Laying the Foundation for CHHS: Remembering Bob Cornesky
Governors State University is remembering Robert “Bob” Cornesky who passed away at the age of 81 this year. His legacy at Governors State is a lasting one that has impacted not only the university, but generations of students, and the surrounding communities.
Dr. Cornesky came to Governors State in 1976 as Director of what was then the School of Health Sciences in the College of Environmental and Applied Sciences. As Director, he was chief administrator for undergraduate and graduate programs in health services administration, allied health science education, medical technology, and nursing. He also taught medical science, medical microbiology, medical immunology and physiology of aging. His formulation of immediate objectives and long- range plans of the School of Health Sciences shaped programs that still exist today.
His tenure at Governors State lasted until 1982, and through his leadership, the university achieved the original accreditation for cornerstone programs in the College of Health and Humans Services, such as the Bachelor of Science in Nursing with accreditation from the National League for Nursing. Today, Governors State's nursing students learn in labs that were part of a total renovation of the Science, Health Science, and Technology wing in 2015. Nursing students practice critical nursing interventions using state of the art equipment including true-to-life simulators. For the last three years, 100 percent of BSN students have obtained a job within six months (the industry standard) after graduation.
The nursing department has expanded to include the Master of Science in Nursing, which has achieved national recognition as the Best Value MSN-FNP Programs in the U.S. for 2019-20.
Cornesky also obtained accreditation for the graduate program in Health Services Administration. Students graduating from Governors State today with a Master of Health Administration go on to manage hospitals and ensure quality of life for patients at a macro level. From saving lives, to improving the quality of life, Cornesky’s legacy has impacted the entire region.
Dean of the College of Health and Human Services Cathy Balthazar notes Cornesky’s lasting impact on the college's programs, as well as the region.
“His efforts to establish accredited programs in Nursing and Health Administration laid the foundation for GSU to provide accessible, high quality education that would help build the healthcare workforce in this region. To this day, these continue to be among our strongest programs, with high student success rates for employment, and deep connections to the Southland healthcare community,” said Dr. Balthazar.
The Governors State community offers their condolences to the Cornesky family during this difficult time.