Siblings carry on Bellin College tradition
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
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 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
Brayden and Brock 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
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.