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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

Maddie Roepke
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!


Ashley Conradt
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

Carlisle
Elizabeth Carlisle, ambassador

Hey there, future Jackrabbits! 

My name is Elizabeth Carlisle, and I am in my second semester of SDSU's College of Nursing program based out of my hometown, Rapid City.

Not only was this highly ranked program a perfect choice to my desired career path, but I couldn't have imagined fitting in with any other. This program has infused my passion to exceed those standards of high quality of care through the limitless resources and guidance, enthusiastic and passionate instructors, as well as cohorts filled with that similar motivation and drive. 

The stats of this program aren't the only aspect that exceeded my expectations, for it truly is a bubble of genuine desire to learn to be the best nurse possible for our future generations. I am a firm believer in community, and the amount of support that I've received throughout this program from every angle imaginable has rooted a deep desire to expand this program with future nurses alike! 

My background in healthcare as an ICU nurse aide and council representative dipped my toes into the vast and inspiring healthcare field. Throughout my exciting clinicals, I have gotten to see what it truly means to be a nurse outside of it being just a career path. My advice to future nursing students would be to, "Just keep swimming." As hectic and overwhelming nursing school is portrayed, it truly is such a beautiful experience all-around! Take each day at a time, and you will inevitably fall in love with this career path and program. 
 

Fun fact: I have a photography business on the side, and a huge obsession with Utah's National Parks! 


SooYoungJeong
Soo Young Jeong, ambassador

Hi there! My name is Soo Young Jeong. I’m originally from Seoul, Korea, but I grew up in many different countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam. I will be graduating in December 2024 with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

I chose SDSU because of its excellent NCLEX pass rate and being known for its great Nursing program. So far, Nursing at SDSU has shown me that it is a career path that allows me to help people in every step of their care. With the skills and knowledge from my studies, I no longer want to be a bystander in a person’s care to move out the way so others can act, but for my actions to directly impact the patient and their families.

After graduation, I hope to explore different fields of nursing by becoming a float pool nurse and finding where my interests lie. It’s in my vision that I continue my education in whichever area shines the most for me.

For new students, I would like to say don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s something everybody says, but it really helps to just let it out to get the help we need. We are all striving for success and any question is a good question.

Fun fact: I traveled to 13 different countries in Asia, and I hope to travel to Europe next!


Abby Noltner, ambassador
Abby Noltner, ambassador

Hi there! My name is Abby Noltner. I am from Ipswich, South Dakota. I will be graduating December of 2023 with my Bachelors of Science in Nursing.

I chose SDSU because it had everything I wanted in a college. I wanted to get an excellent education with being able to do all the things that I love to do. I originally started with a Pre-Vet major, but then I decided to change career paths to Nursing. SDSU was able to offer it to be with one of the best Nursing programs.

I chose the nursing career path because I enjoy helping people. I hope to become a traveling nurse and travel the United States and work in Labor and Delivery. I love being able to see the mother-baby connection and bonding during the first days of birth.

My advice to new students is to take every opportunity that is given to you. Whether it is an opportunity to be part of the nursing program, do something during clinical, go to tutoring sessions, or talk with instructors. There are so many opportunities that you can help you succeed. There is also so much support from instructors, clinical nurses and from fellow classmates.


Debbie Theisinger, ambassador
Debbie Theisinger, ambassador

Hello there! I’m Debbie Theisinger and I’m originally from Chicago, IL. I’ve traveled quite extensively and have waited as a non-traditional student to continue with my education to achieve a career in nursing. My husband and I have sought work opportunities and lived in Illinois, Tennessee, New York and now South Dakota. South Dakota State University (SDSU) is now my third nursing program, and I cannot stress enough how grateful I am.

Everyone’s situation is unique, dynamic, full of advantages and disadvantages, but no matter who you are, SDSU is going to stop at nothing to see that you succeed in your path to nursing success. Without SDSU there’s no way that I could achieve nursing success in rural, geriatric nursing practice because the education and experience that I gain through the program tailors my studies to meet milestones to obtain my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Clinicals are conducted locally with a high volume critical care hospital within the vicinity. With their state of the art electronic medical records management and rotations with all different types of disciplines will see overwhelming, but know that this is the time to enhance your clinical experiences. I want to innovate through informatics, I want to make a difference in the care of our elders and I want our communities to know they matter, and that healthcare is a right.

Graduation is fall of 2023 and with support and guidance of our instructors, lecturers, advisors and various administrative bodies, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. The education here is genuine, forward thinking, non-prejudice and above all, professional.

The honest approach to nursing school is to be honest with yourself. Understand this will be difficult, sacrifices will have to be made, but be aware that you still need to take care of you. When you are prioritizing and setting goals for yourself you will thrive and act as a role model for the rest of your cohort. You’re not alone in your nursing journey. Be a team player, help out where you can and do not forget to be flexible and have a laugh at yourself once in a while. You’re going to be a nurse and the concept of caring and collaboration will carve the path to where you want to be.

Lifelong learning and continued education is a noble and progressive side to healthcare, and be sure to know that SDSU will be here for you as you make a difference and live your day to day. I’ll see you on the floor!

Fun Fact: I’ve got four dogs, 5 chickens and was simultaneously a cake decorator and tattoo artist for over 7 years.


Kara Whalen
Kara Whalen, ambassador

Hi there! My name is Kara Whalen, and I am from Spearfish, South Dakota. I chose South Dakota State University because of its long-standing reputation for outstanding academia, excellent NCLEX pass rate, and the encouraging support of the instructors and staff.

I come from a family of medical professionals, and among the nurses, I found they have a zeal for information, a passion for connecting with people, and a drive to care. I found these qualities within myself and knew that the multifaceted profession of nursing would be an ideal match!

I will graduate in the fall of 2023 with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing and would like to pursue a specialization in emergency medicine or cardiac critical care. I look forward to attending SDSU again through their graduate program at some point in my career.

My advice for new students is to take advantage of your study and learning style. Identifying how you learn and study best will support you through the challenges of nursing school. Above all, we can do this!!

Fun Fact: I was born underwater!


Emily Johnson
Emily Johnson, ambassador

Hello! My name is Emily Johnson, and I am from Granite Falls, Minnesota. I choose South Dakota State University because of its overall support and encouragement. My experience here at SDSU has been nothing but amazing. The staff here want you to succeed and are there to help you through every step of your journey. I originally started in Brookings, South Dakota and transferred to Rapid City, South Dakota. Rapid City SDSU has granted me so much opportunity.

I come from a family that has been submerged in healthcare. My mom, a nurse, inspired my passion for healthcare. Seeing her hard work and dedication has made me want to pursue a career in nursing. I have such a passion for giving back, caring for others and gaining new knowledge. Nursing provided all these attributes I was looking for and more.

I will graduate in December of 2023 with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing and would like to pursue a specialization in emergency medicine or pediatrics. My hope is to get some exposure and then eventually return to SDSU’s graduate program.

My advice for new students is to keep persevering. Things get tough and they get through quick. I remember my first semester was very difficult, long nights of studying, endless assignments, and tons of class. I am a fourth semester student now, and just one semester away from graduating. I never thought I would be here today, and because of my passion and dedication I am. So put in the extra time, study harder, but also make time for yourself. Soon you will be in my shoes looking back and wondering where all the time went.


Abby Moon
Abby Moon, ambassador

Hi there! My name is Abby Moon, and I am from Wall, SD. I chose South Dakota State University because it gave me the feeling of home. It wasn’t like any other campus I toured; it gave me the community atmosphere I was used to but still allowed me to experience something entirely new! I began my SDSU career in Brookings, SD but decided to apply for the nursing program in Rapid City, SD to be closer to home. I am forever grateful that SDSU gave me the opportunity to do so.

I always knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field, but the influence of my mom being a nurse pointed my attention in that area. Hearing all her stories and the way she talked about her job was truly inspiring. Additionally, I’ve always enjoyed helping others and creating personal connections and I can do both in the field of nursing.

I will graduate in December of 2023 with my BSN and hope to specialize somewhere in the field of Obstetrics, whether that be postpartum or labor and delivery, I am still deciding. After some experience I hope to continue my education in whatever area I fall in love with.

To new nursing students, do not be afraid to ask for help. The SDSU faculty are always willing to answer questions and lend a helping hand. Additionally, you will meet a plethora of classmates and friends that are in the same position as you, asking those questions may benefit many of them as well. We are all just doing our best to succeed.

Fun Fact: I love to travel and last year I took my one-year-old to Europe with me to visit my cousin. We traveled to England, Ireland and Wales. Traveling overseas with a little one was one of the most exciting and stressful things I have ever experienced.


Heather Hulsman
Heather Hulsman, ambassador

Hello current and future SDSU students! My name is Heather Hulsman, and I am originally from Las Vegas, NV. I am currently a junior at SDSU and starting my second semester of the nursing program in Rapid City. I will be graduating in May 2025 with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Shortly after graduating high school, I earned my phlebotomy certification and worked as a phlebotomist for a couple years. It was during this time I felt like I wanted to advance my education in the healthcare field. Not long after, I started a family and spent the better part of a decade as a stay-at-home mother (and loved it) but that desire to go back to school never left. Due to being a military family, SDSU is the fourth college I have enrolled in and the second nursing program. I believe all the transferring was a blessing in disguise because I feel like I am exactly where I was meant to be.

During my first semester at SDSU, it was apparent that the staff, faculty, and instructors care about the success of their students. Their passion for educating future nurses makes the curriculum interesting and exciting. The nursing program is thoughtfully structured and the correlation between courses makes the program easy to follow, which enhances learning.

My advice to students transitioning from prerequisites to nursing classes is to determine which learning style works best for you. This simple tool will help you be more successful in the program. Also, find a group that has similar goals and encourage each other. Nursing school is difficult, but it can still be fun if you surround yourself with likeminded people. Additionally, take advantage of the services available to you through the university like tutoring, advising and counseling; they’re meant for your success and are extremely helpful! I hope to see you around campus and go Jackrabbits!

Fun Fact: I love collecting coins! The oldest coin I have is an 1881 Morgan silver dollar.


Hadley Rogers
Hadley Rogers, ambassador

Hello all! My name is Hadley Rodgers. I am currently heading into my second semester of the SDSU Nursing Program. I grew up in a small town in Nebraska. Valentine is only ten miles from the South Dakota border but is very different than living here in Rapid City!

I have always known I wanted to be a nurse. My mother is an LPN, and my father is a veterinarian, so I have always been interested in health sciences. I completed my CNA training as a senior in high school and have fallen more in love with healthcare ever since. My first semester clinicals took place on an ONS floor and I have learned a ton. It gave me a greater appreciation for nursing as a whole. Every nurse that I shadowed was immensely helpful and did their best to teach the most!

SDSU was the perfect fit for me as a nursing program. I get to live the best life here in the black hills and have experienced so many great people. The nursing instructors push you, but they want you to do your absolute best. They prepare you to be a great nurse. I had an awesome tutor that wanted nothing more than for me to succeed. There are always helping hands at SDSU. The advisors are there to answer all your questions and help you through any financial difficulties. Best of luck and enjoy your time as a nursing student!


DIanna Denner
Dianna Denner, ambassador

Hi there! My name is Dianna Denner. I was born and raise in Lodi, CA. After earning a Bachelors in Biology, I joined the Air Force and ended up at Ellsworth, South Dakota for my first duty base. I served 3.5 active years in service before transitioning into the Air Guards out of Sioux Falls. During this transition, I took a leap of faith ans applied to SDSU's Nursing program and got in! Nursing school has been a journey! I feel that I'll be a great asset to the Ambassador program given my vast life experience.

I love to keep busy and active in school. My work experience includes being a float pool nurse aide at Monument and a home health aide on the side. Nursing has been a passion of mine from an early age, and I can't wait to graduate May of 2024.

Specialties I'm considering at the moment include L&D (doing my summer externship here), Behavioral health & Long term care.


Rachel Bohle
Rachel Bohle, ambassador

Hey everyone! My name is Rachel Bohle and I am from a super small town called Kingsley, Iowa. I chose to come to South Dakota State University because of the quality of the nursing program compared to the other programs I had researched. Once I had become a student at SDSU, it felt like a second home right away. All the staff I have encountered through my prerequisites and the nursing program itself have been nothing but amazing.

When I was growing up, my mom decided to go to nursing school to get her RN. Watching my mom work so hard and find her passion for helping others really inspired me into the healthcare field. I decided to get my CNA in 2020, and this is when I knew that healthcare was the right fit for me.

My advice to current/future students would be, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. I hardly knew anybody coming into this program. Being 7 hours away from my friends and family was hard at first. I started meeting other people who today I can call my closest friends. It is so important to have a good support system, especially those who are going through it with you. Nobody understands this journey like your classmates.

Fun Fact: My graduating class in high school had 31 people!