Ms. Popkess has a long history of service and leadership in nursing. She began her career at Evanston Hospital nearly 22 years ago in an adult medical unit after receiving her baccalaureate degree from the University of Iowa. Once relocating to St. Louis, MO, she became a manager in a large home care agency and decided to pursue her education in leadership. She received her Master's degree from St. Louis University in 1991 and is currently pursuing her doctorate at Indiana University in a distance accessible program.
"I feel most successful when I can serve as a leader and role model in my professional life." In addition to serving as assistant director of undergraduate programs, she was elected to the dean's advisory and search committees by her colleagues. She has served as president of numerous service and community organizations including The Madison County Partnerships for Community Health, the Highland Business and Professional Women's Club and Sigma Theta Tau, Epsilon Eta chapter. She is a member of the Midwest Nursing Research Society, The National League for Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau. She also works per diem as a nurse in a community hospital during the summer so "I don't forget my roots and what inspired me to be a nurse."
My research interests include nursing education and the engagement of learners in active and collaborative learning strategies. "When I facilitate students to become actively engaged in learning in a classroom or clinical setting, as an educator, I feel complete. Nursing still has a ways to go in developing and utilizing innovative teaching strategies in their discipline. Research in this area will help to develop appropriate, useful techniques that engage learners and allow us to graduate successful students."
Ms. Popkess currently serves as a lecturer in the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, School of Nursing. Her passion is educational leadership and she teaches courses in nursing management, care of adults, and pharmacology. Her goals include one day serving as the dean/director of a school of nursing.
"I am so grateful for the scholarship from NEF. It will allow me to complete my dissertation and fulfill my career in academia."