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UNR appoints new acting dean, acting executive associate dean for School of Medicine

Reno-Gazette-Journal logo Reno-Gazette-Journal 10/12/2021 Terell Wilkins, Reno Gazette Journal
a woman standing in front of a building: Dr. Melissa Piasecki, left, and Dr. Jennifer Hagen, right, were announced as acting dean and acting executive associate dean at UNR Med on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. © Brin Reynolds/UNR Med Dr. Melissa Piasecki, left, and Dr. Jennifer Hagen, right, were announced as acting dean and acting executive associate dean at UNR Med on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021.

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine is temporarily under new leadership, following the retirement of former dean Dr. Thomas L. Schwenk.

University of Nevada, Reno President Brian Sandoval announced Thursday that Melissa Piasecki, M.D., a longtime member of the UNR Med senior leadership team and professor of psychiatry, has taken over the role of acting dean at UNR Med.

UNR has hired an executive search firm to launch a national search for the next dean of the School of Medicine.

Schwenk served as dean for 10 years at UNR Med before officially stepping down on Aug. 31. According to UNR Med, Piasecki started in the role on Sept. 1.

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"I'm having so much fun because I'm learning new things, meeting new people and it's been a very energizing time for me," Piasecki said. "One of the things that's really energizing is that, through our affiliation agreement with Renown, we have a big transition of our clinical settings in the next couple of weeks."

Piasecki has previously worked with UNR Med for 26 years in teaching and leadership roles, most recently as executive associate dean. She teaches medical students and residents, as well as physicians in practice and legal professionals.

"Being executive associate dean has given me the opportunity to work with the University of Nevada, Reno leadership," Piasecki said. "I have been attending and interacting and collaborating with colleagues in leadership on the main campus for a period of time and that's been really helpful in preparing me for this role."

Piasecki announced that Jennifer Hagen, M.D., will be acting executive associate dean until the completion of the dean search.

In her new role, Hagen will focus on advancing community partnerships, academic and clinical outreach, and external representation of UNR Med.

"She is working at a very high level in that role in terms of recruitment of our next generation of clinical leaders, as well as many other important jobs and roles at UNR Med," Piasecki said. "I couldn't be happier to have her as my partner in this."

Hagen is an alumna of UNR Med, receiving graduate training in internal medicine and geriatrics. She has served at UNR Med for 22 years in a variety of leadership roles spanning medical student, resident and faculty education. 

Follow reporter Terell Wilkins on Twitter, @terelljwilkins, call him at 252-367-8463 or email him at twilkins@rgj.com.

This article originally appeared on Reno Gazette Journal: UNR appoints new acting dean, acting executive associate dean for School of Medicine

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