The School of Nursing Introduces 10 Students as the 2023-24 Student Ambassadors

The 2023-24 student ambassadors in front of Signe Skott Cooper Hall.

The School of Nursing is proud to introduce the 2023-24 student ambassadors. The student ambassadors are traditional bachelor of science in nursing students who serve as representatives of the School of Nursing. Through various outreach initiatives, student ambassadors offer insights to prospective undergraduate students and their families and connect with School of Nursing alumni, donors, and friends. They also serve as peer advisors for current nursing students and pre-nursing students.

Meet the 2023-24 Student Ambassadors

Holly Adams

Holly Adams x’24

Holly Adams pursues her passion for nursing beyond the four walls of Cooper Hall through her work as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) at UW Health. She stays inspired to go above and beyond the curriculum through her peers and the greater Madison community.

“I chose to attend the UW–Madison School of Nursing because of its high national quality ranking, incredible opportunities, and love for the UW–Madison community,” says Adams. “My favorite experience in my nursing education so far was the time spent with other nursing school candidates in our group interview. Getting to know each other and connecting so well made me feel much more comfortable and excited about nursing.”

When Adams isn’t studying in Curran Commons, she’s spending time with her friends and family. Making time for her loved ones, especially her identical twin sister, is how Adams likes to unwind from a busy day of studying.

The best part of being a student ambassador to Adams is the connections she gets to make with pre-nursing students, particularly when it comes to the stress-inducing application process.

“My favorite part of being a student ambassador is peer advising,” says Adams. “I remember being super stressed out about the whole application process, so I love being able to support pre-nursing students during that time!”

In the future, Adams hopes to further her education and receive her doctorate in nursing practice (DNP) following her graduation from nursing school in 2024. She is excited about the impact that she will be able to make on someone’s life every single day.

Kiran Arora

Kiran Arora x’25

Kiran Arora chose to attend the UW–Madison School of Nursing because of the access to cutting-edge learning spaces within Cooper Hall and the hospital. They are also excited about the opportunity to work with School of Nursing faculty who conduct important research to advance health care.

Their favorite part of being a student ambassador is connecting with students who share similar passions and career aspirations.

After graduation, Arora wants to influence the nursing field to be more inclusive and equitable. They hope to provide care to underserved populations or pursue additional education in health care policy to work towards creating a more accessible system that focuses on wellness as a whole.

Their advice to those interested in pursuing a career in nursing? “Be flexible, be patient, and ask for help when you need it,” Arora says. “There’s no one right way to becoming a nurse. Every experience is neither good nor bad and will help you learn how to become a better nurse down the line.”

Nicole BartelsNicole Bartels x’24

Nicole Bartels chose to attend the UW–Madison School of Nursing because of the innovative spaces, outstanding clinical locations, and the support from faculty and staff who help her achieve her goals. Her favorite part of being a student ambassador is being able to share her passion for nursing and personal experience with students, staff, and alumni.

Outside of class, Bartels is an executive board member for Dance Marathon at UW–Madison, a student organization that raises money and awareness for Children’s Wisconsin through events filled with fun tunes and activities. She also enjoys getting ice cream at the Memorial Union Terrace and listening to Taylor Swift on repeat.

After graduation, she hopes to work as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum care, while continuing her education to become a nurse practitioner. Bartels wants to continue learning about different fields in women’s health and would advise anyone considering a nursing education to explore all the opportunities the nursing profession has to offer.

Sonam Dorjee

Sonam Dorjee x’25

Sonam Dorjee decided to attend the UW–Madison School of Nursing because she wanted to learn from the expert instructors, engage in an active learning environment, and gain hands-on experience. She also liked how the School of Nursing strives to improve diversity, equity, and inclusivity measures.

One of Dorjee’s favorite experiences was joining the Nursing: Diversity and Women’s Studies First-Year Interest Group, where she met some of her closest friends. Her favorite UW tradition is the Homecoming parade.

Her advice to those interested in pursuing a career in nursing? “Don’t feel pressured to have experiences only tailored to health care,” says Dorjee. “Having non-health care-related positions and experiences is so valuable and prepares you for nursing school and beyond!”

Alex GoldenbergAlexandra Goldenberg x’24

Alexandra Goldenberg chose the UW–Madison School of Nursing because of the plethora of opportunities the school presents. She found her passion for nursing through nursing clubs and the pre-nursing curriculum, which demonstrated the well-rounded education the school has to offer. She also wanted to work with the dedicated nursing staff at the school. Her favorite part of nursing school has been her clinical experiences; she likes applying what she learns in didactics to the clinical setting with patients, nurses, and other members of the health care team, and she appreciates the fact that students start clinicals in their first year of the program.

After graduating from the School of Nursing in 2024, Goldenberg hopes to work with children. One piece of advice she would give someone considering nursing would be to work hard and understand that it takes time to get good at something.

Goldenberg’s favorite campus tradition is singing and jumping to “Jump Around!” at football games.

Julie JonesJulie Jones x’24

Julie Jones’ interest in the coursework and collaboration with other students during her First-Year Interest Group for Global Health in Nursing led her to pursue a nursing degree. Jones chose the UW–Madison School of Nursing because of the innovation it inspires and the comprehensive and challenging curriculum that is tailored to students. Her favorite part of being a student ambassador is learning new things about the nursing program and being able to connect with others.

Outside of nursing school, she is co-chair for the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) student organization. Jones also loves Jumping Around in the third quarter of Badger Football games, exploring the Dane County Farmers’ Market, and watching the sunset at the Memorial Union Terrace with friends.

Jones aspires to become a pediatric nurse practitioner and would advise anyone with similar interests to seek opportunities to gain experience.

Nicole MendezNicole Mendez x’25

Nicole Mendez selected the UW–Madison School of Nursing because of its reputation as a great nursing program and a renowned research institution. Another selling point was that Madison is close to her hometown of Chicago while still feeling far away.

A highlight of her first semester in the program has been attending nursing-related events, including the Underrepresented Student and Alumni Reception. She also loves singing “Jump Around!” at UW football games.

After graduation, Mendez plans to study to become a nurse practitioner specializing in family practice. Her advice to those interested in pursuing a career in nursing is to network, ask for help, ask questions, and educate yourself about the breadth of the nursing field.

Spencer MeyerSpencer Meyer x’25

Spencer Meyer chose to attend the UW–Madison School of Nursing because of its outstanding academic reputation and the hands-on clinical exposure students receive. Meyer adds, “I also really enjoy the professors and other faculty here on campus. They continuously push me to become a better student, which I know will help me grow in my profession and as an individual.”

Meyer’s favorite part of the program so far is applying knowledge and skills gained from the classroom in real-world settings. Outside of class, he loves participating in “Jump Around!” during football games. “The energy and atmosphere are an incredible experience,” Meyer says.

After graduation, he hopes to work as a nurse at UW Health for a year and then pursue further education to obtain his nurse practitioner’s license.

His advice for students who are interested in nursing is to become more involved on campus by joining nursing clubs or starting their own. He also encourages students to learn as much as they can about nursing. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” Meyer says.

Rachelle NavarroRachelle Navarro x’25

Rachelle Navarro chose to attend the UW–Madison School of Nursing because of its dedication to preparing students to become exceptional nurses. She also appreciated that the program offers resources, technologies, and learning environments that simulate real patient case-scenarios. “Best of all,” she says, “I know I have a community of peers, faculty, and staff who will support me through this experience!”

A highlight of the program so far was joining the Nursing: Diversity and Women’s Studies First-Year Interest Group. She says surrounding herself with other pre-nursing students allowed her to make connections, and she found some of her best friends through these classes, who she plans to stay in touch with post-graduation.

Navarro says it was daunting to start her journey into nursing as a first-generation student without any family members in health care to learn from. But joining health care organizations and clubs that align with her interests helped her learn more about nursing and solidified her passion for the field. Her advice to others interested in nursing is to immerse themselves in the field to see if it is the right fit. “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!” She adds.

When she’s not in class, you can find Navarro walking on the Lakeshore Path and catching the sunsets at the Memorial Union Terrace.

Bella SchuelkeBella Schuelke x’25

Even though she applied to numerous colleges, Bella Schuelke always knew she wanted to attend the UW–Madison School of Nursing. She liked that it was big enough to offer many opportunities while also facilitating a sense of closeness with peers and instructors, and she also admired the School’s prestigious reputation.

“The competitiveness of the major here only intrigued me further, giving me something to work towards and keeping me motivated,” says Schuelke. “I knew that if I was admitted to the School of Nursing, the classmates I would be surrounded by would be just as driven and inspired as I was.”

Now that her dream is a reality, Schuelke says, “I can confidently say choosing to study nursing at UW–Madison has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

But nursing hasn’t always been easy, and at one point, Schuelke thought about switching majors. “I remember coming out of my first Chem 103 discussion, calling my mom and proclaiming that ‘I can’t do this, it’s too hard, and I’m not meant to be a nurse.’” Schuelke’s mother suggested she wait a week or two before making an official decision. It proved to be a wise choice. “A couple of weeks later (when metric conversions had passed), my passion for nursing was alive again,” says Schuelke. “I learned a handful of lessons here: 1. Maybe mothers do know best, 2. Don’t give up too quickly, and 3. Being a nursing major is hard, but so very worth it.”

Schuelke has many plans for after graduation. She wants to pursue a nursing career in women’s health with a focus on working with pregnant women. She’s also interested in working at a medical spa as a nurse injector and one day going back to school to become a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist.