During WWII, my father met a German family who was as disgusted as he that the world could not get along peacefully. Together, they vowed to educate and raise both their families with global interests and education, so that we children would understand the necessity of being culturally sensitive and the importance of diversity. All throughout my childhood, we travelled to Germany, getting to know our German neighbors; sometimes I even was allowed to go alone and visit for summers and attend German public school. During my junior year in high school, I received a Rotary Scholarship to study in a small German country, Liechtenstein, for one year. Renewing my passion for languages and culture, I didn’t return to the United States for the following fifteen years, and that diverse experience has helped shape my life. During my time overseas, I travelled extensively around Europe and studied languages, eventually completing my interpretation/translation degree in German and English, as well as intense studies in Italian and French. I began working at a Liechtenstein law office as a paralegal interpreter and established my family there.
When I returned to the States, I was finally able to pursue my dream of becoming a nurse. Studying at Grand View University helped me understand the importance of social responsibility in nursing, and I became interested in professional association work and local political activities in nursing, as well as working as a labor and delivery nurse in a local hospital. My Master’s in Nursing was completed in 2002 at Drake University and I was employed as a nurse manager of a local public health organization, passionate about maternal-child health when Grand View recruited me to teach. One semester was all it took to find out that I was hooked on the opportunities to influence the nursing profession through teaching! What a wonderful and exciting ride it has been since then: my doctorate was completed in 2010 and my research agenda emphasizes the importance of nurses coming together in education to positively influence health care and patient safety. I am thrilled to be employed in the school that helped me formulate my ideas about professionalism in nursing and to be teaching alongside some of the best peers in nursing!