Together we ensure forward-thinking faculty
October 29, 2021
When reflecting on her three years at the University of Minnesota, School of Nursing senior Caroline Bejarano sees images more akin to family photos than yearbooks. “I could not have done this on my own,” says Bejarano. “I owe much of my success to the hardworking, intuitive and genuine faculty that have mentored me.”
The faculty are the reason many students choose the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota and why alumni and friends invested in endowed chairs and professorships during the Empowering Health campaign. School of Nursing professors challenge students to be the change they want to see in health care and have transformative impacts on teaching, learning and research. “They expect a lot from us, and for good reason, but at the end of the day they show up for us and encourage us to excel,” Bejarano says. In fact, endowed chairs and professorships are powerful tools in the recruitment, retention and recognition of a world-class faculty.
Clinical Associate Professor Laura Kirk and Clinical Assistant Professor Mary Steffes are among those who have had the greatest impact on Bejarano’s student experience. “I appreciate Professor Kirk’s ability to give grace, especially mid-pandemic, and encourage me to perform in-class activities or assignments for the pure joy of learning,” says Bejarano. “Professor Steffes was hands on with my learning and gave me so much valuable knowledge to expand my ability as a nurse.”
Palpable synergy is how Dean Connie White Delaney describes the relationship between exemplary educators and students. Indeed, it is what distinguishes the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota from its peer institutions. “I could not be more grateful for all the supportive faculty and staff that have helped me reach my full potential in such a rewarding field,” says Bejarano. “They are highly motivated to transform me and my peers into compassionate, hardworking and driven nurses that are ready to make a huge impact in the world.”