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Q&A with BSN traditional student Kylan Myers

Kylan Myers

Name, Program, Grad year: Kylan Myers, BSN Traditional, May 2020

What attracted you to Bellin College?

I grew up in a very small town, so naturally, I was attracted to Bellin College’s small class sizes. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to attend another small school, but once I attended an information session, I knew where my heart was set on going. Bellin has just about everything any prospective student could want, so after getting accepted, it was an obvious choice for me.

What has been the best part about being in school at Bellin College?

There are so many things that come to mind when being asked this question. If we were to look at it from an academic standpoint, I would say the best part of Bellin College is definitely the hands-on experience offered to us in the health science resource center (HSRC) in the lower level. While deciding on where I wanted to go to college, I toured many nursing schools and was less than impressed with what they had to offer. This is why attending a healthcare centered school is great. When looking at the best part of school from a social aspect, I would have to say the friends I have gained and the connections I have made with others are my favorite. Everyone at Bellin is so friendly, making it an even better environment or community to be a part of.

What made you pursue healthcare? 

As a little girl, I was deathly afraid of animals, but for some bizarre reason, I always dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. I don’t know if I thought I would get over my fears before graduating from school, or if I was like any other child that chose the first career that came to mind whenever asked. Throughout middle and high school, our guidance counselors always had us take career path quizzes. Each time I took these, nursing was in my top three. Unlike many, I do not have a parent or grandmother or even a sibling that is a nurse. I didn’t know much about nursing until my junior year of high school. After attending an information session and working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA), it was then I decided that nursing was the path for me. I had no revelation or moment that it occurred to me, I just knew that nursing was the right choice for me.

What are your future goals? What do you see yourself doing after graduation?

After graduation, I plan on moving back to my hometown in northern Wisconsin. Since I have not yet had any specialty clinical experience, I am not 100% sure what area I hope to be in. As long as I am working as a nurse, I am sure I will be happy. My hopes are to stay working as a nurse, but I would definitely consider going back to get my MSN as a Family Nurse Practitioner once I have gained enough experience as an RN.

Any advice for students who might be thinking about coming to school at Bellin College?

If you are thinking about coming to Bellin College even a little bit, I say go for it. My expectations as a senior in high school have changed drastically from my reality as a now senior in college. Bellin College may not be well known everywhere yet, but I can promise you that in the Green Bay area, it has an excellent reputation and there is a reason for it. No matter what degree you are coming to Bellin College for, have an open mind and be ready to learn more than you ever thought possible! This is a great school that I am so thankful to be attending.

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Siblings carry on Bellin College tradition

Students sit in the atrium.

Max and Nellie Soda

A long-standing tradition at Bellin College has been members from the same family attending the school. Whether it’s generational with students attending the same school as a parent or grandparent, or siblings attending together or right after each other, there are many instances of this throughout the years. This spring, Bellin College was home to several sets of siblings. These pairs of siblings have come forward to share their story. They all come from various backgrounds, but all have one thing in common — the desire to help people.

Nellie and Max Soda

Nellie and Max Soda are originally from Princeton, Wisconsin, in Green Lake County. Growing up on a farm with a family of six, their mother’s background as a nurse had an influence on her children.

Nellie Soda found the sonography field with a little help from older brother Max. It was a high school sports injury Max received that sparked an interest in that type of healthcare for Nellie.

Max was a sophomore in high school when he needed an ultrasound on his kidney after coming down on another player’s knee wrong at football practice. Seeing the technology during the ultrasound was intriguing to Nellie, who was a sixth-grader at the time.

“I always wanted to be in healthcare, but I didn’t know which one to do,” she said. “So I liked the technology of sonography because I didn’t really want to do nursing. I’d heard enough war stories from mom, so I didn’t want to do that part. I wanted to do something a little bit different that would still
be useful.”

Their mom being an OB nurse at ThedaCare Medical Center-Berlin was a factor in Max’s choice to join the 15-month nursing program. He came to the college in January and will be graduating in October 2020. Max began his healthcare pursuits at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in biology before following in his sister’s footsteps and coming to Bellin College.

“Based on the prior education that I had to build off of, the accelerated program seemed like the best route, because you can get in and get out, start making money and get on with life,” he said. “But also that it’s in-person, unlike other accelerated programs. I learn better in person versus an online program.”

While in different programs and different career paths, they still find time to get together as part of a family; church and Sam’s Club being favorite outings. Currently, three Soda siblings are in the Green Bay area. Another brother is studying at UW-Green Bay.

Future plans for the pair are still somewhat up in the air. Max thinks he’d enjoy working in an operating room or an emergency room or doing wound care and maybe eventually becoming a traveling nurse. Nellie is still waiting to find out what parts of sonography she enjoys most or even possibly obtaining more education in the future. Depending on the circumstances she’d like to move back home to the Princeton area.

Erin and Shannon McCauley

Sisters study on campus.

Erin McCauley, left, and Shannon McCaulley study in the atrium at Bellin College.

Sisters Erin and Shannon McCauley both graduated in May 2019, from the nursing program, however, they didn’t come in on the same path. They both found themselves at UW-La Crosse before coming into Bellin College. Erin came to the college as a junior transfer student and Shannon as a 15-month student.

Being in school together wasn’t new for the sisters since they overlapped about two years while at UWL, however, they haven’t lived together since they were in high school. While at Bellin College they only had maternity class together.

“It’s been really nice because we’ve had overlap with all of our classes, so studying together and learning from each other,” Erin said.

Shannon echoed those thoughts. “Since she’s in the JTO option she’s taken the classes before me, so if I have questions she’s really good at helping me or clarifying certain disease processes,” she said. “So she helps me a lot if I’m unsure of information, so that’s been nice.”

Both sisters knew they wanted to be in healthcare in some capacity, but were unsure in which direction they would go.

“Seeing our family and friends and their interactions with the nurses just cemented the fact that I should be a nurse,” Erin said.

Shannon has always been interested in healthcare and nursing. She says the catalyst was watching a friend’s family member going through heart failure and seeing how the nurses handled the family. Observing how nurses explained the information to them in terms they could understand really solidified her decision to go into nursing.

“I knew I wanted to be in healthcare,” Shannon said. “I didn’t know exactly in what way. I thought maybe radiation therapy originally, and then I shadowed and was like ‘nope, I want more hands-on care.’ And just from talking to family members and seeing how much of an impact nurses have, I just knew that was probably where I was headed.”

As for the future, Erin recently accepted a job on the Neuro Floor at Meriter Hospital in Madison. She eventually would like to continue her education with EMT courses and more.

Shannon recently accepted a job at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee on a Medical Surgical Telemetry Unit, but ultimately her goal is to “be someone that helps people in a time of need and provides that relief and comfort when they’re going through a terrible time, and who people respect and can go to if they’re having questions or
concerns.”

Brayden and Brock Maroszek

Brothers hold a Bellin College pennant

Brock, left, and Brayden Maroszek

Brayden and Brock Maroszek of Suamico were both in the BSN traditional program this spring. Being in the same track but on a two-year delay, Brayden graduated in May 2019 while Brock is class of 2021, has helped them continue the bond they forged while growing up.

“I really enjoy seeing him around and it is fun to see him improve. We also are able to help one another like a tutor would,” Brayden said.

Brayden always knew he wanted to go into the medical field.

“When I was in eighth grade I was diagnosed with epilepsy and in the following year had to have brain surgery,” he said. “As a result, I spent a lot of time at Froedtert Hospital and got to see what nurses did. I also wanted to give back after everything other people did for me.”

Brock had a little hesitation when he decided to join the nursing field because he is male, but he now says “it’s where I should be.” One way he looks to make a difference could be by working with male patients. On one of his first clinical experiences, he was able to bring an older male patient out of his shell a little bit and was able to connect with him about sports.

“I went in there and started talking to him and you could tell he didn’t want to engage with other people,” he said. “So basically I went out of my way and I saw on his board he had all football and sports stuff. So I asked him about the Badgers game and he just got a big smile on his face, like nobody had talked to him about that before. That was one of my really good moments in clinical.”

Adrenaline and excitement also attracted Brock to healthcare.

“I always wanted to do something kind of exciting and where I wouldn’t regret all the work I did,” Brock said. “Where I don’t sit in an office every day.”

Aside from the classroom, Brayden found hands-on training most useful.

“My favorite memories from Bellin College are spending time with my classmates and the disaster simulations,” Brayden said. “I really enjoyed being both the patient and the nurse. I feel those sims were great training for both people involved in the situation such as active shooters and how to operate in a hospital when there are large amounts of
patients arriving.”

Brayden graduated from Bellin College on May 18, 2019. His future goals include working at Aspirus Wausau Hospital and, down the line, getting his master’s degree and becoming a nurse practitioner.

Brock’s biggest dream is to be a nurse on a flight team or to one day work in Hawaii. Beyond that, becoming a nurse practitioner, nurse educator or nurse anesthetist are also on his radar.

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Bellin College students named to Spring 2019 Dean’s List

Bellin College would like to congratulate our students who have been named to the spring semester 2019 dean’s list. The dean’s list is composed of students who earned a grade-point average of 3.5 or better in Bellin College courses, are in good disciplinary standing, and carry at least 6 credits.

Highest Honors (3.90-4.0 GPA)

Rachel Abrahamson

Tiffany Alberg

Casey Andersen

Cassie Mae Anderson

Sarah Batten

Kayla  Bauer

Elizabeth Bildings

Alexandria Campshure

Samantha Cryderman

Jane Daelke

Kaisa Davison

Aurora Delebreau

Olivia  Diedrich

Valerie  Ehr

Nicole Erdmann

Tiegan Fager

Rebecca Fernlund

Ashley Fenn

Sarah Finnel

Jennie Fonseca Alvarado

Mikayla Foskett

Danielle Gardner

Jadyn  Gentz

Kennedy Getsfried

Morgan Graetz

Mary Grandahl

Laura Gransell

Cassidy Grieger

Kathleen Guilette

Melanie Haedt

Jennifer Hanes

Brooke Hanmann

Lauren Harvey

Jodi Hattendorf

Jamie Healy

Caitlyn Henry

Briana Jaeckels

Haley Jankowski

Joann Jindrick

Christine Kaburu

Taylor Korth

Charlotte Koshak

Macy Krenke

Kamryn Koss

Jenna Leitermann

Sydney Lemerond

Alexis Lemieux

Kacie Lenhart

Olivia Letter

Lily Liebmann

Michaela Machurick

Kathryn Makeever

Kayli Mallien

Luke Manderle

Brock Maroszek

Erin McCauley

Houa Moua

Haley Nackers

Miranda Natrop

Mikayla Neveau

Cassandra  Nyman

Celia  Osorno

Maria Pankow

Melissa Patnode

Michelle Paulson

Allison Prebeg

Claire Raethke

Natalie Reinhard

Victoria Routhieaux

Larissa Russell

Josh Salm

Lindsey Schueller

Olivia Schuh

Carly Schulz

Maximilian Soda

Nellie Soda

Robert  Sorenson

Kristen  Stencil

Brady Tanck

Shannon Thoma

Tammy Topper-Maki

Adrianna Tupper

Allie Van Pay

Caroline Wagner

Rachael Whitefield

Alexis Wilber

Ivy Williams

Danielle Winter

Samantha Yenter

Ashley Young

Samantha Zittlow

Holly Zorn

High Honors (3.75-3.89 GPA):

Sierra Bates

Anna Berghoefer

Abby Broeniman

Alexandra Bellile

Jacey Bal

Megan Boudreau

Martha Daley

Chelsea DeShambo

Kristen Douglass

Erica Ensrud

Daniel Flynn

Kevin Foote

Alexander Goyette

Kristin Griesbacher

Rebekah Hammond

Alyssa Jonet

Lauren Leick

Lydia Luebke

Kristan Molling

Emily Murphy

Kylan Myers

Jensen Navis

Ellen Noldin

Celine O’Toole

Morgan Rabideau

David Rasmussen

Samantha Renard

Megan Ross

Ashley Schukow

Chloe Springer

McKayla Steenbock

Jordan Thiry

Meghan Tilot

Miranda VanLannen

Anna Verbruggen

Amber Wagner

Taylor Weier

Ceilidh Westenberger

Samantha Zabel

Kalysta Zdanowski

Jenna Ziorgen

Honors (3.50-3.74 GPA)

Jordan Alarcon

Patience Alberts

Candice Anderson

Noah Arndt

Jessica Bohlman

Kelsey Brauer

Rebecca Claas

Elizabeth Collins

Amy Davids

Skylar Donath

McKenna Eisch

Brianna Evers

Hannah Flury

Hanah Gadke

Moriah Grahl

Carolyn Harz

Katherine Henning

Brooke Janquart

Katherine Knapp

Kristina Krier

Titus Lam

Maria Lamers

Mariah Loe

Elizabeth Madsen

Victoria Maloney

Alexis Marvin

Christina Maser

Katherine McLain

Nadine Miller

Emily Nelson

Miriah Nelson

Jacob Nichols

Danielle Niemi

Samantha Olson

Chloe Pallex

Paige Pichette

Steel Ricke

Chelsea Ronsman

Natalie Rose

Tabatha Ruska

McKenzie Scheld

Kenzie Schmidt

Brooke Seeholzer

Lindsey Semler

Emily Spindt

Ashley Sturzl

Brianna Taplin

Abigael Tesch

Tara Tursellino

Chloe Valdivia

Nicole Van Enkenvoort

Jessica Wagner

Kaitlyn Wagner

Gabriella Weier

Jordan Wellens

Taylor Wilcox

Sierra Wille

Chelsea Wollenberg

Melissa Zernicke

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Eric Chaconas named new DScPT program director

Dr. Eric Chaconas has been named the new Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy program director at Bellin College. The college recently expanded its offerings in collaboration with Evidence in Motion to include post-graduate physical therapy programs.

“It’s an absolute honor to join such a high-performing team,” Chaconas said. “The people that make up this program, Bellin College, Evidence in Motion and Bellin Health are the reason I pursued this position.  Everyone I have interacted with is intrinsically driven to provide a premier post-professional educational experience for physical therapists.” 

The DScPT degree program expands on the knowledge, skills, and abilities obtained from the fellowship certificate with an emphasis on research, educational leadership and advanced practice. Students may choose to complete only the fellowship component or may choose to continue to complete the DScPT degree. Successful completion of an orthopaedic manual physical therapy fellowship is required to complete the DScPT program.

“Our profession really needs a program like this to meet the growing demand for teaching and research faculty in the physical therapy profession,” Chaconas said. “We need more physical therapists trained at the Fellowship and Doctor of Science level to advance research and teach in our physical therapy programs throughout the United States.”

Chaconas practiced physical therapy while continuing his education to become a doctor of physical therapy. He has taught at many levels, most recently as an associate professor at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences.  

“Bellin College is truly a center of excellence, partnered with one of the highest performing health systems in the United States in Bellin Health and then Evidence in Motion which is the premier educational company in the physical therapy profession,” he said. “This DScPT program is in the perfect position to bring together the absolute best from the clinical, educational and research aspects of our industry.”

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