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Doug and Carla Salmon Foundation helps nursing alumna achieve dreams

For years it was Rachel Emshoff’s dream to one day become a registered nurse.

Emshoff, a UWO nursing grad, clearly remembers the day she made the decision to pursue a degree in nursing.

“I was in the hospital having my third baby. I had the same midwife for all three of my deliveries and she greatly inspired me to pursue a career in women’s health,” she said. “That night in the hospital, I decided I would get an education to support my three babies.”

This decision, however, was much easier said than done. At the time, she was in an abusive marriage and didn’t have much of a support system. That night in the hospital, she also made the difficult decision to file for divorce, making her a single mother with just one income to support her and her three children.

Rachel Emshoff

“I had my baby girl in October, filed for divorce soon after and that following summer I enrolled at the UW Oshkosh, Fox Cities campus,” she said.

On top of being a full-time student, Emshoff volunteered as a Fox Cities campus ambassador and worked multiple jobs in order to make ends meet. However, she was struggling to financially support herself and her three children alone.

That’s when the Doug and Carla Salmon Foundation stepped in to help with scholarships as needed throughout her college career.

With support from the foundation, Emshoff was able to focus more on her studies and work harder toward her goal of becoming a nurse. She eventually transferred to the Oshkosh campus to finish her bachelor’s in nursing in 2016.

Emshoff has since moved to Warner Robins, Georgia, where she is practicing nursing remotely from home. “I thank the Salmon Foundation for greatly bettering my life and helping me to be a positive role model for my kids. Now my dream is to help others in life.”

Provost John Koker (left) views the UWO Hmong research exhibit.

Xiong presents at Research in the Rotunda

Appleton native and junior nursing major Amy Xiong teamed with two other students and Mai See Thao, UW Oshkosh’s Hmong Studies director, to present the community-based exhibit Cia Siab in Wisconsin: A HMoob Story at the 18th Research in the Rotunda in Madison in March. The exhibit included stories, artifacts, objects and artistic representations of historical trauma, resilience and healing of the Hmong people in Wisconsin.

Thao said the student work shows how research can cover a lot of territory when you think of it as “a systematic investigation.”

The students are planning to create a traveling exhibit that will tour through Wisconsin in the year 2025. They hope to generate impact and help American history incorporate the Hmong narrative.

Left to right: Jennifer Wollert, Rhonda Guse, Michelle Fuss, Adrienne Benbrooks and Kimberly Vanevenhoven

Three alumni honored with Nightingale Awards

UW Oshkosh alumni Adrienne Benbrooks ’99, of ThedaCare Regional Medical Center–Appleton, and Jennifer Wollert ’07, of the Wisconsin Resource Center, earned 2022 Nightingale Award of Excellence in Nursing Practice honors at a ceremony held in April at the Culver Family Welcome Center.

The 2022 Nightingale Nurse Leader Award recipient also was a UW Oshkosh alumna: Kimberly Vanevenhoven ’10 and ’14 MSN, of ThedaCare Medical Center–Waupaca.

Benbrooks serves as registered nurse for the family birth care unit within ThedaCare Regional Medical Center–Appleton and provides expert labor, delivery and postpartum care for patients. She has become the unit’s postpartum hemorrhage expert, preparing the team by running emergency drills and educating new employees on best practices and protocol to save lives.

As a nurse clinician at the Wisconsin Resource Center, Wollert cares for mental health patients from the department of corrections and county jails. Although there are challenges involved with caring for patients dealing with mental health and legal challenges, she is able to navigate these situations with compassion and objectivity.

Vanevenhoven has dedicated over 13 years to nursing excellence and leadership. Currently serving as RN clinical manager at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center–Waupaca, she manages the family birth center, medical/surgical department and intensive care unit. Though brimming with leadership and administrative duties, she never loses sight of the value nurses play in direct patient care.

Additional Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice recipients include Michelle Fuss, of Children’s Wisconsin–Fox Valley; and Rhonda Guse, of Waupun Memorial Hospital.

Nursing students present capstone projects

Nursing students spent at least two semesters planning and researching topics before presenting their capstone projects at the UWO Honors Thesis Symposia in May. Seniors, their project titles and faculty advisers included:

Meghan Colley, of Bartlett, Illinois, presented An Integrative Review of the Barriers for Intensive Care Unit Nurses Providing Evidence-Based Practice of Delirium Management. The project was completed with adviser Wendy Bauer.

Katelyn Collins, of Roscoe, Illinois, presented Understanding Student Nurses’ Approaches to Pain Management. The project was completed with adviser Jason Mott.

Sydney Draeger, of Wausau, presented Undergraduate Nursing Students’ Perspectives of Entry into Practice during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The project was completed with adviser Wendy Bauer.

Bailey Krause, who also majored in Spanish, of Dorchester, presented Disparities in Latina Women’s Healthcare. The project was completed with adviser Isabel Álvarez.

Chloe Ricciardelli, of Waukesha, presented Barriers to BSN Education among ADN- and Diploma-Prepared Nurses. The project was completed with advisers Teresa Blakeslee and Paula McNiel.

Morgan Thiele, of Poynette, presented A Scoping Review of Patient-Centered Nurse Communication for Self-Management Support in Integrative Health. The project was completed with adviser Wendy Bauer.

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