Texas Roadhouse Fundraiser

Meet the Group

Here is our 2014 UMaine Nursing in Belize team!

I am a 1984 BSN graduate from the University of Southern Maine.  I graduate from the University of Maine with my MSN in 2013.  I began working as a nursing tech, caring for patients at the age of 15.  I have had the opportunity to work with so many different people and in multiple areas of health care.  I became a nurse educator in 2003, teaching clinical in the acute care setting where I worked as a primary nurse. 
I found that I had a passion for guiding and helping students becoming nurses and team members.  It was incredibly rewarding to have clinical students become colleagues. 
In 2010, I accepted a full time teaching position at the University of Maine.  In the fall of 2011, several students approached me with the idea of traveling and serving those that had no access to health care.  It was an amazing request because when I had accepted the position in 2010, I had made travel abroad with nursing students a personal goal which I had not yet shared since I was so new in academia.  There had been no specific travel for nursing students prior to our first trip in 2011. 
Travel to Belize has provided another facet in the nursing education which cannot be achieved in any other way.  It enlightens student to the reality of those that do not have even a small fraction of the wealth we experience.  
The preparation of travel, the team building, community contact, obtaining medical supplies and medications and fund raising all contribute the learning outcomes and goals of the nursing education.  Policy, leadership, diversity, culture awareness are only a few dynamics which are enhanced in the learning.
There is often great personal growth that comes along with the experience.  Students develop a confidence in themselves that becomes evident when they resume their studies following the experience. They develop confidence that they can achieve, set forth the highest standard of care and impact change in health care. 
It is a great honor to lead these students on another trip to Belize.  This will be the second team that I travel with.  I am excited to watch the personal growth and share this learning experience with each student. 

 My name is Joshua Hughes, and I am a senior nursing student at the University of Maine - Orono. Over the past four years, I’ve logged countless hours studying, skills training, and treating patients from all walks of life. From this experience, I have discovered three deep passions of mine: global healthcare, cultural diversity, and nursing sciences. So, being able to travel to a third world country, immerse myself into the culture, and provide health care would be an absolute dream come true.

Hello, I am Pam Shimmel. I am a senior nursing student. This is my second year providing health care in Belize. It is an incredible opportunity. The people of Belize will forever be a part of my heart and I am excited to return again this year. 

My name is Kimberly Pszenny. I am a senior nursing student at UMaine. I love children, elderly people, puppies, superheroes, serving in church ministries and a good book on a snowy day. Nursing is my passion. I want to go to Belize because it is an incredible opportunity to provide health care to this under privileged population.Throughout my journey in Belize I hope to find myself being molded into the great nurse I hope to become. I am humbled by this great experience to come and hope to make a difference in the lives we touch over there.

My name is Casey Shalkowski.

My name is Kristi Woods and I am a senior nursing major with a psychology minor from Farmingdale, ME.  I am particularly intersted in the arena of mental health nursing, hoping to work with victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. I am also involved on the University of Maine campus in other organizations including National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Orono Student Nurses Association as a peer mentor, Beacon Hospice as a bereavement volunteer and the Delta Zeta sorority as Vice President of New Member Education.  I am very excited to join University of Maine Nursing International this year on the trip to Belize so that I am able to adapt the nursing skills I have learned the last couple of years to a completely different environment and to gain cultural competence in my nursing care.

Hello!! My name is Kathleene Melanio and I am a senior nursing student at University of Maine. I was originally from the Philippines and migrated here on 2007. I've seen underserved communities while I was growing up and always knew that I wanted to help them. I really love to travel and to learn about different cultures. So, I couldn't pass-up the opportunity to be part of the UMNI group. I am so excited to travel to Belize in March with fellow nursing students. It will be an absolute blessing to have an opportunity such as this to not only further my capabilities as a nursing student while most importantly providing much needed support to undeserved communities.

Brie Evans is a first semester senior anxiously awaiting graduation. Over the past five years at the University of Maine, she has been working hard on developing technical nursing skills and striving to become a more therapeutic communicator with all patients to meet their spiritual, emotional, social, and physical needs. After graduation she plans to work as a RN in patient care and in healthcare policy reform. During her undergraduate career, she studied abroad for five months in Spain, and she hopes to one day bring her nursing and spanish skills to Central and South America, and she feels that traveling to Belize with strengthen this desire and help her to gain perspective on nursing in other foreign countries. 

Hello! My name is Rachael Mahar and I am a second year nursing student at the University of Maine. Travel is one of the only things you can buy that will make you richer. Volunteering to help those in a developing country will allow me to enrich my life. I will undoubtedly gain knowledge and worldly exposure I could only wish for through this experience. I believe that everything in life happens for a reason, this trip will give me the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and discover more about who I am. I want to make a difference in the lives of those I help during this trip and continue to do so throughout my Nursing career. My dream is to change the world, even if it is only the world of a few people. 

My name is Valerie Parker. I am a third year nursing student. Over the years, I've dreamed of traveling abroad to help people in need. I made the decision to pursue nursing when visiting the elderly in a nursing home as part of a volunteer event. I came to the realization that I was meant to help people in some way. Traveling to Belize will certainly be a life-changing experience and a step toward following my dreams of helping those in need. I look forward to meeting the people of Belize and making a difference in their lives!

 Hey there! My name is Shannon Lyons and I'm a senior nursing student at UMaine. Going on an service trip, let alone for nursing, is a dream come true. This service trip to Belize will give me the experience to provide service to a community with scarce resources and who truly need assistance. Learning about culture and culture sensitivity, while being providing nursing care, is going to be an amazing and rare life experience. I'm excited to be traveling with some of the best of UMaine and to bring back some essential skills to prepare for a nursing career!

My names is Maddy Philpot.

Hi, I am Layla Eaton.

My name is Kathryn Smith.

My name is Hannah Knight and I am in my third year of nursing school. When I heard about this trip, I knew that I needed to get more information about it because there are not very many times in college when you can go and help people in a 3rd world country. I am very excited about going to Belize with some of the other nursing students because it is just giving me another opportunity to help more people.

My name is Faith Von Itter and I am 3rd year nursing student. Being in the nursing program has really made my desire to care for people stronger and help them to get well. I am so excited about the many opportunities that being a nurse brings about. I am hoping to go overseas to work as a nurse after working as a nurse in the United States for a year or two. I went to Africa in September of 2012 and would love to go back and help in the villages there or anywhere where God leads me! I know that Belize will only strengthen my desire to work overseas and I am so grateful for the opportunity to go!

Allison Scully is a first year nursing student who is very happy to be going to Belize and is so excited to have this wonderful opportunity! She is hoping to learn more about nursing and believes this experience will have a great impact on her. Allison lives in Waterville, Maine (when not at school) with her parents, brother and dog. Her past in caring for family members and volunteer work in hospitals and with Hospice have led her to study nursing at the University of Maine. Eventually, she plans to go to graduate school and become a nurse practitioner.

Claire is a first semester nursing student and a member of the honor’s college at The University of Maine. Born and raised in New Hampshire, she currently resides in the lakes region with her parents and her brother. Facing health challenges throughout her adolescent life lead her to pursue a career in nursing. She is currently in the process of training her 1 ½ year old Bernese Mountain Dog to become a certified therapy dog and make visits to local hospitals and libraries. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, skiing, and being with friends and family. After getting her B.S.N. she eventually hopes to become a nurse anesthetist. 

Hi, my name is Kathleen O' Driscoll.

1 comment:

  1. Hello my name is Carol. I'm Valerie Parker's mom! I just want to wish everyone safe travels and a fun time in Belize! This is truly an amazing act of kindness you are all doing for the people of Belize! It is also a great experience for my daughter Valerie! Thank you for giving her this opportunity!