Faculty Focus: Stephanie Herrick Kays
STEPHANIE HERRICK KAYS
College of Nursing and Health Care Professions
Title: Graduate Simulation Manager/Full Time Faculty
Years at GCU: 3
Academic degrees: Master’s in Education — Emphasis Career and Technical Education; Master of Science in Nursing — Family Nurse Practitioner (GCU alumni); Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Currently enrolled in Ed.D. in Teaching and Learning with an Emphasis in Adult Learning
Faculty scholarship (publications, scholarly presentations, fellowships, etc.):
July 2019: Sigma 30th International Research Congress: Poster presentation, “Advancing Students’ Educational Experiences with Interdisciplinary Service-Based Learning: Impacting Special Needs Community”
November 2019: Sigma 45th Biennial Convention: Oral presentation, “Service-Based Learning and Interdisciplinary Education: Meeting the Needs of Students and Community”
Accepted for publication in December 2019: “Advancing Students’ Educational Experiences with Interdisciplinary Service-Based Learning: Impacting Special Needs Community.”
March 2020, Nursing Education Research Conference 2020: Poster presentation, “Family Nurse Practitioner Faculty Development: Utilization of an NLN Simulation Software Program”
Notable research in your field: Service-based interdisciplinary education; faculty development; interdisciplinary education
Notable employment in your field: Mayo Clinic Hospital
What are you most passionate about in your field? I believe that everyone deserves the right to access of medical care. I believe in training students to impact their communities for Jesus by providing them not only with the skills they need to be successful in the classroom and workforce but experiences to show them the needs in their own backyards. I lead an outreach each fall with the Special Olympics where we donate sports physicals to athletes from low-income schools. The last two years I have had alumni that I have taught come back and serve as providers for these events with me. I believe by providing students with the skills and experiences to be successful and impactful around them they will look for opportunities on their own to do His work. It is my goal to train and prepare nurse practitioner students to leave GCU as change agents and serve the community as great providers in health care.
What aspect of your teaching style is the most distinctive and/or memorable?
I believe in active learning guided by the principles of andragogy. In my classes, I utilize Loom (video recording) to provide weekly announcements to my students, feedback on papers, and assessments of skills for my distance learners. In class, I have many case studies that I have the students actively create, and we participate in reflective practice about these cases.
For simulation, I am excited to implement standardized patients for our nurse practitioner students. This incorporates actors who portray commonly experienced patient scenarios — we are preparing our students for that first clinical day. During debriefing, we have received feedback from the students about the experiences with the standardized patients, and they love the learning that encompasses a real person as a patient and feel that the experience was valuable and prepared them for their clinical rotations. I am also eager to find new experiences for us to simulate to prepare our students for the next phase of their careers. My goal as a professor is to instruct with methods that were always beneficial for me in the classroom.
What do you like to do for fun in your spare time? I love spending time with my family. We are active at our church. I also love to cook. When I am caught up on my personal homework and dissertation progress, you can find me in the kitchen making food for my family and friends with the music on.
What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know? Because I am a first-generation college student, I can tell you the importance of an education. I am grateful for all the sacrifices that my parents made for me that allowed me to be successful in college and have a life that they did not have. They instilled in me from day one that I would be going to the university and that I would graduate with a degree, and they did all they could to show me how important that is. One of my favorite pictures of my parents and is at my graduation. It takes a village to be successful, and I am so privileged to have had my village of support, which now also includes my husband and son.