Usha Kundu, MD College of Health
The Usha Kundu, MD College of Health strives to produce the health care and health industry experts the medical communities and companies desperately require. Our programs offer an interprofessional education through hands-on experience at the University of West Florida with innovative programs that are taught across multiple disciplines, giving students a wide range of options for a professional career in the health industry.
UKCOH Welcomes New Dean
We are pleased to welcome Dr. Denise Seabert as the new dean of the Usha Kundu, MD College of Health. Dr. Seabert has an outstanding career dedicated to the professional preparation of health educators. For more than 20 years, she has provided leadership in obesity prevention, HIV education and academic standards for health and wellness.
University of West Florida Usha Kundu, MD College of Health announces new dean
“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Denise Seabert as the new dean of the Usha Kundu, MD College of Health,” said Dr. George Ellenberg, UWF provost and senior vice president. “Dr. Seabert’s expertise in health and wellness education will be a great addition in our efforts to take the college to a new level through academic teachings, research in the health fields and community outreach.”
Seabert has dedicated her career to the professional preparation of health educators. For more than 20 years, she has provided leadership in obesity prevention, HIV education and academic standards for health and wellness. Seabert has authored numerous textbooks and received university and national organization service awards for her contributions. She comes to UWF from Indiana’s Ball State University.
Seabert plans to focus on enhancing the college’s already well-established programs and strengthen its role in community health throughout the Pensacola region.
“Our health education programs are the gateway for our students to learn and grow in their discipline, but also in their exposure to the Pensacola community,” Seabert said. “These programs offer our students high impact practices, such as internships, practicums, clinical placements and undergraduate student research. All of these programs immerse our students in the larger community and provide the area with increased exposure to best practices in health. The more our programs engage with the community, the more our students learn and value the opportunities our region offers.”
Seabert said she also aims to expand on the college’s recent accomplishments and fundraising momentum.
A $5 million gift from Dr. Usha and Mahadeb Kundu in February 2017 led to the enhancement of educational and experiential opportunities and naming of the college. Most recently, the college celebrated a $250,000 gift from the Earl Hutto Foundation to name the Earl and Nancy Hutto Master of Science in Nursing program in the UWF School of Nursing. In 2016, a $250,000 gift from the D.W. McMillan Foundation was given to support UWF’s undergraduate nursing education, naming the program the Dr. D.W. McMillan BSN Nursing Program.
As proof of its focus on fostering further integration with other universities, both the college and the Florida State University College of Medicine occupy office space and a multipurpose room in the newly opened University Park Center. Since 2003, FSU medical students have completed clinical rotations in Pensacola, and several UWF graduates have gone on to attend medical school at FSU.
Additionally, the college’s undergraduate nursing program ranks second in the state of Florida for percentage of students passing the NCLEX exam, with nearly 99 percent of UWF students passing the first time.
UWF Announces Major Gift to College of Health
Dr. Usha and Mahadeb Kundu donated a gift in excess of $5 million to name the UWF College of Health.The college is named the Usha Kundu, MD College of Health in Dr. Kundu’s honor. This is the second college to be named after a donor in the institution’s history. Hal Marcus gifted $5 million in January 2016 to name the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering.
"This incredibly generous and forward-looking gift will enhance our ability to provide the very best health care education for years to come,” said Saunders. “I expect great things from the Usha Kundu, MD College of Health."
The gift will support academic excellence for students, including opportunities for active, engaged and experiential learning. Additionally, the gift will support equipment and instrumentation for use in the academic and research environment as well as academic excellence for faculty within the college.
“The ability to use this gift to enhance our current programs and establish new opportunities ensures continued growth for the UWF College of Health,” said Dr. Ermalynn Kiehl, dean of the College of Health. “We are extremely appreciative of this significant gift and we will be good stewards.”
Dr. Kundu grew up in rural Bihar, India, and graduated from the Rajendra Medical College at Ranchi University in 1969 before she immigrated to the United States to complete her residency in obstetrics and gynecology. Dr. Kundu opened her current private practice in Pensacola in 1983. She is a board-certified OB-GYN, a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and a Diplomat of American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Kundu is affiliated with Sacred Heart Hospital, Baptist Hospital and West Florida Hospital.
“I have been extremely passionate about medicine since I was a young child,” said Dr. Kundu. “We have lived in Pensacola for more than half of our lives and work hard for this community. Now is the time for us to give back to our community in a new way."
"We are thrilled with the opportunity to support the University of West Florida to provide better health education to the region. This gift will increase the development of a well-educated workforce that have the necessary skill sets for employment.”
Her husband, Mahadeb Kundu, is a Fellow of American Society of Civil Engineers, Fellow of Institute of Engineers (India), charter member of Structural Engineering Institute and member of ASCE codes and Standard Activities Committee. Mahadeb Kundu earned his Master of Business Administration from UWF in 1992 and served as an adjunct professor for the University of West Florida from 1984-86.
Their son, Sumit Kundu, is an M.D. and professional in the informatics field in New York.
“The generosity of this gift exceeds our expectations and makes a statement on the value of the growing UWF College of Health,” said Dr. Brendan Kelly, vice president for university advancement. “Two Pensacola residents expressing their commitment at this level to advancing health care in the region through UWF is truly remarkable.”
UWF is currently in the public phase of its 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign, with a fundraising goal of $50 million – the largest capital campaign in University history. With this gift from the Kundu family, the campaign will surpass $56 million.
The UWF College of Health formed in 2015 after previously being part of the College of Science, Engineering and Health. The college houses seven departments: exercise science and community health, health sciences and administration, medical laboratory sciences, psychology, public health, the School of Nursing and the UWF/USF Doctor of Physical Therapy. Together these departments work with the health care community to strengthen interprofessional collaborative relationships and improve the health of the public.
Yesterday, the University of West Florida Foundation announced a gift commitment by the D.W. McMillan Foundation to the University’s BSN Nursing Program.
The $250,000 gift will provide program support to UWF’s undergraduate nursing education, to be named the Dr. D.W. McMillan BSN Nursing Program.
“The D.W. McMillan Foundation is widely known throughout our region for its commitment to health and human services,” said Dr. Brendan Kelly, president of the UWF Foundation, Inc. and vice president for university advancement. “That the University’s BSN Nursing Program will bear the McMillan name and educate future generations of nurses is a fitting recognition of the family’s dedication to healthcare and the health of this community.”
Goals of funding are to provide a high quality experience for BSN students, including enhancement of the classroom environment, enrichment through community and service learning, and recruitment and retention through scholarship support as needed.