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The College of St. Scholastica

Ari Skalisky gets valuable experience as a student employee at CSS

Ari Skalisky, ‘16, knows what she wants. She applied to only one college — St. Scholastica. Picked her major before she came to school — nursing. Knows exactly what career path she will pursue — midwifery. She’s even set to marry a guy she met on her first weekend at CSS.

So when she found a job in St. Scholastica’s marketing department more than a year ago, people were a little surprised.

“When I started, everybody asked me if I was a marketing major, and when I said I’m nursing, they all were like, ‘What?!’”

Learning on the job

But the connection isn’t as loose as it seems. For 10 hours a week during the school year and 20 during the summer, Skalisky handles invoices, serves as a sounding board for the students’ perspective and learns all that goes into spreading the message of the college.

“It’s really helping me understand how to communicate with people in a way they can understand,” she said, “to find out what they want, what messages resonate with them, and give that to them,” she said.

These skills will help her in interacting with her patients, especially in the field of midwifery, as many people don’t know much about it as a birthing option. But the benefits of the job don’t end there.

Pursuing her interests

“They’re so flexible,” she said, “which is important as a student and as someone who’s doing other things.”

One of these things is the McNair Scholars Program — a federally funded program that prepares racially underrepresented, first-generation and low-income college students for graduate school.

As part of this, Skalisky is researching why insurance companies in Minnesota don’t typically cover midwifery services. This research is guided by Joy Parker, a certified professional midwife at Morningstar Birth Center in Duluth — whom Skalisky will also be shadowing and volunteering with this summer.

Passing it on

While all the lessons she’s learned here stand to benefit her when she transitions to graduate school and, eventually, her practice, she has an even bigger goal in mind — to move to Kenya and open a birthing center there.

“It’s tradition there for women to deliver in the home, without a doctor,” she said. “I want to use my knowledge to help them deliver babies and teach them how to do it themselves so they can carry on their cultural tradition in the safest way possible.”