Meisinger Meets Milestones with BSN Program

By Dan Silvia

Dr. Kimberley Meisinger has put down some roots in her almost six years at Bellevue University. She serves as Director for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Bachelor of Science in Public Health Education and the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences. A longtime Bellevue resident, she has even deeper roots in the community.

The program recently achieved a significant milestone when it earned accreditation through the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The validation is important on several levels, Meisinger said.

“While I always thought that the program was tremendous even before accreditation, this is recognition from outside experts saying, ‘We validate that everything that you’ve done meets the standard that we’ve outlined’,” Meisinger said. “As students graduate, they can go out into the workplace and those people who are hiring them are going to say,’ they’re CCNE accredited.’ It ensures the employer that a graduate has the kind of skills they need and they can hire them knowing that they are coming from a program that has a quality education. It’s important for the program, but equally is important for the students.”

Meisinger is working on attaining some personal milestones herself. She has been nominated for a position on the board for the American Nursing Association. She will be travelling to Washington D.C. to present, before the final vote for the board positions. Initially, Meisinger wasn’t sure she would apply, but could not pass up the opportunity to be an influencer.

“I’m always encouraging my students to become part of a professional organization and change how leadership looks in nursing,” Meisinger said. “I felt like if I’m going to tell my students to do it, then I should probably step up and do it myself.”

Meisinger came to Bellevue University while finishing up her dissertation for her Doctor of Nursing Practice and Clinical System Administration at Creighton University. A graduate of Bellevue West High School, Meisinger began her academic career earning her bachelor’s degree in Nursing at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She followed that up with a Master of Science in Nursing Education from Nebraska Wesleyan University. She earned a second master’s degree in Alternative Dispute Resolution from the Creighton University School of Law.

She began her Bellevue University career working with Dr. Mike Freel in the Master of Healthcare Administration program. An opportunity to lead the BSN program opened up about a year and a half later. Getting the program into shape to earn the CCNE accreditation has a large part of her job since that time.

“It’s been an immense amount of work, probably more work than I’ve ever done on one specific project,” Meisinger said. “I’m excited for the students because they wanted this for such a long time — to hear the excitement on the phone when I called them or to see the excitement when I saw them at graduation. They were jumping up and down, they were hugging, they were just thrilled. That probably was more satisfying than anything.”

Going forward, establishing a National Honor Society for nursing at the University is a high priority for Meisinger. The honor would add the potential for an additional credential that might help a resume stand out. Additionally, Meisinger is laying the groundwork for a Master of Science in Nursing program.

“That’s the next academic step that we want to make. It will allow our BSN students to have another place to come back to,” Meisinger said. “A doctorate in nursing is always on the back of my brain. We have a very small amount of nurse educators available across the country and we are requiring those educators to have a doctorate.”

The Bellevue University Bachelor of Science program is devoted to creating nurse leaders.

“Everything is kind of geared toward that. Our content is very leadership focused,” Meisinger said. “One thing that I like about our program is the students get to choose their practicum experience. We meet them where they’re at, so that they can create the experience they need to have. We’ll just guide them down the path. It makes it more personal for the students, but is also beneficial for the organizations because at the very end, they have a project or an outcome that the can actually do something with.”

When Meisinger isn’t helping the BSN program sprout, she is tending to those roots that help keep her grounded and growing herself.

Her oldest son, Kanin, will be attending Bellevue University this fall as a business major, while daughter Sierra will be a senior at Bellevue East High School. The youngest is Tess, who is a sophomore and is home schooled. Meisinger has been married to husband, Deric, for 16 years. Family have been her biggest supporters during her academic and career endeavors.

Meisinger enjoys spending time with her kids and reading. She mentors students in the Bellevue East Health Occupations Student Association. She has also recently taken up kayaking.

“I’m not good at it, but definitely trying,” she said.

With Meisinger’s drive you can rest assured that she will be an expert kayaker soon enough.

 

A Lot to Applaud with Nursing Student’s Graduation

By Dan Silvia

A wall of Bellevue University faculty and staff, all clad in purple robes, cheers on graduating students as they exit the Mid-America Center following the commencement ceremony. If all has gone as planned, this isn’t the first time students have encountered supportive staffers during their time at the University.

Dana Corwin discovered just that as she navigated the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, graduating with a 4.0 grade point average in Spring 2018. Corwin had praise for faculty and staff from her first interaction with the University all the way to the last.

An online student from Mayville, New York, Corwin first became aware of Bellevue University when a friend pitched it to her following a presentation at a local government office. Kerri Brown, Bellevue University’s representative at nearby Jamestown Community College, reached out to Corwin directly to let her know the details about what Bellevue University had to offer.

Once enrolled, Student Coach Holly Richie helped keep Corwin on the right track.

“She was unbelievable. She called me at home in New York to check in with me,” Corwin said. “She gave me reminders and information and support that was so helpful! I really valued that service and Holly was fantastic in every way.”

Dr. Kim Meisinger, the director for the nursing program, as well as Associate Professor Michelle Bahr, and Adjunct Professor Laurel Chadek all received praise from Corwin covering a wide of range of classes in her undergraduate experience.

“Dr. Meisinger, the department chair, was wonderful. She was encouraging and supportive, giving quick and ready communication. She was an amazing professor and such an important role model,” Corwin said. “Her ability to model the professional side of nursing and the academia was inspiring. Cool, calm, and collected, she has a strong personification of strength and grace. Her approach is collaborative, and her organizational skills and mentoring are awesome.”

While Bahr and Chadek don’t teach in the nursing program, their impact occurred while Corwin completed general education requirements and the Kirkpatrick Signature Series. Bahr taught an oral communications course that impressed Corwin, already an experienced public speaker.

“I have been doing public speaking for almost 15 years. Her feedback was so helpful, and she was very encouraging,” Corwin said. “You know you have learned new skills when you start to dissect others presentation skills and mentally check them off as they unfold in front of you.”

The Kirkpatrick Signature Series is a collection of three courses focused on American government and civics. Adjunct Chadek helped guide Corwin through the course.

“The timeliness of the feedback was crucial, since the content is not my major. The ability to have your work validated and commented on quickly, helped to ease my insecurities in this civics course,” Corwin said. “I applaud the university leadership for making this a core requirement and initiating citizenship in the education at Bellevue.”

The Nursing program was accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education just as Corwin was finishing up her degree requirements.

“I appreciate the implications of achieving accreditation and was very interested in the process,” she said. “Personally, it paves the way to pursue a master’s degree in nursing.”

Corwin works in Chautauqua County, New York on the southwest side of the state where she is the director of aging health services for the local agency on aging.

“I love the ability to understand and work with the social determinates of health and effect change in managing the challenges of community health,” Corwin said. “I also adore the population I work with. If I have done my job well, the people I am working for feel empowered, capable and engaged in improving and maintain their independence and dignity.”

While Corwin is across the country and graduation is in the rear view mirror, Bellevue University faculty and staff are still applauding her efforts.

New eSports Course Set to Help Gamers Level Up Their Streaming Skills

By Cris Hay-Merchant

As esports popularity continues to grow worldwide, two Bellevue University gaming gurus are helping the University level up by creating a new course focused on teaching students how to provide quality live streaming productions on streaming platforms like Twitch.tv.

Chris Vocelka, who will serve as course instructor, and Alex Rogers have developed “ESPT 110 Fundamentals of Streaming Media Production,” which will be available starting this fall through the College of Science and Technology. The undergraduate, three-credit-hour course fulfills BU’s General Education Technology requirement, and has no prerequisites.

“Streaming is an important element of esports,” explained Rogers, who coaches the Bruins eSports team. He said that gaming events, including competitive esports tournaments, are often delivered on specific platforms like Twitch.tv. Twitch, which was founded in 2011 and purchased by Amazon in 2014, is one of the world’s most popular online services for watching and streaming digital video broadcasts. The content streamed can be that of someone playing a video game, an  esports event,or other creative and IRL (In Real Life) content. Twitch.tv, for example, boasts 2 million-plus unique streamers every month, who access the service through an official Twitch app and website.

According to Vocelka, students who enroll in ESPT 110 will be among the first in the country to take an esports course outside of the game design realm. “Our focus will be to help students understand what you need to know and do to provide a quality streaming experience,” he said. “We’ll cover computer requirements and technology, as well as how to communicate effectively on streaming media channels.” To ensure the new course covers all the bases, Vocelka and Rogers have consulted with one of the world’s top livestreamers, Ben Lupo, who is better known by his gaming handle of “DrLupo.”

DrLupo is widely recognized as one of the top Twitch broadcasters, and frequently livestreams content from games such as Destiny and Fortnite. He has a following of more than 1.4 million followers on the Twitch platform and another 512,000-plus followers on YouTube. He also happens to live in Nebraska, which is what led Vocelka to reach out to him. “It’s been amazing working with him as we’ve built this course,” said Vocelka. “Thanks to DrLupo, the course is infused with true eSports culture and has a high standard of livestreaming production know-how built into its foundation.”

Vocelka points out that the course is open and will benefit any student – not just gamers – who want to produce high-quality streaming media content. Streaming was identified several years ago as a business trend to watch, and today consumer demand for both audio and video content continues to rise as people consume more and more entertainment and lifestyle content on mobile devices. In a study done by Livestream, 81 percent of audiences watched more live videos in 2016 than in 2015. And Deloitte’s annual digital media trends survey found that the percentage of U.S. households subscribing to a paid streaming video service grew a staggering 450 percent – from 10 to 55 percent – between 2009 and 2017. So, not surprisingly, businesses are recognizing that they can reach key audiences and improve their exposure as a way to boost sales. Across various sectors, companies are now using live streaming to enhance areas like marketing and customer service.

“We’re very excited about this course,” said Rogers. “The industry and businesses in general need content creators, media managers and other leaders who have the skills to produce quality live streaming events. This course will help enable that.”

 

Marketing Degrees Boost Havermann

By Dan Silvia

Meeting you where you are, when you are ready – some of the hallmarks offered by online education – can be a necessity for today’s working professional. Cheryl Havermann can attest to that.

Havermann was enjoying her job as a program assistant at the University of South Dakota (USD), but needed to complete her bachelor’s degree in order to move up. After examining USD’s traditional offerings, she estimated it would take her about seven years to complete. That just wasn’t going to work.

“I could only go part-time because I still had to work,” Havermann said. “I started looking around for some online options and Bellevue University popped up. I made some phone calls and before I knew it I was taking classes.”

Havermann had already earned her associate’s degree through Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska. She enrolled in Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management in 2012.

“I really liked the idea of the cohort where I was with the same group of students all the way through,” she said. “It was a much smaller group. It just really made us feel like we could reach out to each other, ask questions, and bounce ideas off each other. You might have a difference of opinion or see things a little bit differently. We all came from different backgrounds. We all had the same question to answer, but we all applied it to our current situation just a little bit differently.”

Havermann completed her bachelor’s in 2013 and advanced in her career at USD. She enjoyed her Bellevue University experience so much she enrolled in the Master of Science in Strategic Marketing program.

Dr. Julia Cronin-Gilmore and Adjunct Professor Ann Marie Johnson helped make her master’s program stand out.

“Both of them were very, very good. They were always happy to chat or answer anything that we might have an issue with understanding,” Havermann said. “I think I was very fortunate to have them as professors so they could bring their real-world experience into our classroom and help us gain that deeper level of learning.”

Havermann became a Web Content Editor at USD in the midst of her master’s program and later accepted her current position as Director of Marketing for the Yankton Medical Clinic.

“It’s a new challenge every day. I am a department of one,” Havermann said. “I do all of the marketing — everything from a form that a patient might fill out, to our billboards, to all of our websites, all of our social, everything.”

In addition to her job responsibilities, Havermann also recently decided to help out current students at her alma mater, and hopefully, receive some valuable feedback from them, as well. One of her first tasks at Yankton Medical Center was to start working on a website redesign. She contacted Cronin-Gilmore to seek some advice on consultants who might be able to assist. After chatting, the pair agreed to incorporate a critique of the website into the curriculum of an upcoming class.

“That’s real-life learning. Taking a real-life example from a business was one of the things that I enjoyed doing in my classes,” Havermann said. “It was very interesting to study what they did well and consider ways they could improve. I’m anxious to get back any feedback they have. I’m looking forward to hearing their ideas.”