Hestermann named executive director of GHS partnership

Hestermann600Furman University and Greenville Health System (GHS) announced today that Furman biology professor Eli Hestermann will assume the responsibilities of overseeing the new academic partnership between the two organizations.

As executive director of health education/undergraduate studies and students, Hestermann will work with Furman and GHS officials to develop programs for undergraduate college students who are interested in pursuing health careers.

It was announced last fall that Furman would serve as GHS’ primary undergraduate partner in GHS Clinical University, a new alliance between one of the Southeast’s largest healthcare systems and three area academic institutions. The other partners are the University of South Carolina (graduate education) and Clemson University (research).

Undergraduates at other area colleges and universities will also have the opportunity to become involved in the initiatives created through the Furman partnership.  That includes opportunities for students considering careers in medicine, pharmacy, and occupational therapy, as well as experiences in non-clinical areas like health administration and information technology.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to work with GHS and its affiliate institutions to provide students training there with the holistic, liberal-arts education for which Furman is famous,” said Dr. Hestermann.  “In turn, Furman students will benefit from exposure to the full range of careers available in health care.”

Hestermann, who joined the Furman faculty in 2003, is the Henry Keith and Ellen Hard Townes Associate Professor of Biology at the university.  In his new position, he will serve as executive director of undergraduate studies and students at GHS and executive director of health education at Furman.

Before coming to Furman, he worked at Harvard Medical School and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He earned a B.S. degree from Purdue University and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

At Furman, he has taught cell biology, pharmacology, and study-away programs while building an active research program in toxicology and endocrinology. He has led initiatives to provide early research experiences to Furman students and to broaden undergraduate research opportunities at other colleges in the region. His efforts to build research programs and effectively mentor students have been recognized by awards from professional organizations at the state and national level.

“Dr. Hestermann’s familiarity with our historic relationship with GHS and his understanding and enthusiasm for the future of this new partnership make him uniquely qualified to lead us in developing the program’s full potential,” said Dr. John Beckford, Furman’s vice president for academic affairs and dean.  “He is a highly respected member of the Furman faculty and I’m confident he will excel in this new role.”

“On behalf of GHS, we look forward to Dr. Hestermann joining the team to build a robust infrastructure for undergraduate student learning experiences,” said Brenda Thames, Ph.D., GHS’ vice president for academic and faculty affairs.  “His appointment completes the leadership team for the GHS Clinical University. Given Dr. Hestermann’s experience with our GHS Medical Experience (MedEx) Academy and other student initiatives, he understands the opportunity this partnership brings to students across the upstate and beyond.”

For more information, contact Dr. Hestermann at 864-294-3527 or eli.hestermann@furman.edu.