Wheelhouse Talks: Marsha Rappley

On January 18th, I was able to attend the Wheelhouse Talks featuring Dr. Marsha Rappley, Dean of Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine. Dr Rappley shared perspectives gained from pivotal points in her life and delivered life lessons in growth and leadership.

Over the past year, I have been looking forward to this particular Wheelhouse Talk. I admire all Marsha Rappley has accomplished and her leadership style. There were several key points she made which she believes makes her a good leader, all of which I agree. Marsha states that one of the main reasons she can sleep at night is she knows she has an amazing team working for her and that she creates space for these people to let them develop their creativity.Creating this space allows them to do their job and giving them the freedom and time to develop better ways to work and preform. She also believes in a diverse team consisting of a variety of backgrounds. We must have a people from a variety of backgrounds so that we may be able to analize a problem from multiple vies. Honoring and respecting not only your own pathway but also others is key to developing and hiring the correct team. Much of the storys and perspectives Marsha shared made me think and realize that she thinks much the same way as I do.

After attending this wheelhouse talk, I was energized to take what I learned into the variety of Leadership roles I play. I also plan on taking what she had taught us and applying it into leadership roles I may participate in after graduation. I really enjoyed all she had to say and plan to keep the video of her speech so that I may always have to reflect back on!


Pediatric Clinical

This past semester, I was able to complete my pediatric rotation at Helen Devos Children’s Hospital, a member of Spectrum Health. I worked on the 6th floor, a general medical floor. I was looking forward to this rotation the most as I have always wanted to be a pediatric nurse.

This rotation will help me learn the skills needed of a pediatric nurse. I was able to pass medication, interact with both the patient and the parents, bottle feed infants, and assist with medical procedures. This rotation gave me the tools I needed to effectively interact with kids in the hospital and how to communicate with their patients. I was also able to interact with a variety of managers throughout the hosptial. On two days I was given the opportunity to spend the day in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and a Pediatric Specialty Office.

I will take what I learn from this rotation and apply it to my studies. I was able to make connections with other pediatric nurses and managers so that I can contact them with any further questions I might have. After graduation, I hope to pursue a career as a Pediatric Intensive Care nurse. Many of the skills I learned during this rotation will help me become the nurse I want to become.

Camp Oasis


Camp Oasis, a program of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, is a co-ed residential camp program that’s mission is to enrich the lives of children of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis by providing a safe an supportive camp community.  Camp is a weeklong event that happens every July that brings together over 160 campers and counselors with Inflamitory Bowl Disease (IBD). I have attended Camp Oasis since it started in 2001, the same year I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.

So What?

Camp Oasis allows campers and counselors to meet others with Crohn’s and/or Colitis. This allows those like me to create friendships with people who truly understand them and who they can share their IBD stories with. Every year I leave Camp Oasis with more confidence in myself and in my Crohn’s Disease

Now What?

This year I had a blast at camp and it gave me the strength and confidence I needed to overcome the challenges I face with Crohn’s Disease. This year was my 4th year as a camp counselor, and every year I realize that I want to work with kids. I love the impact you can have on a child and the impression you can leave. I am going to take this knowledge to better my skills in the clinical setting I will be placed in next semester in nursing school.

Grand Valley State University’s Enrichment Dinner

What? The Annual Enrichment Dinner is held in June every year to honor and thank donors who have helped Grand Valley continue their mission of “educating students to enrich their lives, their professions, and their societies.” This year I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Enrichment dinner as a guest. The Enrichment dinner served as the end of the “Shaping our Future Campaign” which was apart of the celebration of Grand Valley State University’s 50th anniversary. The night was filled with music, entertainment, terrific food, and great presentations. At the end of the night they announced that 95.3 million dollars were raised in their “Shaping our Future Campaign”.

So What? Many who attend this dinner are leaders in the community. During the cocktail hour I met up with Teri Losey, Special Assistant to the President of the University and Secretary for the Board of Trustees.  She helped me network and meet influential people both in the Grand Valley community and the greater Grand Rapids area. This was beneficial, as I got the chance to connect with many leaders of the community and allow them to get to know who I am. I was grateful for her help and next time I attend an event like this I have a larger network to mingle with.

Now What? This event allowed me to see how Grand Valley celebrates their donors and learn more about how they connect with Grand Valley alumni. This year I will be serving on the student engagement committee which will develop and implement a plan to teach current Grand Valley students about philanthropy, giving back to the university, and the real cost of higher education. Being able to meet people from the development office and meeting and talking to donors will help me share my input and ideas to the committee.