Adams, Erwin Named Associate Deans

Posted on January 24, 2024 by CAHP

Adams, Gordon, Hickey, Erwin in a picture together data-lightbox='featured'

Two new associate deans have been named at the Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions. Dr. Elizabeth Adams will serve as associate dean for graduate affairs and faculty development, while Dr. Charlie Erwin will serve as associate dean for community engagement.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Adams and Dr. Erwin into their new roles! They’ve both been dynamic leaders in their interim roles, and I am confident that our students, faculty, staff and programs will thrive with their continued leadership,” Dr. Susan Gordon Hickey, dean of the Covey College of Allied Health Professions, said.

Elizabeth M. Adams, Ph.D., CCC-A


In her new role, Adams aims to advance the Covey College of Allied Health Professions graduate programs and support faculty development toward promotion and/or tenure.

“I am so honored to have been selected to serve the Covey College of Allied Health Professions in the associate dean for graduate affairs and faculty development role,” Adams shared. “Dean Gordon-Hickey and the faculty of this college have instituted important initiatives, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to support our college's continued and impressive progress towards growing the reputation and visibility of our programs and faculty.”

Most recently, Adams served as interim director of graduate studies for the college and chair for the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology. She was appointed as an assistant professor in 2006 and earned tenure and promotion in 2012. Adams has served the institution in a variety of capacities including service on the Graduate Council, the University College Research Committee and faculty senate.

Under her leadership, the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology clinical programs have boasted a 100% pass rate on the licensure exam and 95% retention rates. The faculty continue to make significant contributions to the science of their professions through national presentations, peer-reviewed publications and extramural funding.

“I'm excited about the opportunity to support academic excellence and faculty growth, and contribute to the vibrant community that defines our institution's commitment to advancing knowledge and empowering future leaders. Our students will undoubtedly go forward to provide excellent patient care to citizens in their area and to lead their professions forward throughout their career,” Adams said.

Adams holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of South Alabama. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Spring Hill College.

Charlie Erwin, Ed.D., NRP


In his new role, Erwin will aim to expand the college’s engagement within the USA community and in Mobile and Baldwin counties.

Most recently, Erwin served as interim assistant dean for undergraduate affairs and chair for the Department of Emergency Medical Services. Erwin was appointed as an instructor in 2007 and earned promotion to senior instructor in 2014. He served in the Marine Corps and in the Coast Guard Reserve where he recently retired from his position as chief warrant officer.


“I came to South in May of 1999 with the intention of serving our university for the rest of my professional life. I was hired as a staff employee and worked my way up the ladder to faculty, program director and chair,” Erwin said. “Once I became the chair of the Department of Emergency Medical Services in 2012, I felt that I had reached the pinnacle of my career. “Then in 2020, I noticed very quickly that the college needed a hand navigating through the pandemic. I volunteered to help in whatever capacity that was needed and was honored to serve as the interim assistant dean of undergraduate affairs, a position that I maintained for over three and a half years.”

Under his leadership, the Department of Emergency of Medical Services has thrived through service. The department supports the campus community by providing emergency medical support to USA Athletics and leads USA’s mass casualty incident drill, an interprofessional education opportunity for allied health students. The department also provides continuing education for EMTs and paramedics in Alabama’s southern six counties through grants provided
by the Alabama Department of Public Health. Recently, the department secured a contract to serve as the sole provider of EMT training for fire cadets with the Mobile Fire and Rescue Department.

“Once the associate dean position was opened, I applied because I wanted to serve our college in a greater capacity. Once I found out that I was selected as the associate dean of community engagement and special projects, I was humbled and honored that my colleagues thought enough of me to allow me this opportunity to serve them and our students,” Erwin said. “I am eager to begin this new mission and am dedicated to be successful for the good of all of us who so diligently serve our students and each other.

“I must say that this opportunity comes as a bitter sweet promotion as I have served the Department of EMS for the past 24 years, and I respect and consider the staff and faculty of EMS as my family, friends and colleagues. I could not have enjoyed this level of success without their help and dedication to our profession, college and University.”

Erwin holds a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership from the University of South Alabama and a Master of Arts in Ancient and Classical History from the American Military University. He also received a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medical Services and a Paramedic certificate from the University of South Alabama.

“Having Dr. Adams and Dr. Erwin in these roles will provide our college the opportunity to innovate and grow our programs with respect to the changing landscape of higher education,” Gordon-Hickey said. “Both are attuned to student affairs, clinical affairs and community needs. With Dr. Adams and Dr. Erwin in these roles, we will lead the innovation and transformation of higher education in the allied health professions, regionally and nationally.”

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