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Miami Dade College Names Three New Department Chairs in School of Nursing

New Department Chairs

(L-R) Violeta Aguilar-Figuly, Gloria A. McWhirter and Rosalie M. Poyntz, new department chairs in MDC School of Nursing.

Miami, October 5, 2009 - Miami Dade College (MDC) continues addressing the region’s nursing shortage with new, exciting and quality programs - including its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN); the latest technology; and, now, three new chairs in its School of Nursing. They are Gloria A. McWhirter - chair of the BSN and Accelerated Program Option, Violeta Aguilar-Figuly – chair of the Generic Nursing Program and for the Jackson On-site Scholars Program, and Rosalie M. Poyntz – chair of the Practical Nursing Program and Bridge Program.

Gloria A. McWhirter will provide oversight for the BSN and Accelerated Program Option. She was born and raised in Lancaster, South Carolina, and attended undergraduate school at the University of South Carolina where she majored in Health Education with a minor in Biology. She later obtained her Master of Science in Nursing Education from the University of San Diego. She comes to Miami after working 11 years at the University of Florida’s College of Nursing as an Assistant Professor of Nursing. 

McWhirter is also an active member of the National Black Nurses Association, Inc. where she is presently serving on a three year term on the board of directors.  She holds membership in Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

“The future of nursing will be in the hands of those we mentor and mold today. It is up to us to be sure that they have all the tools necessary to carry out those visions we have imparted upon them,” said McWhirter.

Violeta Aguilar-Figuly will oversee the Generic Nursing and the Jackson On-site Scholars programs.  Prior to her new post, she was full-time faculty and coordinator for Pediatric Nursing, Obstetric Nursing, and leadership courses in the MDC Associate Degree Nursing Program for the past 15 years. She continues to teach online and web-enhanced courses in the recent RN to BSN program.  Ms. Aguilar-Figuly completed her Bachelor in Nursing at the Universidad de Santo Tomas, Philippines and her Master of Science in Nursing from Virginia Commonwealth/Medical College of the Virginia University School of Nursing.  She holds a Post MSN ARNP Degree in Pediatrics and Adults from Florida International University.

Currently, Aguilar-Figuly serves on the Board of Directors of the Florida League for Nursing and was its president from 2005 to 2007. She is also an active member of the Association of Filipino-American Nurses of South Florida.

“Teaching and learning is my passion. It will never leave me. Taking on the new chair position is a welcomed challenge and change.” stated Aguilar-Figuly. “The high caliber of nursing faculty, the college’s technology infrastructure, and the dynamic face-to-face and virtual courses it offers have created a demand sought out by students and nurses from all over the U.S. and the world. I am very honored to be part of the administrative team that makes this happen.”

Rosalie M. Poyntz is chair of the Practical Nursing and Bridge programs.  In the Bridge Program, LPNs or similarly qualified health care workers transition into the RN Program.  Rosalie came to Miami Dade College from Lindsey Hopkins Technical Educational Center where she was a department chairperson in the Health Sciences and Nursing Departments since 1997.  She began her career at Lindsey Hopkins as faculty in the Practical Nursing School.

Poyntz obtained a Master’s at Florida International University and her Bachelor of Science at Barry University.  She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Nursing at Barry University. She is also an Advisory Board Member for the Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI), Overland Park, Kansas, and for the Florida Nursing Resource Center.

“Great things are happening at MDC’s Medical Center Campus and I am thrilled and honored to be part of it,” added Poyntz.

MDC awards more nursing degrees than any other institution in the nation.

About MDC’s Medical Center Campus

In 1977, MDC opened its Medical Center Campus on 4.3 acres within the city’s medical/ civic center complex. Along with the other members of this bustling complex - the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Veterans Administration Hospital, the Miami-Dade Medical Examiners Office and Miami-Dade County Public Health Services - the Medical Center Campus forms the backbone of Miami’s health care community. The campus offers specialty disciplines in nursing and allied health, and state-of-the-art technologies help to ensure that students are prepared in these and other challenging medical careers. It now offers a BSN in nursing as well and awards more nursing degrees than any other institution in the nation.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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