Hear from students from each department within the CNPD on how your compassion this Giving Hearts Day will help make a difference:


Help support student mentoring and field experience in UND’s College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines on Giving Hearts Day.

Maximize your gift! The first $9,000 raised on Thursday, February 9, will be matched by the Dakota Medical Foundation and Philip Gisi, ’82, CEO of Edgewood Senior Living of Grand Forks.

Support students with the heart to pursue careers focused on helping others. Give at GivingHeartsDay.Org on February 9 between 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m.!


Shawna Buelow, Nursing, '18 (Sartell, Minn.)
"There wasn't really one event that made me choose to go nursing. But if I had to pick, it would be after I went on my mission trip to Africa in 2012. I knew I wanted to help people for the rest of my life. Once I got to college I changed majors around until I found the perfect one, which happened to be nursing!

I don't know if I could pick one great part of being a nursing major. I think the best part is when you make a patient's day, when they tell you how grateful they are or how you really made them feel special; it really makes you feel good about yourself! Since it is only my first semester I haven't done a ton so far class-wise but I think working at Altru Hospital really helps me put my learning to the test. Besides being able to work with such great people I think that the most fun thing is when I learn something new that day and then go to work and a patient has the condition that I had just learned. It really puts it all into perspective showing me that this stuff happens in real life, not just in textbooks."


Cheyenne Defender, RAIN Nursing, '18 (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, Turtle Mountain Reservation, Dunseith, N.D.)

"I chose to be a nursing major because it helps me to remember that I was made to help others. Before I graduated high school, I had the opportunity to care for my grandfather who had cancer. It brought me joy when he was joyful about me helping and being around. My physical ability to help became a tool to help my loved one, which also helped guide my decision to be a nurse. I strongly believe that true love and success comes from serving other human beings. Serving others on the physical level fascinates me. Having knowledge to critically think about how to help people heal or to prevent injury is basically a superpower, and a wonderful gift of knowledge given from the College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines.

The best part of having a major in nursing is the challenge that comes along with learning like a nurse. The tests and projects are difficult. The information seems excessive, but the overall result is always amazing. When you learn about the physiology of a disease, you can relate it to real life experiences. Experiencing connections between what you learned in your courses and what you are learning in real life is always an exciting moment because suddenly you become useful, which is the very best accomplishment for me. I have had many awesome experiences in different areas of nursing during my clinical experiences, but it seems to be the smallest and simplest events that stick in my mind. The best experience I have had as a nursing student happened while I was caring for an elderly lady at VEC. The resident I was caring for had dementia, and her mood and personality seemed to become increasingly happier and more positive each time I would see her. The last time I visited her, she was singing along to Christmas carols and every time I would greet her, she would smile and touch my face so softly and say, 'Hello.' Touch was so important for her happiness and comfort. Her gentleness and smile touched my heart every time. Caring for her was an emotional experience and a fun experience that helped me to begin to understand the reality of caring for elders with dementia, which is a reality that is very close to my heart."


Allison Erdman, Community Nutrition, '16 (Chanhassen, Minn.)

"I chose to complete a Bachelor of Science in Community Nutrition because I enjoy learning about the science behind physiological functions of the human body. I am fascinated by how the human body can be affected by a varying intake of nutrients. It intrigues me that overall health and longevity can be enhanced with a nutritional approach, and it is exciting to learn about chronic disease prevention through adequate nutrition. If communities from all over the country can be positively impacted from proper nutrition, then we have a chance to be a healthier nation as a whole. I love that being a community nutritionist opens the door for more possibilities in the healthcare field as well. I also have a passion for trying new recipes and foods. This major allows me to be creative with cooking!

My favorite part about being a Community Nutrition major is the chance to explore how nutrition can affect a wide range of populations. One of my favorite classes was Nutrition Throughout the Life Cycle. I was able to discover the change in nutritional needs ranging from infants to the elderly. The class gave me insight on gestational nutrition, sport’s nutrition, and diseases associated with poor nutrition. I hope to someday be able to use this knowledge to educate others on healthy nutritional intake. My favorite experience in the Nutrition Department has been in a Principles of Food Science class. The class was instructed to come up with a meal that had to follow specific criteria based on the nutritional component of the food. We were allowed to use creativity to come up with a meal of our choosing. Everyone in the class was allowed to critique each other’s project, which meant we had the chance to sample a lot of tasty food for a grade!"


Amy Hillebrand, Social Work, '18 (Grand Forks)

"I have always been interested in working with people, though I had changed my mind a few times on how exactly I wanted to do that. I think I made the choice to be a social worker right around the time my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child. This was a way I could change the world for the better for my children, one person at a time. It may sound a little corny, but that is exactly why I gravitated toward social work. The best part of being a social work major is learning about all the different populations of people you can impact, and then having the opportunity to be hands on and help. There is a ton of ways to get involved, so it is easy to try and see what suits you best before you get out there. I also love that once I get my degree and decide to work with one population, I can change my mind or my job and work with another population should I choose to.

The best experiences I have had as a social work major are because of the Student Social Work Association/Phi Alpha Club. I became an officer while taking my intro classes and I have had so much fun. I have learned a ton about working with different populations, done bake sales, parades, scavenger hunts, club outings, and planned banquets. I have met a ton of amazing students, and learned a ton from the faculty, and I have done a great deal of networking within the community. The club events and meetings are by far my favorite part of being a social work major!"


McKenna King, Dietetics, '17 (Grand Forks)

"I have always been interested in nutrition, but I really didn’t look into careers related to nutrition before starting college. I actually started at UND thinking I wanted to be an Occupational Therapist; however, it wasn’t until my freshman Fundamentals of Nutrition course that I realized there are many opportunities in this field! I started job shadowing community nutritionists and registered dietitians, until I realized dietetics was the route I wanted to take. I really like the medical nutrition therapy side of things, which is something I would not have been qualified to do as a community nutritionist.

Probably the best part of being a dietetics major is that I'm able to learn all about something I have great passion for. I have also really enjoyed getting to know my classmates. There are only 14 of us so you really get to know each and everyone of them. Our department participates in a variety of community projects, such as the community food drives, cooking with the Girl Scouts, and making tie blankets for St. Josephs, which are always fun! The most "fun" or best experience that I have been able to take part in with being a dietetics major is the supervised practice rotations. It feels good to take what you learn in the classroom and actually implement it with patients. I’ve been able to have a variety of experiences in the field and it definitely makes learning more 'fun'!"


Erin Lauckner, Dietetics, '18 (Kramer, N.D.)

"As a Nutrition and Dietetics student, this fall I was able to attend the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Exposition in Boston, MA with thousands of fellow nutrition students and dietitians. This event is filled with days of breakout sessions where I was able to listen to presentations and learn from experts in varying fields. Even as a student, I was able to network with other dietitians who had similar interests. It was a very exciting and inspiring event.

I have a sister who was very interested in nutrition at a young age and I followed in her footsteps. After graduating college the first time, I worked for several years and realized that my interest in nutrition was more than just a pastime, so I decided to return to college to pursue a degree. One of my favorite things, in school or out of school, is learning. Nutrition is a young science, so there is new and exciting information being released all the time, allowing me to constantly be learning new things."


Sadee Oullette, Social Work, '18 (Walhalla, N.D.)

"I chose to be a social work major for many reasons. My aunt is a social worker and I have always admired her for it. Another reason is I have always wanted to help people, in many different ways and I feel as a social worker that is possible. The best part for me is knowing that I am learning and preparing to help others in the future.

I think the best experience I have been able to take part in is being the student representative of the BSSW. This has helped me build relationships with a lot of my professors and helped me understand the program a little more. Another great experience is the friends I have made along the way; they make class more enjoyable. I have definitely made lifelong friendships through social work."