Pulse Magazine 2023

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Hopeexploinghoetrogh research


College of Allied Health & Nursing

Improving the quality of life for individuals, families, and our communities – one student at a time.


Dental Education

Family Consumer Science

Health Science

Human Performance

Recreation and Parks Leadership Studies

School of Nursing

Social Work

Speech, Hearing & Rehabilitation Services

The College of Allied Health & Nursing is dedicated to promoting health and wellness through education and service to the state, region, and global community. The purpose of PULSE is to share the ongoing commitment of the College with students, alumni, donors, and the broader community.

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College of Allied Health & Nursing

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Cover feature Hope

Exploring, building, creating, inspiring and improving hope through research.

Minnesota “Skate” Mankato

How skateboarding led one student to some pretty rad real-world experiences.

Improving the state of mental health

Across the state, the College is changing the landscape of how to meet mental health needs.

Alumni updates

Alumni across the College share their Mankato memories and what they’re up to now.

Keeping it real

Maverick Family Nursing Simulation Center... where academics meets workforce education.

Making the rounds

News, updates and highlights from around the College.

Minnesota State University, Mankato

124 Myers Field House

Mankato, MN 56001

Phone: 507-389-5641



AmyJo Lennartson


Vanessa Knewtson

Print Coordinator

Ryan Schuh

Volume Eleven pulse 4 8 10

A member of the Minnesota State system and an Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity University. This document is available in alternative format to individuals with disabilities by calling Accessibility Resources at 507389-2825, (V), 800-627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTY). AHNU149NE

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Greetings from the Dean

I am humbled to have been selected to serve as the Dean of the College of Allied Health and Nursing.

As I reflect upon my first year, I am energized by the many accomplishments of the College, appreciative of our beautiful, welcoming campus and state-of-theart facilities, and thankful for our devoted faculty and staff who work tirelessly to provide an outstanding education for our students.

The College is a diverse and thriving community, embracing the focus on family and centered on the preparation of health and wellness professionals to meet the workforce needs of our region.

We are fortunate and grateful to have countless community partners who share our mission of inspiring and preparing our students through high-impact learning opportunities. Every program in the College provides hands-on, realworld experiences through internships, clinical practicums, fieldwork, study abroad and/or community engagement.

Our community-facing clinics allow students to train side-by-side with experienced faculty clinicians without leaving campus. Our simulation center is an exemplar. Our research centers and institutes are tackling critical issues in health, leading in rural behavioral health and taking a holistic approach to best practices in family nursing.

I embrace the theme of this issue of our magazine, hope. As we emerge from COVID-19 a stronger College, we are well-positioned to address the health care challenges that have been worsened by the pandemic. At no time in history has there been a greater need for competent and caring health professionals to improve access to care, particularly for our rural communities of outstate Minnesota. I am committed to growing current programs and developing new programs to meet emerging needs. I appreciate both the privilege and responsibility that has been bestowed upon me to lead this College and have great expectations for a promising future.

In this issue of pulse, you will get a glimpse of just a few of our many accomplishments and the impact these efforts are having on our students, our communities and the world.

To all our alumni and friends of the College — thank you for your continued interest, engagement and support of the Maverick community. The future of the College is bright, and you are integral to our ongoing success.

With appreciation,

pulse COLLEGE OF ALLIED HEALTH & NURSING 2023 Hope exploinghoetroghresearch 124 Myers Field House Mankato, MN 56001 ahn.mnsu.edu p L T A d A space for hoe g S d n p h @ N HN MN U H h G h d College of Allied Health & Nursing | 3
The College is a diverse and thriving community, embracing the focus on family and centered on the preparation of health and wellness professionals to meet the workforce needs of our region.

Thanks to a donation, faculty across the College of Allied Health and Nursing are exploring something the world could use more of...

through faculty research

From bird watching in the backyard to hair braiding around the world, these faculty are expanding the understanding of hope across individuals, families, communities and cultures through a range of research projects. Here’s a summary of projects to date, in the words of the faculty conducting the research, and the connection to our communities, students and concept of hope.

EExploring hope through the lens of birdwatching

“While there are many potential sources of hope, I believe exploring it through the lens of birds and birdwatching is rich with opportunity. Just as Dickinson found our avian neighbors to be potent sources of hope, so too do countless modern-day recreationists. I believe that telling their stories is an act that will not only help us better understand human-avian relationships but will ultimately prove to have utility spanning across neighborhoods, norms and cultures.”

Feature: Hope Faculty Research Projects
Cedar Waxwing. Photo: Jonathan Hicks.
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Researching hope of transgender and gender non-conforming youth

“We are interviewing families of transgender and gender diverse (TGD) youth from various states with different political climates regarding transgender rights, about their feelings of hope for their futures, health, safety and personal freedoms, and what measures they are taking to maintain hope in the face of the current political climate nationally and locally.”

Building hope and vocational skills in Nigerian youth

“This project is an evaluation of a vocational and entrepreneurship training pilot program for youth in Nigeria. The eight-week program seeks to build hope among youth by developing vocational skillsets and practical business education that empowers youth who are currently without hope, who feel hopeless, helpless, forgotten, and believe nothing good can result out of their lives. This project will test an intervention of equipping youth with vocational skillsets and practical business education to empower them to know that they are capable of more and there is hope for their future, and that the possibilities are endless.”

Youth in Ibadan, Nigeria learning hair braiding, a lucrative, informal vocational trade that can help young people generate income.
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— Maya Bastian, DNP, APRN, CPNP (right) and Tammy Neiman, PhD, RN-BC, PHN (left) - Nursing

CCreating hope and meaningful engagement for individuals with dementia

“Dementia Friendly EngAGEment: Honoring Abilities in All is a multi-faceted dementia friendly, family and community-focused program designed with innovative solutions to promote abilities, social engagement, hope and reduce social isolation and stigma of persons with dementia and care partners. This interdisciplinary program is conducted by Dementia-Friendly trained university students and faculty across disciplines through interprofessional collaboration and combines academic training and community engagement into one novel program, Garden EngAGEment.”

IInspiring hope in uncertain times

“This research aims to develop a community partnership for learners to engage in a simulated mass casualty incident experience. This opportunity to participate in an interdisciplinary team will be inspiring hope during unknown and uncertain times. Instilling hope through exposure can help nursing students develop the resilience and optimism they need to navigate disaster simulations and prepare for real-world emergencies. By cultivating a sense of hope, nursing students can develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to become effective and compassionate healthcare providers, even in the face of adversity.”

— Sabrina Ehmke, DNP, RNC-OB, NPD-BC, PHN (left) and Jennifer Marr, DNP, APRN, PNP-BC (right) - Nursing
Feature: Hope Faculty Research Projects
Minnesota State Mankato nursing students during a recent disaster simulation. — Drs. H. Sheen Chiou (Speech, Hearing and Rehabilitation Services) and Kristen AbbottAnderson, Garden EngAGEment co-founders
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H. Sheen Chiou (above) in the garden and Kristen Abbott-Anderson (left).


Improving hope in pediatric cancer patients’ journeys

“The purpose of this project is to explore how hope affects parental coping strategies during a pediatric cancer patient’s journey. Depending on each child’s prognosis and cancer journey, hope can encompass a range of things for the parents—from a cure, quality of life, maintaining a normal life, living a long life, or simply having peace. Exploration of these factors will help us in understanding coping mechanisms and potentially improve approaches to parents of pediatric cancer patients.”

Making hope happen

About the donor, Kaye Herth

Kaye Herth, Minnesota State University, Mankato Dean Emerita, established the Hope Research Fellowship through a donation to the College. Her contribution now creates fellowships to full time tenured or tenure-track faculty in the College of Allied Health and Nursing to expand the understanding of hope across individuals, families, communities or cultures. Having done extensive research on hope and how it affects humans herself, Dr. Herth is committed to continuing research on hope and giving hope. Dr. Herth served as Dean of the College of Allied Health and Nursing from 1998-2010.

>> If you would like to donate to the hope research endowment, please contact Lori Pickell-Stangel, director of development for the College of Allied Health and Nursing at 507-389-5621.

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This photo, provided by Ellen Johnson, is of her son, Zachary. Taken during a MakeA-Wish-Trip to Disney World, she said it captures the essence of hope in a pediatric cancer journey.

It may not have been the direction Mallory Stiff was headed, but with support from faculty, an open mind, and a skateboard, the PEDAPE major was able to “alley-oop” resulting in some rad real-world experiences.


How Mallory Stiff’s future got rolling by learning to skateboard.

When Physical Education and Developmental Adapted Physical Education (DAPE) major Mallory Stiff chose Minnesota State Mankato, she didn’t expect to learn skateboarding as part of her course work.

And she certainly didn’t expect that by her senior year she would have already helped create and implement lesson plans for area homeschoolers to learn skateboarding skills and co-author an article about implementing skateboarding in the classroom with one of her professors.

“I didn’t even know how to skateboard before we had to teach it,” Stiff said. “I wasn’t expecting anything like this but it’s all super cool.”

Getting on boArd

Although skateboarding may not seem like a first choice for physical educators to teach, Stiff said it reflects what she’s learning—to instill in her future students the knowledge, skills and confidence that will support lifelong physical health.

“Skateboarding is unique, it doesn’t require a ton of equipment, and it doesn’t have the pressure that some group or team activities may have,” Stiff said. “People can listen to music, be outside and determine their own pace.”

And, she said, it’s safer than many may think. In fact, Stiff and her classmates are now well-versed in helmets, knee pads and how to fall with only a bruised ego at most.

Real-world Experiences
Health and Physical Education professor Dr. Ben Schwamberger
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PE-DAPE major Mallory Stiff

Catching Air

Under the guidance of Dr. Ben Schwamberger, a professor of health and physical education, Stiff and her classmates not only learned how to skateboard but then created and implemented lesson plans for a group of Mankato area homeschoolers.

“Our students not only get the unique opportunity to teach students, but to plan and organize content,” Schwamberger said. “And area homeschool families are able to have their kids participate in developmentally appropriate lessons. It’s a great partnership.”

The skateboarding unit led to several students presenting at a professional conference about how to incorporate skateboarding into physical education curriculums, which led to Stiff working with Schwamberger on an article for Strategies, a journal focused on practical “howto” recommendations for current and future physical education, school health and coaching professionals.

“In teacher preparation programs, research with undergraduate students can be difficult, and while our article didn’t conduct research directly, it was a great example of one of the ways our undergraduates can engage in scholarship,” Schwamberger said.

SticKing the lAnding

With an expected graduation of spring 2024 and licensure in both Physical Education and DAPE, Stiff is weighing the pros and cons of being a high school or elementary physical education teacher, saying she could see herself in both settings.

Either way, she plans to incorporate DAPE into her teaching. Growing up with a cousin with Down syndrome, she believes everyone has a right to be physically active and that it’s important to continuously work toward inclusivity.

“I’ve been thinking about what I want to do a lot,” Stiff said. “We are given so many great opportunities at Minnesota State Mankato. I feel like I will be very well prepared for when I get my first job.”

Stiff co-authored an article that was published in Strategies, a practitioner-focused journal for physical and health educators and coaches. The article, “Skateboarding: Relevant, Exciting and Fun” focuses on implementing skateboarding into physical education programs.


lesson plans for teaching skateboarding and physical education to area homeschoolers and presented about teaching skateboarding at the Minnesota Society of Health and Physical Educators (MNSHAPE) Conference.


ALLeY-Oop: a trick variation in which the skateboarder rotates their body sideways in the opposite direction they’re traveling.
College of Allied Health & Nursing | 9

Pond pivots to meet mental health needs

For years, students and faculty in the College of Allied Health and Nursing have helped families get the health care they needed at Health Commons at Pond, a free and charitable school-based clinic located in Bloomington, Minnesota. Typical services include vaccinations and immunizations, vision, hearing and dental screenings, routine checkups, illness visits and sports physicals. One area in which they hadn’t offered services was mental health—until now.

“The pandemic wreaked havoc on all of us, especially on the children,” says Dr. Pat Beierwaltes, an associate professor in the School of Nursing and pediatric nurse practitioner. “We saw a huge number of children coming in with mental health needs, depressive symptoms and anxiety.”

Mental health services offered at Pond, which are now provided by nursing in conjunction with the department of Social Work, allows students to gain real-world experience while working with faculty clinicians.

“Now that we are screening every child for adverse childhood events (ACEs) and every family for social determinants of health, the numbers that we have identified in need of mental health services continues to climb,” says Beierwaltes.

Between nurse practitioners who have an interest in children with behavioral health issues and licensed clinical social workers, patients can be seen independently or be referred if there’s warranted intervention beyond their scope.

Matthew Frank, a Master of Social Work alumni, completed his practicum at Pond and said the opportunity was a great experience.

“I was honored to be a small part of the Clinic,” Frank said. “I believe the mental health services helped the students by providing extra support to explore thoughts, feelings and concerns they may be experiencing at that time.”

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In addition to mental health and nursing services, students and faculty have also been able to provide services such as health and wellness events and speechlanguage pathology at Pond.

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“I believe the mental health services helped by providing extra support to explore thoughts, feelings and concerns.”
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- Matthew Frank, Master of Social Work alumni


Support grows for rural behavioral health initiative

The Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® of Minnesota Center for Rural Behavioral Health at Minnesota State Mankato continues to receive support from several public and private organizations who are committed to supporting the Center’s goals of improving access to mental health care in rural and outstate Minnesota.

Recent announcements include:

• The State of Minnesota has earmarked $1.5 million in one-time money for a community-facing clinic that would increase access to affordable mental health services while giving supervised students opportunities to gain experience as they prepare to enter the behavioral health workforce.

• Minnesota Pork Board and Minnesota Pork Producers have pledged $300,000 over three years to establish the operational structure and advance the growth of the Center for Rural Behavioral Health at the University.

• Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® of Minnesota has pledged $600,000 over three years to establish the operational structure and advance the growth of the Center, including naming rights for the Center.

The Center is dedicated to improving access to behavioral healthcare for residents in outstate Minnesota to include recognized Reservations/Settlements through research, workforce development, continuing education and customized training.


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To learn more about the Center and get the latest news and reports, visit ahn.mnsu.edu/crbh.


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Center for Rural Behavioral Health one STEP CLOSER

Stepping up to the plate

Taylor Nixt, a 2022 Dietetics graduate, dishes about her first full-time job as Minnesota State Mankato’s campus dietitian.

What does the campus dietitian do?

As the campus dietitian, my goal is to educate students and faculty on nutrition and wellbeing. I devote a significant amount of time to working with students who have food allergies, intolerances and other dietary needs. My aim is to ensure that their dining experience on campus is both safe and social. I am also responsible for overseeing the wellness programming on campus, which includes planning Mindful Food and Fitness events, such as Smoothie Bikes, Trail Mix Bar and Mindful Tabling events. In addition, I work closely with Student Health Services to offer one-on-one counseling to students who have specific nutrition-related goals.

Did you ever think that as an intern for the campus dietitian you would become the campus dietitian?

The idea of becoming a campus dietitian had always been at the back of my mind. My internship at Minnesota State Mankato was a valuable experience, and I had a great mentor who showed me the ropes of the position. Despite that, I went into my post-graduate internship in Utah with an open mind, eager to learn more about the different dietetic work environments. Throughout my rotations, I discovered that nothing quite matched the unique environment and pace of being a campus dietitian.

What are you seeing in terms of food/dietetic trends for students?

I have noticed a growing interest in plant-based products, particularly plant-based milks. Other notable trends include mocktails, gut-health products like fermented foods and probiotics, food boards such as charcuterie boards and butter boards, and delivery meal services and meal kits that offer healthy eating options for people on the go. Additionally, natural sweeteners and the use of hydroponics or other sustainable methods of growing produce have become increasingly popular.

Alumni Q+A: Family Consumer Science
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I am focused on fostering stronger connections and partnerships within the campus and local community. Collaboration is key to making a positive impact and improving the world.

As you step into this new role, what are your goals?

In the short term, I am focused on fostering stronger connections and partnerships within the campus community, the local community and with other Sodexo campus dietitians. Collaboration is key to making a positive impact and improving the world around us. I aspire to enhance the clarity of messaging and safety protocols for students with food allergies. I also aim to revamp the wellness programming offered during the school year to better align with current health trends and student needs. These initiatives will help to create a safer, healthier and more inclusive environment for all students.

How did your time at Minnesota State Mankato help prepare you for this step in your career?

My degree has been invaluable in providing me with the necessary academic foundation to comprehend the real-world responsibilities of working as a dietitian. The knowledge and skills I gained during my time at Minnesota State Mankato helped ease my transition from the academic realm to practical applications quite seamlessly. Apart from academics, I honed my leadership and networking skills by actively participating in various student groups on campus. It’s safe to say that my degree from Minnesota State Mankato has been the backbone of my professional career, and I am immensely grateful for the experience. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Mankato Memories

The Student Dietetic and Nutrition Organization (SDNO) meetings were an absolute pleasure to attend, and I found them to be an excellent source of enrichment. During my last two years at Minnesota State Mankato, I had the opportunity to bring in practicing dietitians and local community members to share their expertise regarding their role and how it applies to nutrition and dietetics.

College of Allied Health & Nursing | 13

Filling a need

Rachel Wangen, a 2021 Dental Hygiene graduate and a 2022 Advanced Dental Therapy graduate, is helping increase access to oral health care.

Not only were you one of just three students in the first cohort of the Advanced Dental Therapy program at Minnesota State Mankato, but the program is just one of a handful in the entire country. What was it like to take such a big leap?

I think it was a wonderful, scary and unknown courageous decision the three of us made. We had trust in Minnesota State Mankato and our instructors. We learned together and paved the way for future advancements of the program. Not only is the addition of a dental therapy program beneficial to the University, but it’s also beneficial for the state of Minnesota. There is a lack of dental providers in the state and the addition of a dental therapy program will continue to fill gaps in access to dental care.

What is the difference between a dental hygienist and an advanced dental therapist?

Dental hygienists are preventative care specialists. The role of a dental hygienist in the dental practice is to educate patients about their oral health by providing routine dental care and education on how to prevent cavities, gingivitis and periodontitis or gum disease. Dental therapists are mid-level dental providers similar to physician assistants or nurse practitioners in the medical field. Dental therapists provide routine restorative dental care, such as filling cavities in both adults and children, placing temporary crowns and extracting severely diseased or loose teeth. Both dental hygienists and dental therapists work with a collaborating dentist to determine a plan of care.

What would be helpful to know for others considering becoming an advanced dental


It is important to know before pursuing a career in dental therapy that dental therapists are required by law to work in health professional shortage areas that serve low-income and underserved populations or have a patient population base where 50% or more of patients seen by the dental therapist are enrolled in a Minnesota Health Care Program, have a medical disability or chronic condition, or have no health coverage and a gross family income under 200% of the federal poverty level.

What are you up to now?

I started with Oz Family Dentistry in the fall of 2022 as a dental hygienist, and after completion of my degree I have been providing care as a dental therapist. Mankato is located in Blue Earth County, which is a designated health professional shortage county.

Alumni Q+A: Dental Hygiene and Advanced Dental Therapy
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My experiences at Minnesota State Mankato prepared me to be a confident and passionate clinician, dental hygienist and dental therapist. I can’t wait to continue to learn and grow in the workforce.

Mankato Memories

My most memorable experiences throughout dental hygiene and dental therapy school at Minnesota State Mankato would probably have to be all of the wonderful people, patients, friends and instructors I met along the way. I truly met some incredible lifelong friends and inspiring teachers. Both programs were rigorous, and I would not have been able to get through them without the wonderful support system I had. I am very grateful to have met such amazing people throughout my journey.

My most memorable and proudest moment was participating as a member of the student delegation for the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, where I represented dental hygiene students from Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. I was invited to the American Dental Hygiene Association national conference to be a student member of the house of delegates.

Some of my favorite experiences included Give Kids A Smile, where we provided free care to children. In addition, I enjoyed different outreach opportunities I was given to provide care and gain clinical experience as a student. The different outreach locations consisted of: Open Door Health Center, Mayo Clinic Health System Eastridge and the Harry Meyering Center in Mankato, Apple Tree Dental in Madelia and Hennepin Healthcare and Children’s Dental Services in the Twin Cities area.

All these experiences have prepared me to be a confident and passionate clinician, dental hygienist and dental therapist. I can’t wait to continue to learn and grow in the workforce and will always cherish my memories from Minnesota State Mankato. I am extremely grateful to have had such wonderful opportunities and to have received both my degrees from a wonderful school.

Rachel receiving her bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene in 2021... ... and her Master of Science in Advanced Dental Therapy in 2022!
College of Allied Health & Nursing | 15

Creating space for fun

Dan Lee ‘12 and Martie Kaus ‘08 started Circle the Earth Recreation Organization (CERO) to bring worldly views to Greater Mankato—and bring attention to the connection between mental health and recreation.

What inspired Circle the Earth Recreation Organization (CERO)?

Dan: I wanted to take recreational experiences that I enjoy and help create new opportunities for others—the feeling is too good to not share. So I said, ‘why not create something for the community?’

Martie: I always wanted to do something that made a difference for the community while using my degree. Dan’s ideas and concepts aligned with mine, so it was a really good fit for us to move forward together. We love bringing our community together in unique ways and offering activities for all ages and abilities.

How does leadership around parks and recreation impact the health and wellness of individuals and communities?

Dan: Health and wellness blossom in communities that embrace recreation. For example, Bentonville, Arkansas, flourishes because of mountain bikes and trail systems; mountain towns with great skiing create opportunities for play all through life—from kids and older adults. Bike trails, skate parks, concerts, art and camping are all opportunities to get outside. We have this locally but need to take it to the next level.

Martie: I think recreation and leisure are an incredibly important piece in a person’s overall mental and physical health which is why my emphasis was therapeutic recreation. With CERO, we understand that too, and that’s in the forefront of our minds when we come up with our plans.

Mankato Memories

Dan: Some of my favorite memories include doing hands-on classes outside with Rachelle or watching Dr. Joy Joyner get into the programs we planned. My time as a student helped me be persistent with tasks—every day in the real world it’s like getting new homework!

Martie: Hosting a wheelchair basketball game was super fun and an experience I’ll never forget. Adapting to various needs and inclusion is very important in what we are doing. My time as an RPLS student prepared me in many ways—from organizing to implementing our ideas.

Alumni Q+A: Recreation and Parks Leadership Studies
Health and wellness blossom in communities that embrace recreation.

Finding her voice

Jackie Wilson, a 2022 Social Work graduate, reflects on the opportunity to control her own narrative.

What were your key takeaways from Minnesota State Mankato?

College taught me two important lessons—finding my personal voice and finding my professional voice. As an African woman, I was always silenced. Sadly, it was safest to be silent because once I spoke my accent came out and I was always branded as different even though I’ve been in this country since I was 5 years old.

What did finding your voice mean to you?

First, when it came to finding my personal voice, I had help from my peers and the community. I was a part of the African Student Association and my church community. Being a member of the African Student Association provided a safe place for me to be me and to honor and respect my African heritage without fear of being labeled as different.

Second, finding my professional voice took me a little while to do. I knew I had found my professional voice in one of my last semesters when we were participating in practice interviews for class. This helped me understand that what I say to my clients can have a positive or negative impact on them.

You are a very recent graduate—how’s it going?

Right now, I’m studying for the state licensure and currently working as a youth counselor. I’m still contemplating which path I should take as a social worker. Working at my current job is my way of deciding if I want to pursue working with children or work primarily with adults.

Mankato Memories

One of my greatest memories was taking part in the Interprofessional Case Study Workshop in the College of Allied Health and Nursing. I had the opportunity to work with students from different majors in the College, gained knowledge of how other professions work and how to work together as one. While in the workshop and interacting with my peers, I realized how important my profession, social work, was and the ideas I shared helped others to see the value of what social workers can bring to our society.

interviews for class.

Alumni Q+A: Social Work
I knew I found my professional voice in my last semester when we were participating in practice
College of Allied Health & Nursing | 17

Keeping it real

Minnesota State Mankato’s simulation center’s nimble approach to training is helping transform healthcare on campus and in the community.

The Maverick Family Nursing Simulation Center is an exemplar of Minnesota State Mankato’s commitment to expand programming to meet both academic and workforce training needs of the region,” said Patricia Marincic Dean of the College of Allied Health and Nursing.

Workforce Simulation Director Kate Glogowski knew there was a rise in requests for use of the Center to provide training to current health professionals. In fact, the Center has experienced a 150 percent increase in use since the pandemic.

In the past, Glogowski said nurse education often occurred through on-the-job-training but opportunities for face-to-face learning were significantly decreased during the pandemic. Healthcare professionals simply didn’t have the time to enhance or learn new skills due to the high volume of patients and care needs.

“The University and the Center felt an overwhelming responsibility to help by taking the stress of training off healthcare professionals so they could focus on providing patient care,” Glogowski said.

To help meet workforce training needs, new customized training programs have been designed in the Center to enable providers to develop more complex skills.

Glogowski said simulation also provides the opportunity for healthcare professionals to practice team communication and timing to ensure that procedures are not only performed accurately, but efficiently, and that all members of the team are on the same page (see examples, opposite page).

On the academic side of the Center, Director Megan Dohm has also upped her game in both skills and simulation training to a growing number of prelicensure students.

Minnesota State Mankato is committed to increasing our prelicensure cohorts to 80 students to help meet the critical need for new nurses, Dean Marincic said. “Increasing training through high-impact simulation allows us to send a better prepared student to our clinical training sites and enhances the student learning experience.”

“Now more than ever, people are learning by doing” Glogowski said. “Simulation helps to move learning a skill or practice into doing. To be able to practice a skill over and over again helps the learner feel comfortable and builds confidence in their skills. It’s a really amazing process.”

Continuing Education and Workforce Development
“The University and the Center felt an overwhelming responsibility to help by taking the stress of training off healthcare professionals so they could focus on providing patient care.”
18 | Pulse Magazine 2023
—Kate Glogowski, Workforce Simulation Director

The Maverick Family Nursing Simulation Center is a dedicated area in the University’s state-of-the-art Clinical Sciences Building that gives students and healthcare professionals the opportunity to learn innovative best practices and the latest techniques related to patient care in a realistic environment.

Simulation: where academics and workforce meet

Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership

Training for new jobs/retraining existing employees

Through the Partnership and the state of Minnesota, the simulation center team is helping develop customized training programs for healthcare employees. One example, shown here, was a partnership designed to enhance long-term care nursing skills and to remove discharge barriers from Mayo Clinic Health System to a skilled nursing or longterm care facility such as Ecumen Pathstone.

Next Generation Certified Nursing Assistant Training

Addressing the shortage of Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs)

This program offered tuition-free training through funding from the American Recovery Act. Minnesota State Mankato offered courses and trained approximately 300 future health care employees through the Center. Once certified, participants were able to apply for positions in long-term care facilities, hospitals or veteran’s homes in southwest Minnesota Of those trained, many advanced directly into the profession, some enrolled in courses to receive additional credentials, others went into the nursing program with enhanced skills, and others chose to pursue a doctor or physician assistant path.

Allied Health Professions

Improving effectiveness and efficiency of core competencies

Although training programs for future and existing nurses remain popular, the Maverick Family Nursing Simulation Center is also responding to demand for simulation in other allied health professions such as athletic training (left) and speech-language pathology (right). Both programs have incorporated simulation into their curriculum and are continuing to develop scenarios through Megan Dohm, the simulation center’s Academic Simulation Director.


Making the R unds

News, updates and highlights from around the College—and the world

Dental Education brings oral health care to Belize

Dental Hygiene and Dental Education students worked with nearly 2,000 children (1,930 to be exact!) during a service-learning trip to Belize. They provided much needed oral health care after the pandemic, offering fluoride treatments to prevent decay, and helping with patient education, teaching patients how to brush and floss their teeth. Closer to home, the program continues to provide lowcost dental care at the Public Dental Clinic on the campus of Minnesota State Mankato and offers several opportunities for free dental care throughout the year. Please visit ahn.mnsu.edu for upcoming events.

Health Science students gain real-world advocacy skills

Student advocates from Applied Health Science participated in Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation’s Day at the Capitol. They joined their peers from across the state to encourage lawmakers to pass a bill to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol products, in Minnesota.

Health and Biomedical Sciences Summit focuses on health equity

The College of Allied Health and Nursing featured health equity as the topic of the 2023 Health and Biomedical Sciences Summit. “Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity” started a conversation about what health equity should look like in our region and featured keynote speaker Dr. Mary Owen, associate dean of Native American Health, Center of American Indian and Minority Health at the University of Minnesota. The event also featured a series of lightning round presenters, breakout sessions and an opportunity for students to share their research, like those shown here.

In Brief 20 | Pulse Magazine 2023

Athletic Training students and alumni go to the circus

Master’s in Athletic Training student Megumi Furuta (far left) had the opportunity to assist alumni Alesha Flom ’22, Connor Poling ‘17 and Joey Timgren ‘15 and the Circus Juventus Medical Team at TRIA Orthopedics providing movement screenings for the Circus artists, to identify areas

Social Work sees a new dimension through virtual reality

To provide a more experiential component to training students and community members to be mandated reporters, Social Work is collaborating with local law enforcement to help create a virtual reality/simulated experience to complement academic and community training that can be used in real-

College of Allied Health & Nursing | 21

Student Nurses Association named a national “Stellar School”

The Minnesota State University, Mankato chapter of the Student Nurses’ Association (SNA) received Stellar School recognition during the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) conference. Minnesota State Mankato was just one of five schools in the country to achieve this status and the only school in the Midwest. “Stellar” status was given to schools that have a commitment to shared governance and professional development of their students and faculty while supporting the ongoing involvement in NSNA. Pictured are the incoming SNA board and faculty advisors.

Glen Taylor Nursing Institute for Family and Society delegation travel to Ireland

Although not all pictured here, 15 current and retired faculty, along with students, joined 500 attendees from nearly 30 countries for the International Family Nursing Conference in Dublin, Ireland this past June. The Taylor Institute has had a longstanding partnership dating back to the beginning of IFNA and Minnesota State Mankato faculty continue to serve on committees, conduct webinars and contribute to the science of Family and Societal Nursing and Wellbeing.

RPLS looks to future with renamed program; announces 2023 Hall of Fame

To better reflect the program’s commitment to remaining at the forefront of its field, the RPLS department has been renamed Recreation and Parks Leadership Studies.

“The new name better conveys the scope of our programs to prospective students and provides a better connection to what employers are looking for,” Jonathan Hicks, Ph.D., professor and department chair of RPLS said. “RPLS has been a leader in recreational leadership for more than five decades and this evolution will help shape our programs for decades to come.”

The department also hosted the second annual “RPLS Day,” which celebrated the profession, the community-building nature of RPLS and the overall importance of RPLS in the lives of people everywhere. One of the highlights of the event was the RPLS Awards Ceremony, which welcomed their most recent RPLS Hall of Fame inductees, pictured left to right:

• Tom Schmitz, New Ulm Park and Recreation Director

• Linda McDonald, Mayo Clinic Health System Volunteer Coordinator

• Sandy Breuer, former Washington County, Minnesota Parks Director

• James Decker, longtime scholarship provider

• Mike Pflaum, former Badlands National Park Superintendent

• John Frawley, Minnesota Zoo Director

In Brief 22 | Pulse Magazine 2023



• Alcohol & Drug Studies

• Applied Health Science

o Health Education and Promotion

o Pre-Athletic Training

o Pre-Healthcare Administration Prep

o Pre-Occupational Therapy Prep

o Public Health

• Communication Sciences & Disorders

• Dental Hygiene

• Dental Hygiene – Degree Completion

• Exercise Science

o General Emphasis

o Practitioner Emphasis

• Family Consumer Science

o Child Development & Family Studies

o Dietetics

• Family Consumer Science Education

• Health and Physical Education

• Nursing

o Pre-Licensure

o RN Baccalaureate Completion Program

• Physical Education-Developmental Adapted Physical Education

• Recreation and Parks Leadership Studies

o Cultural and Natural Resource Management

o Recreation Leadership and Management

• Social Work

• Sport Management


• Alcohol & Drug Studies

• Athletic Coaching

• Communication Sciences & Disorders

• Developmental Adapted Physical Education (K-12)

• Family Consumer Science

o Child Development & Family Studies

o Consumer Studies

• Health Science

• Recreation

• Social Welfare

• Sports Medicine


• Advanced Dental Therapy

• Advanced Professional Nurse: Nurse Educator

• Advanced Professional Nurse: Nurse Leader

• Applied Health Science

• Athletic Training

• Communication Sciences & Disorders

• Exercise Physiology

• Nursing Practice (DNP)

• Physical Education

• Social Work

• Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology

• Sport Management

• Sport Management InternationalIncludes Study Abroad


• American Sign Language

• Child, Youth & Family Services

• Communication Sciences & Disorders (Post-Baccalaureate)


• Developmental Adapted Physical Education

• Family Consumer Science Education

• Physical Education Teacher Education

• School Health Education


• Center for Communication Sciences and Disorders

• Center for Sport and Performance Psychology

• Glen Taylor Nursing Institute for Family and Society

• Health Commons at Pond

• Public Dental Clinic

• Maverick Family Nursing Simulation Center

• Rec N’ Read Programs

• The Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® of Minnesota Center for Rural Behavioral Health

Program offered 100% online


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