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New Mexico State University

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NMSU School of Nursing professors utilize gift for professional development

Learning isn?t exclusive to students at New Mexico State University. The faculty also strive to learn, and professional development allows instructors to do just that.

June Vermillion, nursing college assistant professor, was able to travel to a conference in Las Vegas because of a gift the NMSU School of Nursing in the College of Health and Social Services received from the Wheeler-Yourstone family. The $80,000 donation funds both faculty professional development and nursing student scholarships.

In January, Vermillion attended a one-day seminar, ?Concept-based Curriculum: What?s All the Buzz About?? She said she selected the conference because it is relevant for the department with a transition to the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium occurring in fall 2014.

?I wanted to learn as much as I could about teaching in a concept-based curriculum,? Vermillion said. ?It was very helpful, and it gave me a lot of ideas for when we implement it. In concept-based curriculum as faculty, we move back to being a facilitator so we are going to present a mini-lecture that?s brief, and then we design in-class activities that the students work on in groups. It is moving toward active, engaged learning.?

Evelin Wheeler said she was inspired to contribute to the college after seeing the educational and community benefits NMSU provided to her daughter, Anna Yourstone, who graduated with a bachelor?s degree in nursing in December 2011.

?We wanted to make a contribution with a ripple effect,? Wheeler said. ?We wanted to give people the ability to get a good education and be able to do things for their family and children, and we knew that NMSU would make good use of the gift.?

?The Wheeler-Yourstone family?s generosity is greatly appreciated by the School of Nursing, especially because it allows faculty to attend conferences that improve teaching, research and service components of academic life at New Mexico State University,? said Pamela Schultz, school of nursing director.

Vermillion, who has taught at NMSU since fall 2009, said she was honored to benefit from funds donated from a former student?s family.

?It?s very important for our students that they know and respect that the faculty are current in what is happening, not only in practice, but also in academia,? Vermillion said.