Email information is followed by @css.edu unless otherwise noted.
Sheryl Scheer Sandahl, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, MPH, MSN
Baccalaureate degree in nursing from St. Olaf College. Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner from St. Catherine's University with a Master of Public Health degree (Maternal Child focus) from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. Master of Science in Nursing and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Case Western Reserve University Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. Post-Masters Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate from The College of St. Scholastica. Joined the CSS community full-time in 2002. Teaching experience in online, classroom, skills lab and simulation, and clinical environments in undergraduate and graduate nursing. Interests include curriculum development and assessment, simulation, and collaborative testing in nursing education. National League for Nursing Simulation Institute Leadership participant for 2018. Experienced Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education site evaluator. Grant reviewer for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration. Member of Sigma (National Honor Society for Nursing), National League for Nursing and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.
Carrie Alajoki has focused much of her nursing career focusing on high quality care in the rural setting. Her MSN specialized in nursing education and her teaching interests include the adult learning and creative teaching strategies such as the online learning environment. Carrie Alajoki's nursing experience includes medical/surgical, emergency nursing, obstetrics - including labor and delivery, newborn care, and postpartum care - and occupational health and wellness nursing.
Carrie Alajoki prepared a poster presentation for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning conference in Savanah Georgia that focused on "Adding a Faculty-Led Online Interactive Meeting in an Hybrid Nursing Course.
Palm Beach State College- Associates of Science in Nursing (ASN)- 1994
Liberty University- Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN)- 2013
Liberty University- Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN)- 2016
Biography: Assistant Professor Bisila has over 20 years of nursing experience dedicating her career primarily to geriatric and Hospice nursing. For the past four years she has taught at two different institutions, preparing healthcare workers for medical practice. She has taught nursing assistants, practical nursing and post baccalaureate nursing.
Recent Achievements: Laurie Bisila is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, National Nurses Association, Nurses Christian Fellowship and Hospice and Palliative Nurse Association. Additionally, she is certified as a Healing Touch Practitioner and as a Public Health Nurse.
Cynthia Brown’s clinical focus is in public health, nutrition, and substance use disorders. Her professional interests include community/public health, working with underserved & vulnerable populations, service-learning, chemical dependency/addiction, and the harm reduction model. She is also involved in various service-learning initiatives in local and global settings.
Bushey, Teresita "Tessie" MA, RN
Position: Asst. Professor, Nursing
Department/School: School of Nursing
Phone: (218) 723-6771
My area of specialty lies in the practice of nursing in rural areas. I have worked in arctic Alaska, critical access hospitals, and home health/hospice in remote areas. As healthcare delivery changes, and the role of nursing shifts away from acute care and into chronic disease management and health promotion, rural nurses will be invaluable links to provide quality care.
My teaching experiences begin in rural Alaska with some of the first distance delivery methods in place. It was quite interesting to teach American Heart Association CPR to Inupiat Eskimo first responders who truly understood how far away you might be from an acute care hospital setting. Currently I teach Professional Nursing courses for the undergraduate nursing program helping students see the complex relationships between healthcare policy, cost of care delivery, and the unique role of each staff nurse as a leader. All nurses are leaders. My most recent passion has been to develop Interprofessional healthcare teaching teams to allow students to leave their silo style education and develop collaborative care plans.
As a leader within the Traditional Track in the Undergraduate Nursing Program I seek to inspire our faculty team to find the best way to educate the nurses of the future, teaching students to blend skills in technology with compassionate, holistic, quality care. We seek to create nurses who are strong patient advocates, nurses who use the Benedictine values as part of their anchor for moral decision making, and finally nurses who are able to seek answers rooted in Evidence Based Practice. As healthcare becomes increasingly complex, the nurses of the future are called to imagine new delivery care models. Imagination and problem solving can be stimulated by accessing a liberal arts foundation.
My outside interests include experimentation in a broad range of textile arts, extensive travel abroad, and the production and cooking of local foods.
University of South Alabama, Master of Science in Nursing, 2011
Auburn University Montgomery, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 2006
Park University, Bachelor of Science in Social Psychology, 2004
Jody Cadotte began teaching full-time in the RN to BS Nursing Program in the fall of 2016, after teaching as an adjunct faculty member for the program. Jody holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Psychology from Park University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Auburn University. In 2011, she earned her Master of Science degree in Nursing from the University of South Alabama with a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner specialty. Her professional nursing experience includes neonatal intensive care nursing, maternal child health nursing, plastic surgery and women’s health. Jody is passionate about nursing and nursing education, especially online education. Having obtained 2 degrees online herself, she has a solid understanding of the unique needs of the distance learner, and understands the importance of creating an inclusive learning environment for all students. Jody has a love of teaching, and a strong commitment to nursing. She understands the importance of providing all nurses with a strong educational foundation. Jody is honored for the opportunity to educate and mentor future generations of nurses, and to be part of the amazing community at The College of St. Scholastica.
I manage the clinicals for nursing students in the undergraduate and post-baccauluareate programs. I place students in clinical sites and troubleshoot issues; I interface with the clinical facilities; and I hire and provide basic orientation of adjunct faculty. I also oversee the program-wide testing that is done. As a trained philosopher I teach occasionally in the philosophy department.
Emily Davis, MS, APRN, CNM is an Assistant Professor in the traditional undergraduate nursing department. She joined the faculty team in 2018. She holds an M.S. in nurse-midwifery from Bethel University, B.S. in nursing from The College of St. Scholastica, and a B.A.S. in psychology from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.
Her interests in nursing are focused in maternal-child health with experience delivering care in both the hospital and birth center settings, as well as within the community as a public health nurse. Working as a prenatal educator is what initially sparked her interest to pursue nursing education and she is excited to be at the college focusing primarily in maternal-child health related content areas.
The College of Saint Scholastica- Doctor of Nursing Practice in Advanced Practice Nursing, 2015
The College of Saint Scholastica- Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Certificate, 2011
The College of Saint Scholastica- Master of Arts in Nursing (Adult Nurse Practitioner Track), 2007
Philippine Christian University-Mary Johnston College of Nursing- Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 1982
Dr. Diaz is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, College of St. Scholastica Duluth campus. She teaches full time in the Traditional Undergraduate Nursing Program, teaching core courses, clinical, and skills lab and simulation. Dr. Diaz came to St. Scholastica in 2004 as an adjunct clinical faculty and joined as a full-time faculty in 2007. Her clinical background includes critical care nursing and geriatric nursing. She integrated geriatric content into the Traditional Undergraduate Nursing Program at The College of St. Scholastica for her doctoral project. She developed an international capstone (Philippines Capstone) experience for senior level nursing students.
Dr. Diaz is a recipient of the Max H. Lavine Award for Teaching Excellence 2017 from The College of St. Scholastica. Her teaching philosophy is to create and provide a welcoming and positive learning environment that enhances knowledge, skills, and attitude; allows and encourages students to engage in civil and respectful discourse; and offers a sense of belonging regardless of cultural background and intellectual abilities.
Senior Level Core Courses
Gerontology Clinical Specialty
International Capstone Experience
Recent Scholarly Activity:
Diaz, G. B., Byrne, P., Imperial, E. (2017). Prelicensure international immersion illuminates shared professional values and discovery of nursing voice in cultural humility. Poster Presentation at the 28th International Nursing Research Congress, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Dublin, Ireland.
Upon graduating from St. Scholastica with a baccalaureate degree I found myself launched into a variety of wonderful practice experiences. My early nursing career was focused primarily in the care of the obstetrical and newborn client, as well as with the acutely ill hospitalized adult client, particularly those with cancer. But the pull back to St. Scholastica and to education in particular became very strong in time, and I decided to pursue a graduate degree as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Nursing. This preparation afforded me the incredible opportunity to begin a career that focused on the education of nursing students. As a faculty-member in the Traditional Undergraduate Program, School of Nursing, I am privileged to work with students in a variety of venues; classroom, skills lab, simulation lab and the clinical environment.
My philosophy of teaching is to serve as an “experience facilitator” for the students I work with. Learning experiences occur in the most unexpected and unpredictable ways if one is receptive and curious. I have quickly come to realize that health care changes much too fast to prepare students for all that they are likely to encounter. If, however, I can teach students to be an effective lifelong learner, I have succeeded in teaching.
Dr. Nancy L. Falk is a nursing leader, educator, and scholar with a collaborative style and interdisciplinary perspective informed by clinical, informatics, policy, and business/leadership understanding and experience.
She has been a substantive contributor in non-profit organizations, government agencies, academic institutions, private entrepreneurial ventures, publicly traded corporations, and her family’s manufacturing and retail business. Her primary area of expertise is in aging worker/workforce issues.
Dr. Falk was a trailblazer (1980s-1990s) in biomedical informatics leading clinicians and researchers to embrace electronic research tools and emerging technology solutions to enhance clinical practice and research. She was instrumental in initiating and developing the Nurse Faculty Education Act of 2005, as the John Heinz U.S. Senate Fellow in Aging Policy.
As a founding faculty member of the School of Nursing at the George Washington University (2009-2016), she served as co-director on a Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Funded Nursing Alliance for Quality Care grant and as co-PI on an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) grant focused on Nurses’ Contributions to Fostering Successful Patient Engagement.
Teaching: A passionate educator and lifelong learner, Dr. Falk focuses on empowering current and future nursing leaders - helping them to be effective, influential, and impactful in clinical, educational, policy, research, and other roles. She promotes learning by doing and engages students in real projects to help them gain skills and confidence so they meet and exceed professional goals. Recent Teaching Honor: Sigma Theta Tau, Epsilon Zeta Chapter, Excellence in Nursing Education Award (2015).
Service: Elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. Serve on Social Research, Policy and Practice Executive Committee of GSA as Mentoring Committee representative. Service Highlight: Fellow in Gerontological Society of America (GSA) (2016).
Falk, N.L., Rudner, N., Chapa, D. & Greene, J. Nurse practitioners and intent to retire. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, October 2016.
Falk, N.L. Infographic development by Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students: An innovative technology-based approach to public health education. Nursing Education Perspectives. September/October 2016, p. 299-301.
Education: University of New Mexico - MSN 2000 Suomi College - AD nursing 1995 Bradley University - BA International Studies and Political Science 1988 Biography: Mary moved to Duluth in the fall of 2017 with her husband and teenage daughter after living in Utah, NM, and Arizona since 1995. She has over 20 years of experience providing direct patient care in multiple different rural settings. Currently at St Scholastica she has taken on an administration role in the School of Nursing as a grant manager for the graduate nursing department, which is a new and exciting challenge.
My areas of interest are family nursing, underserved populations, climate change and trans-cultural nursing. These passions reveal themselves in the stories I share with students – from the cancer ridden illegal refugee seeking asylum in the US, to the woman with no pre-natal care who arrived in my clinic ready to give birth, to the homeless teen mom with a multiply handicapped baby. Engaging the affective domain through story telling helps breach the gap between academics and humanity - the very real needs of our patients within the larger context of family, community, political/economic realities and the globe. I have taken students to Belize twice to engage them in direct service learning projects in a transcultural setting and will be traveling there again in January 2018. I hope to expand these offerings to Alaska in Spring 2018.
When not teaching, I unwind by writing, spending time with friends, and being replenished by the presence of wind and sky over our Great Lake.
Assistant Professor, Graduate Nursing
Clinical Practice: Infectious Disease Associates, St. Luke's Hospital and Clinics, Duluth, MN
International Travel Clnic, St. Luke's Hospital, Duluth, MN
Areas of interest include: Preventive care/Immunizations, Hepatitis C, and HIV, and complex case management that includes outpatient antimicrobial therapy aa well as prior authorization of expensive treatments. I am also interested and support independent practice for APRN's, healthcare reform, and the promotion of nurses as scholars.
Julie Kantarik started teaching in the RN to BS Online Nursing Program in the Fall of 2014, bringing seven years of teaching experience to The College of St. Scholastica. She earned an AD in Nursing from Minneapolis Community College, a BA in Nursing from The College of St. Scholastica, and a MS with a major in Nursing from The College of St. Scholastica. Her professional experience as a nurse focused on cardiovascular and gerontological nursing with an interest in chronic disease management. She is passionate about fostering learning for students that decide to continue their education in nursing. She is excited to support The College of St. Scholastica in providing students "Direction for Life."
Dr. Kemnitz has baccalaureate degrees in Biology and Nursing from Carroll College and the University of WIsconsin Oshkosh respectively. He received his PhD in physiology from Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI in 1994 with a specialization in neurophysiology and completed a Masters of Nursing Education in 2015 at Western Governors University. Dr. Kemnitz has extensive collegiate teaching experience in biology and nursing and has been the recipient of several awards and honors including the Max Levine Award for Excellence in Scholarship, the Daisy Award for Teaching Excellence in Nursing, and is a Minnesota Hartford Geriatric Nursing Scholar and FLAG fellow. Nationally, Dr. Kemnitz is a recognized subject matter expert in anatomy & physiology and nursing and is a consultant for the American Council on Education. Dr. Kemnitz has published and presented many articles in basic science and educational practices. He continues to pursue his interests in geriatrics and nursing education. Most recently Dr. Kemnitz was selected as a Sigma Theta Tau International Rising Star for his masters thesis work on nursing student clinical evaluation.
St. Catherine University-Doctor of Nursing Practice, 2016
University of MN-Master of Science in Nursing, CNS track
The College of St. Catherine, St. Paul,- Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Dr. Knuths is currently serving as the interim Department Chair of Undergraduate Nursing Programs. Her clinical background includes critical care nursing, healthcare administration and healthcare research. Her research focus is evaluating student's clinical reasoning development in the simulation setting. Dr. Knuths incorporates active learning in her concept-based courses to engage students in their journey to professional nurse. Her teaching philosophy includes the conviction that students need to be supported with respect and compassion while challenged to reach higher and go farther. Dr. Knuths' Professional Nursing courses integrate scientific knowledge, leadership principles and ethical values to educate the next generation of professional nurses.
Medical-Surgical Clinical Education
Nursing Simulation Laboratory
Professional Nursing courses
The College of St. Scholastica - Bachelors of Arts in Nursing, 2003
The College of St. Scholastica - Doctor of Nursing Practice in Family Nurse Practitioner, 2016
St. Cloud Technical College – Practical Nursing Diploma, 2003
Ridgewater College – Registered Nursing ADN, 2005
Walden University – Walden University BSN, 2010
Walden University – Walden University MSN, 2012
Mary’s MSN specialized in Nursing Education. Her teaching interests include simulation and teaching in an online learning environment. Mary’s nursing experience is in medical/surgical areas. She worked in Orthopedics and Neuroscience units most of my nursing career. Mary continue to work at a Nursing home and a critical access hospital. Mary lives in a small rural area where she and her husband raise their two boys. Mary is active member of her community and school system.
· Health Transitions 1, 3, 4
· Nursing Labs for all course
When I started college, I was a business major. During my sophomore year, I switched to nursing and it was the best decision that I have ever made! As a graduate of the CSS nursing program, I can appreciate the history and reputation of the College. Nursing has proven to be a fulfilling career that has taken me in many professional directions. As a staff nurse on a post-coronary care unit for 10 years, I had the opportunity to care for patients, be a mentor/ preceptor and charge nurse. I went back to school and received my Master’s degree and worked as an acute care nurse practitioner in cardiology and primary care. Now, I have the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with students to help educate a workforce of future professional nurses.
My philosophy of teaching is that, as nurses, we get to care for individuals, with our hands and our hearts, at the most vulnerable times in their lives. It is a responsibility and privilege that should not be taken lightly. In order for students to feel confident and competent in caring for patients, we need to prepare them for real-life clinical situations. My primary responsibility is to coordinate and teach in the skills and simulation labs for the School of Nursing. Students participate in classes that allow them to practice not only the hands-on skills that they will use in the hospital setting but also to practice professional behaviors and therapeutic communication. We are able to combine technology, through use of high fidelity, interactive manikins, with the fundamentals of holistic, baccalaureate nursing practice as well as the Benedictine values to engage students in realistic, simulated patient-care experiences. Students progress through increasingly complex skills from sophomore year when they learn basic health assessment until the senior year when they learn to respond to life-threatening situations. Helping students to integrate nursing theory, critical thinking and technical skills has been my most rewarding career yet.
Dr. McRae graduated from The College of St. Scholastica in 2015 from the MSN program and became an Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner with expertise in addiction medicine, older adults, and creative care delivery. Dr. McRae graduated from the CSS Post-Graduate DNP program in 2018 and enjoys teaching in the graduate nursing program. Dr. McRae teaches DNP core courses, APRN foundations, and DNP Clinical Project courses. He has also served as a clinical instructor for the post-baccalaureate undergraduate nursing program. Dr. McRae maintains a full-time hospital based clinical practice in addition to teaching at CSS.
As an advisor for the Non Traditional Nursing Program, I am responsible for supporting online students from time of acceptance to the College through the time of graduation. I am the student's professional point of contact with the College and to assist students with all academic matters. I provide an orientation to all new students to ensure they have the information they need to be successful in the online program.
MSN- College of St. Scholastica 2010
BSN- College of St. Scholastica 2007
B.A. - Biochemistry/Biology- College of St. Scholastica 2004
EMT Certificate Mesabi Range Community and Technical College - 2012
Biography: Research interests include multimorbidity management, palliative care, population management, care of the older adult with dementia.
Courses: Advanced Pharmacology, Lifespan Health Assessment
The College of St. Scholastica - Doctor of Nursing Practice, 2017
The College of St. Scholastica - Family Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate, 2014
Walden University - Nursing Informatics Certificate, 2011
University of Phoenix - Master's of Science in Nursing & Master's of Business Administration, 2008
Psychiatric-Mental Health and Clinical Project Courses in the Graduate Nursing Department.
Amos Restad is an instructor in the traditional undergraduate nursing department. His primary content area is medical-surgical nursing theory, lab, and clinical. Prior to joining the faculty team in 2015, he worked as a registered nurse at Essentia Health in the adult critical care units. He maintains a position there on a casual status. He received his B.S. in nursing and his B.A. in biology from The College of St. Scholastica in 2010. In 2013 he attained his critical care certification through the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. He is currently enrolled in the doctorate of nursing practice program at The College of St. Scholastica and is pursuing his family nurse practitioner credentials.
Amos has worked with the faculty team to develop a concept-based nursing curriculum. He is a member of the International Nursing Association for Clinical and Simulation Learning (INACSL), and he has developed new simulations based on INACSL guidelines. Additional service activities include developing a guide for faculty recruiting incoming students and educating faculty and staff within the school of nursing on use of new technology that may enhance learning opportunities. In his spare time he enjoys spending time at the gym, gardening, kayaking, and motorcycling with his family.
Professional Nursing & Health Care II
Professional Nursing & Health Care V: Transition to Practice Theory
Professional Nursing & Health Care V: Transition to Practice Simulation
Doctorate of Nursing Practice
The College of St. Scholastica
Master of Science in Nursing
University of Minnesota
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
St. Paul, MN
Recipients of Care across the Lifespan II and III - theory and clinicals; Health Continuum II and III - clinicals; Health Continuum V - lab and Alaska Capstone.
Academic and Research Interests:
Pediatrics, Community Health Nursing including School Based Nursing, Food Allergy Awareness, and Evidenced Based Practice.
Hibbing Community College AA/ADN
The College of St Scholastica BSN, MSN, DNP student
Biography: Andrea Simek MSN, RN, FNP-C is an Assistant Professor in the Traditional Undergraduate Nursing Program. Interests include women's health, obstetric nursing, community nursing, including rural and underserved population health.
Andrea Simek is currently enrolled as a DNP student at The College of St Scholastica. Andrea's research in the DNP program has combined her interest in rural health and faith based nursing. Andrea is currently studying the potential effects of a rural faith based health promotion program on cardiovascular risk. Anticipated graduation of DNP program spring semester 2017.
NSG 2222: Lifespan I Theory Professor: Growth and Development, Genetics, Functional Ability
NSG 3111: Professional Nursing II: Technology and Informatics, Interprofessional Communication, Evidence Based Practice
NSG 3334: HEC II Lab Instructor: Junior skills series
NSG 3337: HEC III Psychosocial Responses: Reproductive Health Theory and Lab
NSG 3222: Lifespan II Community Health Clinical Coordinator and Instructor
NSG 4222: Lifespan III Global and Community Health Theory Professor, Clinical Coordinator, and Clinical Instructor
NSG 4113: Complex Simulation: OB Nursing and Neonatal Nursing
NSG 4337: Alaska Capstone Travel Experience Coordinator and Clinical Faculty
Concordia College, Moorhead, MN - Bachelor of Arts in Nursing
Saint Xavier, Chicago, IL - Masters of Science in Nursing; program focus: Clinical Nurse Leader
Concordia University, Mequon, WI - Doctor of Nursing Practice; program focus: Executive Leadership
Assistant Professor Tollefson has enjoyed working in various areas of nursing. She began her career as a staff nurse in the Emergency Department in both rural and urban settings. Dr. Tollefson has been a travel nurse in California and rural ND. She has also worked in psychiatric/mental health, medical/surgical, long-term care, and ambulatory surgical settings. She has been in nursing education since 2010 and has recognized a love for developing the nursing workforce.
Areas of Focus:
Education: Lake Superior College - Associate of Arts, 2009
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College - Associate of Science in Nursing, 2011
Community College of the Air Force - Associate of Applied Science in Allied Health, 2012
Minnesota State University Moorhead - Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 2014
Simmons College - Master of Science in Family Nurse Practice, 2017
Greg is an advanced practice registered nurse and Veteran with experience in multiple roles including pre-hospital, flight and military medicine, emergency and critical care nursing, as well as nursing education and leadership. His current role at CSS is as the Veteran Faculty Lead and Clinical Liaison for the Veteran to BS in Nursing Program. He serves as the advisor and clinical instructor for cohorts of Veteran and service-connected nursing students throughout their entire academic progression in the Undergraduate Nursing Program. His goal is to help train Veterans to be excellent nurses who are able to continue to serve their community after their uniformed service to their country is complete through the acknowledgement and inclusion of their very unique experiences and skills into their nursing education.
He is an inductee and active member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, and holds certification in Family Nurse Practice from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), of which he is also a member.
NSG 3334: Health Continuum II (Clinical)
NSG 3222: Nursing Care Across the Lifespan II (Clinical)
NSG 3337: Health Continuum III (Clinical)
NSG 3370: Pathopharmacology for Nursing Practice (Lecture, Faculty Lead)
NSG 4222: Nursing Care Across the Lifespan III (Clinical)
NSG 8150: Pathophysiology for Advanced Clinical Practice