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.

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


alexa ring
Alexa Ring, ambassador

Hi there! My name is Alexa Ring. I am from Savage, MN which is a suburb of the Twin Cities. I decided to attend SDSU because the community as whole was so welcoming. I really feel that this college became my home.

I have always known that I wanted to work in the medical field. It wasn't until I became a CNA that I fully decided to go to nursing school. I have always loved taking care of people and in nursing I really appreciate the relationships you can build with your patients. I also chose nursing because there are so many specialties to go into. I love the diversity of it. 

I really enjoy going to sporting events here on campus, especially football and basketball. I take part in intramural volleyball and the Newman Center. From the perspective of the Twin Cities, Brookings seems small, but I'm genuinely never bored. I love all of the town activities, especially around the holidays.  

My advice for new students would be to do your prep work. Make sure you have a planner or write things down in your calendar. It definitely pays to be prepared in nursing. 

Fun Fact: I want to work as a missionary nurse once I graduate from school.


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!


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!


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). 


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.


scott walton
Scott Walton, ambassador

Hi there! My name is Scott Walton. I chose SDSU for a variety of reasons. I have family and friends who have graduated from SDSU and loved the experience that they had. I loved my campus visit my senior year in high school. The SDSU nursing school is recognized as one of the best in the nation. 

I want to be a nurse, because I love being able to help people. I love the challenge and the excitement that nursing brings. I feel that there aren’t many careers out there with the wide variety of environments that nursing allows us to explore.  

I want to continue my education in the future and become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. I would also love to work at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and have the opportunity to become a preceptor for nursing students and new graduate nurses. 

Enjoy your time in college, develop a routine for studying, take proper care of yourself (get proper sleep, good nutrition, ensure that there is time to relax), go to tutoring sessions, reach out to your faculty as they want you to succeed, work hard, and get to know your classmates. The classmates in your nursing cohort will become your second family. They will be there to support you and help you to succeed. 

Fun Fact:  I have been seen on TV by over 20 million people by being in the Pride of the Dakotas when we marched in the Rose Bowl Parade in 2008.