Teaching compassion and inspiring students

Angeline Walswick’s favorite teachers were caring, compassionate and loved to teach. That same formula has helped Walswick become a well-respected and successful teacher at NDSU. 

Walswick is a lecturer and advisor in Allied Sciences. She teaches courses on understanding and developing compassion in patient care, service learning and critical thinking. She connects students with long-term care residents and delights as the pairings provide vital hands-on experience and friendship. And she asks students to regularly apply new skills and reflect on their impact.

Kaitlyn Kunkel, pre-radiogical sciences student at NDSU, says the class and Walswick inspire her.

“I found that this class was valuable in the area of learning to overcome obstacles in different environments, and being open to feedback from peers, coworkers, teachers, etc.” says Kunkel.

 She also appreciates connecting with a resident in a long-term care setting.

“I have been matched with my favorite person!” Kunkel says. “We are the best of friends. Even after this class has ended, I still go visit my resident two-to-three times a week.”

As a lecturer, Walswick enjoys inspiring students. “It provides an opportunity to continually learn. I like to keep up with new research or knowledge in a content area, and develop and practice new teaching methods. I also learn a great deal from my students.”

She also incorporates active learning techniques in the classroom. “In the courses I teach, students often have personal experience related to the course topic. I like to allow for opportunities for them to share their knowledge and experience,” says Walswick.

Students like Kunkel appreciate Walswick’s teaching techniques.

“I discovered quite a bit about myself including how to: communicate with nurses, having passion for my resident and his overall well-being, being patient, being creative and energetic, and last but not least, responsible and outgoing,” says Kunkel. “I thought that I had most of these qualities but this class allowed me to improve in those areas to make this experience worthwhile.”

Walswick notes that successful students put a great deal of time and effort into their learning.

“Students who are more engaged in their education tend to be more successful. These traits will not only lead to success as a student but will be highly valued by future employers,” explains Walswick.

“One thing I have found especially gratifying is that students in the Compassion in Patient Care course often continue to visit with their resident long after the course is complete. It is nice to see that the relationships students have developed have a long-term impact on both themselves and their resident,” she says.

Walswick earned her bachelor’s degree in social studies education at Minnesota State University Moorhead and master’s degree in counseling psychology at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.

She says she’s been fortunate to meet many inspiring teachers, from preschool to her current colleagues.

“Each person influenced me in a different way, but they all have some things in common: they care about students as individuals, they are passionate about their field, and they genuinely enjoy teaching,” says Walswick.


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