Of her teaching philosophy, Melinda says, “I believe students in all settings learn best when they are involved actively in their own learning process. There are several specific ways I encourage active involvement in my classroom. Primarily, students can select their preferred learning style modalities to optimize their experience within each learning unit. Second, students are provided clear contact information for technology and resources support to minimize barriers. Third, I prioritize communication on the first day of class, regardless of setting, regarding my office hours, phone number(s) and email for students to reach me for any reason. Fourth, I also prioritize learning about the interests and needs of each student, to help me build a strong rapport and relationship with them, as well as structure a class experience that is relevant to as many of the students as possible. I ask students, in return, to come to class with a positive attitude and the willingness to engage with the learning process of the day.
My goals and role as a nurse educator are to be a positive role model in holding myself to high expectations of preparation, communication with students, student encouragement and rapport, enthusiasm for teaching and nursing, timeliness in grading, and moral integrity. I believe in giving students gentle but honest answers to questions in a respectful manner. I have a goal of motivating and even inspiring students through this role modeling. I am here to foster learning, not impede it through unnecessary directives. I build communication within classes through clarity, frequency, humor as indicated, caring, patience, warmth, and a priority on creating learning communities in whatever setting the class occurs. I strive to enable students to develop transformational leadership goals, which include lifelong pursuit of knowledge, faith, kindness, and genuine interest in contributions of others to become the best versions of themselves. My calling is to carry the torch of nursing knowledge to the next generation of professionals and enact what William Butler Yeats called 'the [educational] lighting of a fire'.”
Melinda has been married to her husband of almost 40 years, has 3 grown sons, 2 daughters-in-law, and 1 granddaughter. She enjoys drawing, oils/acrylics painting, floral arranging, gardening, reading, and camping. She leads/hosts a small group church Bible study with her husband, assist Women’s weekly Bible study, and is a Prayer Team member.
Teaching experience other than UNW:
–Medical terminology courses at community colleges in Fort Collins and Denver, Colorado
–Extensive nursing staff teaching regarding evidence-based practices in role of Staff Development Coordinator
–Patient, family and nursing staff teaching in diabetes care as a diabetes nurse educator
–Patient, family and nursing staff educator as a co-author of a Minnesota Department of Health grant regarding end-of-life care in nursing homes