The federally-funded Making a Difference in Nursing II (MADIN II) Program hosted a visit from its consultants January 19-21, 2011. MADIN II is a HRSA Workforce Diversity grant with the goal of increasing the participation of high achieving/high potential underrepresented minorities (URMs) in nursing education at Duke University School of Nursing. The ultimate outcome of the project is to produce nursing leaders from URMs in nursing prepared at the PhD or DNP levels.
The visiting consultants were LaMont Toliver, director of the Meyerhoff Scholarship Program, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and Dr. Norma Martinez Rogers, professor of nursing, Department of Family Nursing, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Toliver heads the Meyerhoff Scholarship Program, now in its 23rd year. It is a highly successful undergraduate program with a large concentration of gifted and talented diverse students majoring in STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). It currently enrolls more than 800 students and has 600 alumni, 300 of whom are currently enrolled in graduate or professional schools. DUSON intends to adapt much of the Meyerhoff model and philosophy to the MADIN II program.
Academic excellence and the acquisition of soft skills are among the hallmarks of the Meyerhoff program’s success. Students are encouraged to study in groups, to regularly use tutorial centers, to receive early and frequent feedback from faculty, and to cultivate the values and responsibilities that come with being among the best and the brightest while exhibiting humility. Instilling in students a sense of community, responsibility for each other, empowerment, resiliency, leadership, accountability, and values are among the traits continuously stressed. Meyerhoff Scholars and the administrators, faculty, and staff who work with them are guided by a set of vocalized and lived mantras or inspirational messages including but not limited to:
- Begin with the end in mind.
- Excellence demands sacrifice.
- Fight the urge to be average.
- To whom much is given, much is expected.
- Make your friends before you need them.
- Choose your battles carefully: those big enough to matter and small enough to win.
Toliver also stressed that the success of the Meyerhoff program rests on the commitment of administrators, faculty, staff, and students. Students need to know that others care, are consistent in their expectations, and recognize and expect their achievement of excellence. Toliver reviewed and offered helpful recommendations on the MADIN II plans for recruitment and selection of scholars, communication, retention, policies and messaging, website development, and evaluation.
Dr. Rogers offered considerable insight into cultural beliefs and patterns of Latino students. The importance of family and the inclusion of family cannot be underestimated. Celebrations to recognize achievements are affirming and an important source of encouragement. Dr. Rogers shared the aims, goals, and processes of a Latino mentoring program she has successfully led over 12 years called Juntos Podemos (“Together We Care”). Student mentors serve as role models who positively influence and guide students to continue through school and to realize their career goals. Student ownership of the program and the inclusion of a social worker on staff were credited with helping to retain students who often had multiple financial and social problems to manage while balancing the academic demands and expectations of nursing school.
Currently there is minimal representation of Latino students in DUSON academic nursing programs. We plan to draw upon the educational, research, and organizational experience and recommendations of Dr. Rogers to increase the number of Latino students enrolled at DUSON by increasing our cultural competencies, enhancing the sensitivity and receptivity of our environment, and adopting successful recruitment and retention strategies targeted to Latino and other minority students.
DUSON faculty and staff currently involved in the development and implementation of MADIN II include Program Coordinator Dr. Brigit Carter, Dr. Kristen Corazzini, Jackie Gottlieb, Dr. Kay Mueggenburg, Antoinette Pierce, Robyn Pierce, Project Director Dr. Dorothy Powell, Dr. Michael Relf, Kristi Rodriguez, Dr. Terry Valiga, Dr. Allison Vorderstrasse, and Dr. Terry Ward.
LaMont Toliver, Faculty & Staff Forum Presentation, January 19, 2011
Dr. Norma Rogers, Faculty & Staff Forum Presentation, January 19, 2011
- By Dorothy Powell, EdD, RN, FAAN