” said Shelle Poole, divisional dean of the school. “I know our team has the skills, knowledge and collaborative nature to propel the School of Nursing into the future.”