Student corner

Saluting our Student Ambassadors!

A new program increases student presence and input at IU School of Nursing Bloomington.

During the 2022–23 academic year, IUSON BL launched its new Student Ambassador program.

Our Student Ambassadors serve as representatives of both our school and their classmates. The Student Ambassadors offer constructive feedback and suggestions from our students to IUSON BL leadership; participate in student engagement activities, such as conducting tours of the Health Sciences Building and answering questions from pre-nursing students and their families; and promoting a culture of care throughout our school.

We’d like you to meet our 2022–23 Student Ambassadors.

Miranda Paladino

As a child, senior Miranda Paladino was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis. “After being treated by the nurses at Cincinnati Children’s hospital,” she says, “I realized that nursing was my passion. As a Student Ambassador, Miranda wanted “to bring comfort to freshman applying to the nursing school. I did not have a role model in nursing to ask questions to, and I wanted to be that for others!”

Anna Cook

Senior Anna Cook chose nursing because “nurses directly impact patients' lives day in and day out,” she says. “I also love how nursing is so versatile. There are many different types of nursing, as well as opportunities to further your career.” Anna’s goal as a Student Ambassador was “to be able to share my IUSON experience with future nursing students. I also wanted to collaborate with the other Student Ambassadors to advocate for and engage our nursing students.”

Keto Nkemeh

Keto Nkemeh represented our junior nursing students. Keto chose nursing because “all my life, I’ve looked up to my parents who are health care professionals and, most especially, my mom who is also a nurse.” As a Student Ambassador, Keto strives to guide our pre-nursing students. “It’s always rewarding to host Q&A’s, answering any questions they might have. I always try to provide as much information as I can because I remember how lost I seemed to be when I was in their position, without the guidance of students who were already in the program. As a nurse, I believe it’s my duty to help as many people in this world as I can, and I’m glad I get to start here!”

Sydney Schons

Sophomore Sydney Schons hails from Cleveland, OH. “I have always wanted to become a nurse because I want my day-to-day life to include positive interactions that benefit the well-being of others,” she says, “and the profession emphasizes kindness and compassion.” Sydney will continue in her role as Student Ambassador in the 2023–24 school year. “As an ambassador, I hope to help grow student/faculty relationships. The instructors here are so knowledgeable, and I really want to help students take full advantage of these relationships.”

Averie Miner

Sophomore Averie Miner rounds out our list of 2022–23 Student Ambassadors. Like Keto Nkemeh, Averie follows in the footsteps of her mother, who is a registered nurse. “As a student ambassador,” she says, “I value creating a welcoming environment for all students, where each individual feels free to voice their opinions and create change in our program. I hope to make the transition into the nursing program smoother, and help pre-nursing students navigate the admissions process, addressing any concerns they may have and showing what we have to offer.” Like Keto and Sydney, Averie will continue in her role as Student Ambassador during the 2023–24 school year.

Celebrating Excellence

Four outstanding students help tackle diversity inequities and student wellness.

During the 2022-23 school year, IUSON BL also awarded its first Excellence Awards to four outstanding students.

Sydney Schons

This past school year, sophomore nursing student and IUSON BL Student Ambassador Sydney Schons was awarded the IU Bloomington Excellence in Student Wellness scholarship. “I am so honored to receive this award,” she says. “I am truly passionate about creating an optimistic and safe learning environment in the nursing program. I will continue to advocate for the wellness of my peers and help guide this program in a direction that benefits each and every student. I look forward to seeing the unlimited success the program will reach!”

Theophilia Denadi

Junior nursing student Theophilia Denadi joined Sydney as one of our fall Excellence Award winners, receiving the IU Bloomington Excellence in Leadership of Nursing Diversity Initiatives scholarship. Born and raised in Benin, West Africa, Theophilia is being recognized for her efforts in promoting IUSON BL’s diversity initiatives. “Diversity in nursing school makes the learning environment more comfortable for students from every background,” she says. “Establishing such an environment encourages them to feel comfortable in their classes, eager to learn, and ready to help others in their communities. Representation matters not only for the community, but for the future of the world.”

Sierra Ryan

Second Degree Accelerated Track student Sierra Ryan was awarded the spring IU Bloomington Excellence in Rural Health Collaboration Award. Sierra is an outstanding first-generation bilingual college graduate who hopes to work as a Pediatric Intensive Care nurse at Riley Children’s Hospital after she graduates. “I was thrilled to learn of my selection for this honor,” she says, “and I promise you I will work very hard and eventually give something back to others, both as a nurse and possibly a scholarship for future students like me.”

Nayoung Kim

Soon-to-be-junior nursing student Nayoung Kim is the recipient of the Spring IU Bloomington Excellence in Leadership of Nursing Diversity Initiatives scholarship. “I chose nursing,” she says, “because I’ve always had a passion for health care and wanted to work directly with patients. As an Asian American, I have a great sense of pride in my culture and the diversity that I bring to IUSON. I wish to be a nurse who creates a welcoming and comfortable environment for people of all backgrounds and who encourages this behavior throughout the field of health care.”