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Meet Our Nursing Student Ambassadors

Nursing Student Ambassadors play a key role in representing the College of Nursing to prospective students and their families. Ambassadors are selected based on their campus involvement, knowledge of the school and leadership abilities. Nursing Student Ambassadors are passionate about sharing the College of Nursing experience with our visitors. In addition to hosting tours of our labs and simulation rooms, ambassadors represent the College of Nursing at Admissions events such as Jackrabbit Preview, Junior Day, Senior Day and Jackrabbit Receptions. They also assist with College of Nursing events such as the Pinning and Hooding Ceremony, Scholarship Reception and White Coat Ceremony.


To learn more, contact our advisers!

Brookings

Rapid City


Brookings Ambassadors

Anthony Andera
Maddie Roepke, ambassador

Hi there! My name is Maddie Roepke and I am originally from Hutchinson, MN. I chose SDSU because of the welcoming atmosphere and the top-ranked nursing program.

I was a CNA in high school and fell in love with working with patients. That experience is what made me know that nursing is the career field that I wanted to pursue. I also love that with nursing there are so many different types of jobs and different ways to further your education.

I am also majoring in Spanish and am Vice-President of Nurses Christian Fellowship here on campus. I attend Oasis at Gracepoint Wesleyan Church in town and try to stay involved in small group Bible studies. This campus has so much to offer and I recommend to all incoming students to try new things!

This nursing program is truly amazing, and yes it can be difficult at times, but we really do have top-notch staff that wants to see us succeed.

Fun Fact: I love being outdoors and spend a lot of time running, hunting and fishing


brielle cords
Brielle Cords, ambassador

Hi there! My name is Brielle Cords and I am from Janesville, Minnesota. I chose to be a nurse because when my grandma was diagnosed with cancer, I got to see first-hand what nurses do and how amazing they are. I fell in love with it and knew that's what I wanted to do when I was older! I chose SDSU because of the small-town atmosphere that felt like home but also still having those big city, D1 school opportunities.

I currently serve on the executive board for Student Nurses Association and love to attend sporting events as well as participating in intramural sports! I also love to attend Oasis, a young adult church service on Sunday nights and hang out and study with friends at all the cute coffee shops downtown!

My advice to new students would be to step out of your comfort zones and don't be afraid to try new things! I have met some of my best friends by doing that!

Fun Fact: I have been to 44 out of 50 states!


anna hall
Anna Hall, ambassador

Hi there! My name is Anna Hall. I grew up in Underwood, Iowa, which is a small town about 30 minutes outside of Omaha. I will be graduating in May of 2022 with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

I chose SDSU because I knew of their great nursing program, loved the feel of campus, and was surrounded by hospitality and passion from the faculty and students during my visits.

Throughout high school I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field. I thought about being a doctor or physical therapist before ultimately choosing the field of nursing. My mom and grandmother are both nurses, so I knew of all the opportunities that nursing brought to both of them. Seeing how passionate both of them were about their jobs influenced me to choose the same career path, and I know I will be just as passionate about nursing!

Aside from being a nursing ambassador, I serve on the executive board in the sorority Alpha Xi Delta. I love everything that Greek life has brought me! I am also a student in the Fishback Honors College, where I enjoy being a peer mentor for freshman students. I am involved in Student Nurses Association, which has given me many resources and tools for nursing school. I have been a member of State-A-Thon for the past two years as well. I love worshipping at Oasis on Sunday nights and working out and competing in intramural sports at the Wellness Center.

When I’m not doing homework or busy with student organizations, I love my job as a CNA at a nursing home here in Brookings!

My advice for new students would be to get as involved as you can! You will meet some of the best people in college and getting involved in student organizations will help you do that. You never know what kind of connections you might make! Stay organized and disciplined and utilize all the resources provided to you to be successful in college!

Fun Fact: My favorite entertainment is listening to true crime podcasts and documentaries.


morgan argo
Morgan Argo, ambassador

Hi there! My name is Morgan Argo. I am originally from Omaha, NE. I will be graduating in May 2022 with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I chose SDSU for the nursing school and for the small town experience. South Dakota State University and the community make students feel at home and supported.

I chose to pursue a career in nursing because of the endless opportunities that nursing provides. My grandpa is a retired doctor, and my sister recently graduated from nursing school so I was inspired to explore a major in the health care field. Nursing was the best choice for me because of the hands on patient care. I hope to continue my education to become a nurse practitioner. 

I am involved with multiple clubs throughout campus. I am currently in the Honors College, Student Nursing Association, Order of Omega, and I am the Chapter Life Vice President of Alpha Xi Delta. I also work at Scooters Coffee shop here in Brookings.

My advice to new students is to keep going. Classes, being away from home, and stress can make you want to give up but just keep going. The path is hard but it is worth it.

Fun Fact:  My goal is to go backpacking across Europe after I graduate before I start working in the real world!


carolyn blaha
Carolyn Blaha, ambassador

Hi there! My name is Carolyn Blaha, and I am from Dante, South Dakota. I am a second semester nursing major in my junior year here at SDSU, and plan on graduating with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing in May of 2022. I chose SDSU because it provided me with big time opportunities on a campus filled with friendly, small town people. When I toured campus, it just felt like a place I could call home. After 3 years, that feeling has proven to be true! SDSU is definitely my home.

I chose nursing because, although it was not my first major here at SDSU, I knew that I wanted to help people. I originally planned on being an optometrist but decided on nursing because of SDSU’s great nursing program! The opportunities through SDSU Nursing are truly endless!

I am involved in Admissions Ambassadors, intramurals, the Newman Center, and Adopt-A-Grandparent here on campus. I really enjoy going to sporting events, especially football games! The energy is unbeatable, especially when I’m surrounded by my favorite people!

To new students, be open to new things in college! You never know where you may meet some of your best friends.

Fun Fact: My hometown has a population of less than 100 people! So SDSU was a big change!


madison witte
Madison Witte, ambassador

Hi there! My name is Madison Witte and I am originally from Huron, SD. I decided to transfer to SDSU because of the welcoming atmosphere and the vast number of opportunities that awaited me. South Dakota State University gives me a small-town atmosphere while still having big-town opportunities. The way that the community supports the students and gets behind our activities is truly amazing. 

I have always known that I wanted to work in the medical field. I have a passion to help others and the challenges and excitement that the nursing profession entails. It wasn’t until I attended appointments with family members and saw the pureness of interaction between the nurses and them that really generated my love for nursing. Within nursing alone there are so many different jobs and ways of allowing you to further your education.  

Aside from being a Nursing Student Ambassador, I love to attend sporting events, especially football games! I am also involved in State-A-Thon and Student Nurses Association, both of which are great to get involved with. I also work at Interim Home Health here in Brookings. 

To new students, be sure to make time for yourself. You will quickly have a full schedule with everything the college has to offer you but making sure to take time for yourself is just as important!

Fun Fact: I love to go on road trips with my friends and go sightseeing!  


 

Keeley Fischbach
Keeley Fischbach, ambassador

Hi there! My name is Keeley Fischbach, and I am from Warner, SD. I chose SDSU because of the well-known nursing program and the welcoming community of Brookings! Coming from a small town, I wanted something that felt like home but with more opportunities, and SDSU is exactly that! I will be graduating with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing in December of 2022.

I worked as a CNA and a med tech all throughout high school as well as college, and that is how I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in nursing. Ever since I started my job, I fell in love with helping others and the teamwork aspect that comes along with it.

Along with being a Nursing Ambassador, I am involved in Student Nurse’s Association, intramurals, and I am also a nursing mentor! One thing I love to do on campus is attend sporting events! I love all the different opportunities to get involved on campus – they are endless!

To new students, always look for opportunities to meet new people and try new things! The years really do fly by, and you do meet some of your lifelong best friends in college!

Fun Fact: My twin sister is in my same nursing semester, and she’s also one of my roommates! We do absolutely everything together, and I wouldn’t change it for anything!


Diana
Diana Johnson, ambassador

Hello future Jackrabbits! My name is Diana Johnson, and I am from Mitchell, South Dakota. I am currently in my second semester of the nursing major and in my junior year here at SDSU. I plan on graduating with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing in May of 2023. I chose South Dakota State University for the great campus community, facilities, and faculty. When I toured SDSU my senior year of high school, everyone I met made me feel at home. Even now, I still get the same feeling walking to study at the Briggs Library or to cheer on the Jacks at a football game.

While I initially applied at SDSU as a communication major, I quickly realized my passion was to help those who could not help themselves, specifically through nursing. Throughout my time at SDSU, I have been able to see my passion come to life through my clinicals and daily studies.

While studying is my top priority, I also love to stay involved on campus through my involvement on the State A Thon Executive Board, my sorority Alpha Xi Delta, and by singing in the SDSU Women’s Choir. I also love going to all things Jacks, and to support my fellow classmates in their various activities!

My advice to new students is to not be afraid to put yourself out there! Focus on the person that you want to become, and you will achieve so much at SDSU!

Fun Fact: My hometown is home to the World’s Only Corn Palace!


ashleyconradt
Ashley Conradt, ambassador

Hi there! My name is Ashley Conradt, and I'm from Rose Creek, MN, a small town in SE Minnesota near Rochester.  I was always interested in the medical field. I watched several grandparents be hospitalized and found the nurses to be so inspirational with all the knowledge they had and how they interacted with my family. I knew SDSU had a wonderful nursing program, when I stepped foot on campus my senior year of high school, it instantly felt like home.

On campus, I am involved as a College of Nursing Ambassador, I am the Vice President of the Emergency Medical Services Club on, and I am a clarinet player in The Pride of the Dakotas Marching band.

My advice to new students it to not hesitate to join clubs, even if they are out of your comfort zone. You meet so many wonderful people and have the opportunity to be involved in many community/campus activities, plus it looks great on a resume! Also, enjoy every moment, it goes fast!

Fun Fact: I've played piano for 17 years!


Rapid City Ambassadors

anita aker
Anita Aker, ambassador

 

Hi there! My name is Anita Aker. I chose SDSU because of the location and class sizes. Rapid City is in the Black Hills and it is so nice being able to enjoy the outdoors and views of the hills. The class sizes are a lot smaller which is nice when you need one on one time with an instructor, they are very flexible and willing to meet with you. The staff is incredible and really care about your education and future which makes the environment more positive.

I have wanted to be a nurse since I was a little girl. I grew up with family members in the medical field and whenever I was in a medical environment I would see the roles of nurses and think to myself “That is exactly what I want to do” We get the pleasure and opportunity of helping people at their most vulnerable moments and making a difference in their quality of care and that makes me feel important, and gives me purpose.

My big ultimate dream in the nursing field is to become a Certified Registered Nurse in Anesthesia (CRNA). There are so may different career paths that can expand in nursing and with a BSN, it makes achieving my goal a lot easier as I can go to graduate school and go deeper into medicine

With this being my first semester of nursing school, so far, the best advice I can give is to find outlets to relieve stress and take care of your personal needs. It is hard to take care of people when you have not been able to take care of yourself. So, do what you enjoy doing whether that is hiking, art, or reading and make sure you set time aside for that. Also, do not tear yourself down when something does not go as planned. Reflect on your actions and focus on what you can do better next time.

Fun Fact: I am an identical twin and I am so proud of it! I love telling people about my sister and being asked questions about it, I think it is awesome and love that my sister is also going into nursing, which makes us a lot alike!


Breana Armour
Breanna Armour, ambassador

Hi there! My name is Breanna Armour. I chose SDSU because of the positivity I saw in instructors, counselors, and other students. Everyone I met had only nice and positive things to say about the classes and I knew it would be a very supportive environment. I chose the Rapid City campus because I have lived here my whole life and I love the smaller class sizes and being able to know everyone around me.

I want to be a nurse because ever since I was little, I have loved helping people. In high school, I was able to take different nursing camps and shadow different nurses, which is when I fell in love with it. Every day we get to build relationships with patients, encounter new challenges, and feel like we are making a difference.

My big dream in nursing is to go back to school to get my Master’s Degree and become a nurse practitioner. The fields I am most interested in at this time are pediatrics, labor and delivery, and ER.

My advice for new students is to get to know all of the students, instructors, and counselors. Everyone at SDSU is willing to help with any problems or questions you may have. Also, I think it is important to have time outside of school and focus on self-care as nursing school takes a lot of time and can be stressful at times.

Fun Fact: My dad is a pilot and has been teaching me how to fly. The furthest I have flown is to a small town in Nebraska!


bailey leonard
Bailey Leonard, ambassador

Hi there! My name is Bailey Leonard. I am from Rapid City, SD. I started my SDSU career at the Brookings campus and have now ventured home to finish my degree back home in Rapid City. I will be graduating in May of 2022 with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I chose SDSU because it felt like a second home. For quite some time I have known I wanted to be a nurse and SDSU has one of the top nursing programs, so this was a perfect fit.

I have always had a passion for helping and interacting with others. The field of nursing is very interactive and requires you to help others. I want my patients to know they can count on me to do everything in my power to help them overcome their illness, injury, or disease.

As of now, I would love to work with the pediatric population. I come from a huge family; being the oldest of 6 sisters and 16 grandkids total I have always been surrounded by kids. Children sickness can be a lot to handle and hard for some, but I believe that it is a challenge I am willing to take.

My advice for new students is to remember to take time for yourself. Nursing school is very overwhelming and can be a lot to handle. Sometimes it may feel like there is no time for anything else. It is so important to find time to do something you enjoy and take a short break from school and homework.

Fun Fact:  I think I might have a shopping addiction.


Hope Paris
Hope Paris

Hi there! My name is Hope Paris. I chose SDSU because in my junior year of high school I did a scrubs camp here at the rapid city nursing site and I thought it was so cool and amazing. I then went and toured the Brookings site, where I did my pre-requisites, and absolutely loved it. I loved the people there and how friendly everyone was as well as the campus itself.

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved taking care of people. Truthfully, what headed me down the path of thinking about nursing was watching Grey's Anatomy, I had always loved the idea of the medical field, but I absolutely did not want to spend 8 years in school to become a doctor, so I decided to look into Nursing, which is where I fell in love.

My big dream is to one day end up as a NICU nurse. I have always had a passion for working with children, but NICU is where my heart belongs. I feel like there is nothing more rewarding than to watch this little baby get stronger every day and watch their parents eventually get to take them home.

my advice to new students is that it's always better to get ahead! The second you get behind it's hard to catch up. I recommend getting a planner so you can always have your schedule with you and can always keep up with the due dates! Nursing school can be hard but always think back to why you started! The end game is going to be so rewarding.

Fun Fact: I love to eat my apple pie with cheese. YUM.


Seth Papenfuss
Seth Papenfuss

Hi there! My name is Seth Papenfuss. I am from South Dakota, I chose SDSU because I wanted to get a quality education that could take me anywhere without having to leave home. SDSU offers an excellent nursing program that creates a good foundation to start my nursing career.

I chose the nursing path because I love the versatility that it offers. A nurse can work many different areas and specialties from teaching to Emergency Room, to working in a clinic or office without having to change careers! Nursing allows an individual to be a part of something greater than themselves and offers many opportunities to make a true difference in someone’s life.

I plan to work in emergency medicine when I am finished with school, I like the adventure of the ER. My ultimate goal is to work in flight nursing.

Take advantage of the many opportunities that the nursing program offers, they can offer a real insight on all kinds of nursing paths. The program provides a chance for students to discover what area they want to go into, so make the most of your clinical rotations!

I have an addiction to coffee. I enjoy finding adventure outdoors!

I am from South Dakota, I chose SDSU because I wanted to get a quality education that could take me anywhere without having to leave home. SDSU offers an excellent nursing program that creates a good foundation to start my nursing career.

I chose the nursing path because I love the versatility that it offers. A nurse can work many different areas and specialties from teaching to Emergency Room, to working in a clinic or office without having to change careers! Nursing allows an individual to be a part of something greater than themselves and offers many opportunities to make a true difference in someone’s life.

     I plan to work in emergency medicine when I am finished with school, I like the adventure of the ER. My ultimate goal is to work in flight nursing.

Take advantage of the many opportunities that the nursing program offers, they can offer a real insight on all kinds of nursing paths. The program provides a chance for students to discover what area they want to go into, so make the most of your clinical rotations!

Fun Fact: I have an addiction to coffee. I enjoy finding adventure outdoors!


Hi there! My name is Jadyn Woodward. I chose SDSU because of the extraordinary learning environment. The moment I was in contact with SDSU, I felt like I was surrounded by positivity. I was impressed by the NCLEX passing rate from all sites within SDSU. I love to be challenged; I felt like SDSU was going to push me to be my best and to continue learning throughout my four years of college. I also had a feeling that the people at SDSU are there to help achieve success. They want what is best for you, and they are there to help you through your struggles.  SDSU helped me develop into the student I am today.

I want to be nurse because everyday is challenging to me. Each day I am learning new things. I am passionate about providing for my patients. I love that there is wide range of specialties that you can choose from within the nursing profession. This allows you to keep options available, and there is always the option to make a change if needed. I want to be a nurse because I believe it brings the best out of myself. 

My big dream is to be a traveling nurse. I want to specialize in Labor and Delivery. I want to do this for a while. Later on, I want to get Master's degree and be a midwife. 

My advice for new students is to push yourself to the maximum. College is a time to find out who you are and what your true passions are. It is essential to discover what you love; this is what will have a huge impact on your success while in college. Do not be afraid to try new things. Talk to your advisors, professors, and deans. They are all there to help you learn and progress towards success. Do not be discouraged to ask for help from these people. They all have been in your shoes a time or two; they understand and want to see your prosper. Lastly, take your classes seriously. Although they might seem pointless, they are what is going to help you to achieve great things. With the being said, take time for yourself, too. 

Fun Fact:  Even with all of the studying, clinical, my job, and everything else, I always find time to sit down and read a good book (not related to nursing).