Mary Ellen Stolder Named Dean of the College of Nursing and Health at Viterbo University

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Oct. 28, 2021

Contact Anthony Slaby at 608-796-3042 or


LA CROSSE, Wis – Mary Ellen Stolder, PhD, has been named dean of the College of Nursing and Health at Viterbo University effective Monday, Nov. 1.

Stolder is currently the director of graduate nursing and the interim director of the School of Nursing at Viterbo. She has served at the university since 2012, when she began as an assistant professor of nursing.

“My colleagues and I will continue to be guided by the Viterbo University mission to deliver excellence in patient care, advance that care through innovative education, and improve the well-being of the diverse communities we serve,” Stolder said.

 As dean of the College of Nursing and Health, Stolder will oversee the academics and operations of the university’s undergraduate and graduate nursing and nutrition and dietetics programs. There are more than 800 students enrolled in these areas of study.

Stolder earned a PhD in nursing from the University of Iowa, a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin, a Master of Arts in History from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Wisconsin. She is a board-certified adult nurse practitioner and completed a post-graduate program for psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner certification eligibility. Her master’s thesis addressing the early 20th Century crusade to contain tuberculosis was featured in an episode of the PBS series History Detectives.

Prior to her time at Viterbo, Stolder served six years as the associate dean of nursing at Western Technical College. Other administrative experience includes posts as the program manager for UW-Eau Claire continuing education in nursing and director of nursing at Syverson Lutheran Home in Eau Claire.

A firm believer in community service and engagement, Stolder is the past president of the Bethany Saint Joseph Board of Directors and the current president of the Friends of the La Crosse Public Library. She has served as co-chair of the annual Nursing Research on the Green event and is a member of the Wisconsin Nurses Association continuing education approval program (CEAP) committee. While at Viterbo, Stolder led the development of nurse practitioner student foot care clinics for seniors and underserved community members.

“I am very pleased that Dr. Stolder has agreed to serve as Viterbo’s Dean of Nursing and Health,” said Viterbo President Rick Trietley. “Her proven success as a campus leader, administrator, faculty member, and researcher make her ideally suited for this critical position. Her calm presence, familiarity with Viterbo, positive attitude, and mission-focused mentality will provide the stable leadership required to lead the school of nursing and health into the future.”