PEMBROKE — Dr. Todd Telemeco has been named founding dean of the College of Health Sciences at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Telemeco stood out in the nationwide search for the founding dean because of his experience implementing high-quality, interprofessional health science programs.
“As UNCP moves the needle forward in addressing the health care needs and outcomes of southeastern North Carolina, Dr. Telemeco brings the precise experience and knowledge needed to lead our newly-formed College of Health Sciences,” said Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings.
“He has demonstrated his commitment to preparing health professionals qualified to serve citizens in our region and beyond. Under his leadership, UNCP’s College of Health Sciences will have a direct, positive impact on health outcomes.”
Dr. Telemeco brings 22 years of academic leadership in higher education and clinical practice as a physical therapist in the areas of outpatient orthopedic physical therapy and clinical electrophysiology. He is an American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties Certified Clinical Specialist in Clinical Electrophysiology.
Telemeco comes to UNCP from Methodist University in Fayetteville, where he served in the dean’s capacity of the School of Health Sciences for four years.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Telemeco join us as our founding dean of the College of Health Sciences,” said Provost David Ward. “He brings a deep experience in starting new academic programs–an experience base that’s going to be essential as we move our new college forward. As we look toward new programming in the areas of physical therapy, occupational therapy and expansion of nursing, he really has a background that will help us move that bar forward.”
No stranger to program development, Telemeco was the founding director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Methodist. He helped develop and implement the first doctoral degree program there and was instrumental in developing innovative ways to integrate professional health care programs, leveraging strengths across disciplines to provide students with real-world and practical experiences.
“I am really honored to be the founding dean,” Telemeco said. “It’s going to be fantastic. I look forward to building and growing the College of Health Sciences program.
“I love that UNCP is a part of the UNC System and continues to grow, but maintains its small, community-driven mission statement. It stood out for its mission to serve the people within the community and I share the same passion, to serve the community in which I live.”
In 2017, $100,000 was allocated in the state budget to study the feasibility of establishing a college of health sciences at UNCP. The legislatively-directed study charged the UNC Board of Governors with considering the health care needs of the region as well as economic benefits.
Last summer, UNCP formed the College of Health Sciences as part of its commitment to address findings in the study. The new college consists of four pre-existing departments–counseling, kinesiology, nursing and social work–with approximately 100 faculty and 1,500 students.
Telemeco is confident in the new college’s ability to meet the region’s needs by offering high-quality programs in high demand, specifically in rural parts of the state.
“My long-term goal is to strategically grow the health science disciplines because they really have an impact on the health disparities in Robeson County and southeastern North Carolina. One of the first things I plan to focus on is growing the nursing program to address the nursing shortage which is widespread.”
Encouraged by the health science backgrounds of both the Provost and Chancellor, Telemeco is excited to bring his clinical and administrative experience to further the vision for the College of Health Sciences.
He views UNCP faculty and administration as uniquely positioned to have a real and present impact in the health outcomes of the region.
“The faculty I met on campus were genuine and welcoming. That really helped seal it. The administration is very supportive from Chancellor Cummings to Provost Ward. They have a great vision for the institution and for the academic programs. The fact they both have health science backgrounds really helps as well.”
Prior to his position at Methodist, he served as associate director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at his alma mater, Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia.
He holds a Master of Physical Therapy and a Doctor of Physical Therapy, both from Shenandoah University, and a Ph.D. in Anatomy from Virginia Commonwealth University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and health sciences from Shenandoah University.
A Greencastle, Pennsylvania, native, Telemeco and his wife, Ann Marie, have two daughters, Savannah, 15, and Madelyn, 12.