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Experiencing Magic: Disney Partnership Promotes Creativity, Leadership, and Innovation

Experiencing Magic: Disney Partnership Promotes Creativity, Leadership, and Innovation

For nearly a decade, Valpo engineering students have traveled to Disney Resorts in Orlando and Anaheim to participate in tours, lectures, and workshops as part of their course curriculum. Led by Mark Budnik, Ph.D., associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and the Paul H. Brandt Professor in Engineering, this partnership provides students with exclusive access to the Disney operation, where they gain unique insight and invaluable hands-on experience. “I have been taking students on class trips to Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort for several years,” Professor Budnik says. “The program began as an opportunity for students to experience engineering outside of a standard field trip and has progressed into a unique partnership between Valpo and Disney. Most importantly, it allows our students to learn firsthand about Disney’s approach to creativity, leadership, and innovation.” Electrical engineering students were the first to participate. Since then, it has been expanded…

Dedicated to Success: Tristan De La Rosa ’18 balances nursing major with Division I athletics

Dedicated to Success: Tristan De La Rosa ’18 balances nursing major with Division I athletics

From early-morning clinicals to afternoon practices to late-night study sessions, the grind truly never stops for Tristan De La Rosa ’18. He doesn’t live the average college life, but Tristan is no average college student. Being a successful nursing major and a successful football player have one commonality — they both require countless hours and tireless work. At Valpo, though, there’s a second common thread that connects these two very different groups. That’s Tristan, who pulls off the rare juggling act of majoring in nursing while competing in Division I football. “I enjoy it; it’s not a burden at all,” Tristan says. “I’m a very religious man. It was an epiphany that nursing is the calling for me, and it’s been a blessing ever since.” Through support from coaches and faculty members alike, Tristan is able to maintain a rigorous course load as well as his status as a valuable…

Valpo Professor Honored for Excellence in Research and Creative Work

Valpo Professor Honored for Excellence in Research and Creative Work

Theresa Kessler, Ph.D., RN, ACNS-BC, CNE, who has been a member of the faculty at Valparaiso University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions for more than two decades, received the University’s Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Work for 2017. Kessler, a professor of nursing, teaches courses throughout the College’s bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral nursing programs, continually emphasizing the importance of research and creating opportunities for students to engage in research projects. “Terry has an extensive record of scholarly work and professional presentations,” said Janet M. Brown, RN, Ph.D., dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions. “While her record is remarkable in itself, her history of involving students in her work is extraordinary.” In her teaching, Kessler specializes in adult health, management/leadership and advanced practice. Her clinical area of expertise is adult health nursing, and she is certified as an Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist through the…

Man on a Mission: Bryan Manalo ’11 uses Valpo education to improve health of children around the world.

Man on a Mission: Bryan Manalo ’11 uses Valpo education to improve health of children around the world.

Garbage and rubble still line the streets, remnants of a catastrophic earthquake that occurred more than five years ago, signs there is still much work to be done. Bryan Manalo ’11 sees “poverty everywhere” as he works alongside the United Nations, World Vision, and the United States Navy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He wonders where to start — what do the Haitian people really need? Education is the key, according to Liah, a French/creole interpreter who was part of the working group during Bryan’s 2015 mission trip to Haiti. He expected to hear “donations,” of course, but the desire for education resonated with him. “No matter how many donations they receive, or how many people reach out, only with proper education will they have a better future,” Bryan says. “People need to be educated in order to have a better foundation.” The conversation reminded Bryan of a saying in his native…


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Transformative Experience as a Public Health Major

Valpo’s College of Nursing and Health Professions launched its public health program in recognition of the critical importance of health and in response to a growing demand for public health professionals in the region and across the nation. The bachelor of science in public health program enrolled its first class fall 2016, with more than half anticipated to begin the streamlined, accelerated 5-year (4+1) program fall 2019, allowing them to pursue their master’s while completing their bachelor’s degree. Originally from Wilmington, Ohio, Ty Snarr ’20 is a member of the inaugural cohort of students pursuing their bachelor’s in public health at Valpo. But public health wasn’t always the plan for Ty, who anticipated his fascination with populations and geography combined with his interest in health care would find him on the pre-med track as an undergraduate. “One day my grandpa told me about public health and how the field views…

RN-BSN Program Further Reimagined with New Program Director

This fall Joseph Zart, RN, BSN, MSN, CNE, clinical assistant professor of nursing, assumed the role of program director of the RN-BSN program. Professor Zart joined the College of Nursing and Health Professions faculty in 2013 equipped with more than 25 years of experience in the health care industry, predominately in leadership positions in psychiatric and mental health nursing. “I have enjoyed all jobs in my nursing career, but Valparaiso University has been the most fulfilling and rewarding job I have ever had,” Professor Zart says. “I accepted this position as I like new challenges and want to build enrollment and increase retention of students in the program. Research reveals that higher percentages of BSN nurses translates to improved patient outcomes. I want to assist in developing those BSN-prepared nurses.” Originally developed more than 30 years ago, Valpo’s RN-BSN program was reimagined in 2016 in response to an increased demand…

Valpo Fuels Future of Health Care Leadership Graduate

Less than a decade ago, Ryan Singh ’15, ’18 MBA decided to embark on his collegiate journey, more than 1,300 miles from home, at Valparaiso University. Originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Ryan chose Valpo due to its strength academically combined with the opportunity to play Division 1 athletics as a member of the football team. He successfully balanced the challenges of a rigorous academic schedule with the massive responsibility of being a student-athlete, building within himself perseverance, work ethic, and leadership skills that have driven him into his future. “Valpo taught me the value of relationships and broadened my wisdom,” Ryan says. “I was met with warm and caring people who taught me how to instill morals and values in my life.” At Valpo, Ryan obtained his bachelor of science in health care leadership and furthered his education through receipt of his master of business administration. Ryan found the health…

College of Nursing and Health Professions Expands Spring Break Opportunities

From long-standing trips to Thailand, Chile, and Costa Rica and Nicaragua to more recently launched travels to China, Germany, and Ireland, the College of Nursing and Health Professions offers extensive cultural experiences and experiential learning opportunities abroad during Spring Break. This March, thanks to new faculty member Roberto Fadda, M.D., DDS, clinical associate professor in physician assistant studies, the CONHP launched a trip to Italy. Students immersed themselves in Italian culture and history and observed the Italian health care system firsthand. Currently, Professor Fadda teaches pathophysiology and clinical medicine. No matter the topic, his focus is on presenting concepts rather than a list of notions for his students to memorize. His ultimate goal is for his students to leave his classroom with knowledge of the underlying processes of diseases and their significance. Valpo students benefit both from Professor Fadda’s teaching experience and his comprehensive experience as a practicing physician, radiologist,…

Valparaiso University Introduces Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctoral Degree

Valpo’s College of Nursing and Health Professions will expand its degree offerings with the development of an online, post-professional, occupational therapy, doctoral program, available to students in summer 2019. “We are excited to offer an online, occupational therapy doctorate to professionals currently working in the field who are seeking that important additional credential,” said Mark L. Biermann, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “This program builds on a strong legacy of success in health care education at Valparaiso University and continues our commitment to providing student-focused, market-driven academic programs that lead to lifelong success.” Valparaiso University has been a leader in higher education since 1859. Over the past several years, the College of Nursing and Health Professions has significantly expanded their program offerings with the first doctor of nursing practice in the state of Indiana, along with accelerated master’s programs in physician assistant studies, public health and…

Inside Look into Public Health at Valpo

The College of Nursing and Health Professions’ interdisciplinary bachelor of science in public health program was designed to increase the public health workforce — those promoting health and preventing disease in individuals, families, and communities — both domestically and abroad. This program enrolled its first class fall 2016. Individualized student attention; ability to work and do research alongside faculty mentors, both domestically and globally, as an undergraduate student; and the design of the curriculum are benefits that set Valpo’s program apart and ensure student success. The public health curriculum gives students the ability to enter into the field as a generalist and later decide upon an area of specialization. Students take a wide variety of courses that provide foundational knowledge required of public health professionals and engage early in partnerships with organizations seeking to develop public health care programs, which is largely what they will do upon graduation. In a…

Spring Break: Experiences Abound Within the CONHP

Each year, Valpo students take a reprieve from the demands of academia during Spring Break. Students, faculty, and staff embark on new journeys, traveling across the United States and internationally. Embracing the vision of the University to provide experiential learning and cultural experience abroad, the College of Nursing and Health Professions offered eight Spring Break trips in 2018, two domestic and six international. While trips offered within the CONHP are continually evolving, the college has a long-established history of offering myriad opportunities for students to immerse themselves in foreign cultures, learn about health care systems and professionals throughout the U.S. and abroad, serve communities near and far, and expand their worldview. In fact, the CONHP is home to the University’s longest-running international service trip. This Spring Break, CONHP students embarked on two new domestic trips, one to a Native American reservation in White Earth, Minnesota, and another to Houston to…

Valpo Professor Serves Community Through Retail Health Care

When Lindsay Munden ’13 DNP, RN, FNP-BC joined the College of Nursing and Health Professions faculty nearly five years ago, her reputation preceded her. She’d completed both her M.S. in nursing and doctor of nursing practice at Valpo. Now, Professor Munden teaches, mentors, and inspires students in and outside the classroom, utilizing her nurse practitioner position at CVS MinuteClinic as a means to further enhance student learning. “Valpo has always been home,” Professor Munden says. “While it’s been quite a transition going from student to professor, everyone has been extremely welcoming. I feel really connected with this University.” At Valpo, Professor Munden has taught a variety of classes in the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program and mentored DNP students throughout their capstone evidence-based practice projects. She also maintains her clinical expertise as a family nurse practitioner in the retail health care setting at CVS MinuteClinic. Walk-in medical clinics have…

Physician Assistant Program Granted Provisional Accreditation

Earlier this spring, Valparaiso University proudly announced that the ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to Valpo’s Physician Assistant (PA) program. This paves the way for enrollment of the first cohort of master’s students this fall, who will graduate with their bachelor’s degree in health science in August. After nearly five years of preparation, the program is primed and eager to begin its first year of master’s studies — as is the entering class of nearly 25 students. “The PA program has been an incredible experience,” Kayleigh Corn ’18 says. "I’ve made great friendships and connections with the people in my program, I’ve been pushed to excel in the classroom and to find field experience, and I feel prepared to move to the graduate portion of the program.” To learn more about the physician assistant program at Valpo, please visit valpo.edu/physician-assistant-program/.  

Experiencing Magic: Disney Partnership Promotes Creativity, Leadership, and Innovation

For nearly a decade, Valpo engineering students have traveled to Disney Resorts in Orlando and Anaheim to participate in tours, lectures, and workshops as part of their course curriculum. Led by Mark Budnik, Ph.D., associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and the Paul H. Brandt Professor in Engineering, this partnership provides students with exclusive access to the Disney operation, where they gain unique insight and invaluable hands-on experience. “I have been taking students on class trips to Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort for several years,” Professor Budnik says. “The program began as an opportunity for students to experience engineering outside of a standard field trip and has progressed into a unique partnership between Valpo and Disney. Most importantly, it allows our students to learn firsthand about Disney’s approach to creativity, leadership, and innovation.” Electrical engineering students were the first to participate. Since then, it has been expanded…

DNP Student Manuscript Accepted for Publication

As part of Valpo’s doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program, Michael Poulsen ’14, ’17 DNP produced a manuscript titled “Nursing Music Protocol and Postoperative Pain,” based on a pain management study of spinal surgery patients. Under the mentorship of Jeffrey Coto ’94, DNP, M.S., RN, assistant professor of nursing, who edited the piece and helped him navigate the scene of publication and writing, Michael had his manuscript accepted by the Journal of Pain Management Nursing. “It is my privilege as Valpo faculty to work one-on-one with students to make sure they understand the process of research, publication, and evidence-based practice,” Professor Coto says. “Michael was my first doctoral student, and I’m extremely proud of him. He accepted criticism, took to suggestions, made adjustments, and became very successful at it.” Through his study, Michael uncovered that there are other modes, specifically music therapy, that can effectively reduce pain. With opioid addiction on the…

Physician Assistant Program Accreditation Status Update

Valparaiso University’s new five-year physician assistant studies program is in the advanced stages of the provisional accreditation process from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), pending final vote at the March 2018 ARC-PA meeting. All new physician assistant programs are required to undergo a robust, multi-year provisional accreditation process to be eligible for continuing accreditation. Valpo tendered its formal written request for entry into the provisional accreditation pathway in 2013. In July 2017, the University supplied the ARC-PA with its completed application, a more than 600-page document consisting of hundreds of details about the program — personnel, facilities, resources, policies, course curriculum, and self-assessment, to name a few. This October, three site visitors from the ARC-PA visited campus to determine if Valpo’s program complies with the more than 100 ARC-PA Standards and is thus ready to matriculate students. In a week’s time, the University was presented with a…

Zeta Epsilon Chapter Receives International and Regional Recognition

Zeta Epsilon, the College of Nursing and Health Professions’ (CONHP) chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), was recently honored with a 2015–2017 Chapter Key Award and was recognized through the 2015–2017 Showcase of Regional Excellence. STTI is an international honor society of nursing that supports nurses’ efforts to improve the health of the world’s people. CONHP students in the top 25 percent of their class are eligible for election into Zeta Epsilon in their junior year once they have completed one-half of their required nursing courses. Zeta Epsilon also invites “community leaders,” those who have shown exemplary leadership skills or made a significant contribution to the nursing profession, into the chapter. Most CONHP faculty are members of Zeta Epsilon, including Christina Cavinder ’14 DNP, RN, CPNP-PC, assistant professor of nursing and Zeta Epsilon president. Since its installation in 1982, Zeta Epsilon has been the recipient of four Key awards, and this…

Dedicated to Success: Tristan De La Rosa ’18 balances nursing major with Division I athletics

From early-morning clinicals to afternoon practices to late-night study sessions, the grind truly never stops for Tristan De La Rosa ’18. He doesn’t live the average college life, but Tristan is no average college student. Being a successful nursing major and a successful football player have one commonality — they both require countless hours and tireless work. At Valpo, though, there’s a second common thread that connects these two very different groups. That’s Tristan, who pulls off the rare juggling act of majoring in nursing while competing in Division I football. “I enjoy it; it’s not a burden at all,” Tristan says. “I’m a very religious man. It was an epiphany that nursing is the calling for me, and it’s been a blessing ever since.” Through support from coaches and faculty members alike, Tristan is able to maintain a rigorous course load as well as his status as a valuable…

Valparaiso University Students Receive Local, National Fellowships

The Institute for Leadership and Service at Valparaiso University has selected 20 Valpo current and graduating students for Calling and Purpose in Society (CAPS) Fellowships during summer 2017. Recipients are selected from a competitive pool of applicants and will complete internships with organizations dedicated to service and leadership for eight to 10 weeks during the summer.  The CAPS Fellows Program helps Valpo students develop their sense of Calling and Purpose in Society through intensive experiential-learning opportunities accompanied by significant reflection. The 2017 CAPS Fellows are: Michelle Andersen ’19, a social work and psychology double major, Katie Bahn ’18, a nursing major, and Madelyn Nieter ’18, a health care leadership major, will serve at National Lutheran Communities and Services in Rockville, Md. Michelle will work in new program development, Katie in clinical administration, and Madelyn in operational leadership. Kaitlyn Braun ’17, an English major, will serve at Charitable Allies in Indianapolis.…