Faculty and staff news: New faces

New faces

As we ramp up to greet 120 new students in Fall 2023 (a 50% increase over prior years), we've added some exceptional new faces to our faculty and staff. We'd like for you to meet them!

Samantha Eads

Sam is passionate about sharing the gifts of nursing education with others, especially first-generation students and those interested in serving historically marginalized communities.

Lecturer Samantha Eads began her nursing career in 2005 as a member of the first cohort to graduate from IU School of Nursing Bloomington (IUSON BL). During her undergraduate studies, Sam worked as a student nurse at Bradford Woods’ Camp Riley.

After graduation, she trained in the operating room at Riley Children’s Hospital, specializing with the Neurological Surgical Team and helping to bring Child Life services to the inpatient surgical experience. During that time, she also worked Progressive Care at Methodist Hospital and earned a Master’s in Nursing Education from the University of Indianapolis in 2009, with internships at IUPUI and the Plainfield Correctional Facility.

California dreamin’

In 2011, Samantha and her family moved to northern California, where she worked with veterans and active-duty military personnel as a nurse in nephrology at David Grant USAF Medical Center. She returned to school in 2012, earning a post-master’s Family Nurse Practitioner degree from Sonoma State University in 2014, with internships at Kaiser Permanente, Northern California Medical Associates, and Coastal Health Alliance. She also had the distinct pleasure of teaching many different courses at a local Licensed Vocational Nursing college, an experience that further solidified her love and enthusiasm for teaching.

Coming home

Sam and her family returned to Bloomington in 2015. That first year, she tried something new by teaching the Family Gardening Program at IU’s Hilltop Garden & Nature Center. She also started a garden club at a local elementary school and worked as a volunteer at many of the non-profits around southern Indiana, including Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, Middle Way House, and Hands Together for Haiti.

In 2016, she went back to health care full-time, working as a Nurse Practitioner in the Emergency Department at Bloomington Hospital and as a primary care clinician for Volunteers in Medicine. She continued this until late 2019 when she, once again, felt the urge to return to school and complete a Doctorate in Nursing Practice. She was accepted into the University of Minnesota’s Integrative Health and Healing DNP program and left bedside nursing at the end of January 2020 … never anticipating what would happen next.


When COVID shut the world down in March of 2020, Samantha attended classes online and stayed home with her two children while her husband, who is also in health care, continued to work. Seeing the toll that the pandemic was taking on their family and friends, they both reflected on what could be done to benefit the community. From those discussions came the reopening of Morgenstern’s, a beloved Bloomington bookstore from the 1990’s. In 2021, Sam put her doctoral studies “on hold” to help as part owner of Morgenstern’s, which is now thriving as Indiana’s largest independent bookstore and a “third-space” for community events, local music, and creative expression.

Joining our faculty

In early 2022, Sam resumed her teaching career as an adjunct faculty at IUSON BL and was thrilled to begin working at the school as a full-time lecturer in January 2023. As the first nurse in her family, she credits her nursing education as the primary key to her success.

“Nursing school changed my life,” she says. “It was the first place I learned in-depth knowledge about wellness and critical thinking. These two cornerstones have been at the heart of so many positive events that have happened since.”

Sam is passionate about sharing the gifts of nursing education with others, especially first-generation students and those interested in serving historically marginalized communities. She also intends to return to her doctoral studies, focusing on the benefits of whole health systems from around the world.

Away from work

When she is not thinking about nursing and teaching, Sam enjoys writing and reading poetry, playing the piano, gardening, traveling, and spending time with her two children, now ages 13 and 11.

Patti Holt

One of Patti’s favorite times each year is commencement, as she sees students reach their goals and begin the next chapter in their journey.

Assistant Director of Business Affairs Patti Holt began her career with Indiana University on the IUPUI campus in 2001, in Vice Chancellor Trudy Banta’s office.

A lifelong learner

While working on campus, Patti began taking higher education classes – a lifelong dream that had been put on hold due to family responsibilities. Soon after joining IUPUI, she completed an Associate degree in General Studies. While taking classes for her Associate’s, she took an elective class, Human Behavior in Organizations, and found her educational passion! This course propelled her to completing a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership & Supervision, followed by a Master of Science in Adult Education. Patti loves higher education and considers herself a ‘lifelong learner.’

Providing the foundation

Patti has held several different positions on the IUPUI campus, including office manager in the IU School of Science, Department of Mathematical Sciences, and director of human resources & financial services at the IU School of Medicine, Graduate Division. Each of these positions has helped her learn many of IU’s financial and human resource policies and procedures and provided her with a myriad of opportunities to work with students throughout their years in higher education.

Says Patti, “I am so excited to have the opportunity to be a part of educating future nurses by providing faculty and staff with the financial foundation they need to teach and advise students at such a pivotal time in their education.” In fact, one of Patti’s favorite times each year is commencement, as she sees students reach their goals and begin the next chapter in their journey.

Away from work

When Patti is not immersed in the financial spreadsheet ‘zone’ or working on human resources-related projects, she can be found spending time with her rather large family (which requires some extensive travel!), reading books to be discussed in one of the three book groups she participates in, or volunteering with various service organizations.

Recently, she has become very interested in family history and is spending a lot of time discovering her ancestors!

Elaine Barr

“I am excited about returning to Bloomington and joining the IUSON team to support our students.”

Academic Advisor Elaine Barr comes to us from IU Southeast’s School of Education. Elaine was the campus’s primary academic advisor for elementary, secondary, and special education programs and worked extensively in the Louisville metro area with community schools to recruit and support students when enrolling at IUS.

An Indianapolis native

Originally from Indianapolis, Elaine has worked in higher education since 2004 – starting in the IU Office of the Registrar working with student records before moving on to Ohio State’s undergraduate admissions.

Leaving Ohio State, Elaine attended graduate school at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she gained valuable experience in teaching and tutoring. She also studied the history of science and literature, examining how scientific developments influence literature and how literary narratives are used to communicate popular science.

Back home in Indiana

After the birth of her daughter, Alice, “we returned home to Indiana, where I continued to teach writing at Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington.

“Since then, I’ve focused on developing as an advisor and coach, gaining experience by working with first-year students in the University Division and graduate students in the Department of Sociology.”

Away from work

When not advising our students, Elaine is interested in local music, film, and writing. She particularly enjoys reading about history, popular science, and stories focusing on community, public health, and wellness.

“I am excited to return to Bloomington,” she says, “and joining the IUSON team to support our students.”