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Students use photos to bring more beauty to retirement center

Left to right: Kristi Schaffer, Elise Braun, Stephanie Johnston and Michelle Full display a photo from the "Healing Images" collection.

Four North Dakota State University business students have arranged for professional photographs to be installed at a local retirement center to create a more beautiful and uplifting space for its patients and employees. 

Elise Braun, Bismarck, N.D.; Stephanie Johnston, Hawley, Minn.; and Michelle Full, Forest Lake, Minn., all seniors majoring in management, and Kristi Schaffer, a junior majoring in agribusiness from Brandon, Minn., worked with  “Healing Images,” a non-profit organization, to install professional, gallery-wrapped images at Bethany Retirement Living, 201 University Drive South, Fargo, on Friday, Nov. 30, at 10 a.m.

Initiated by Dewitt Jones, a former 20-year National Geographic photographer, “Healing Images” is dedicated to filling medical facilities across the country with soothing photographic art. Jones created the organization after research indicated visual art helps reduce anxiety and agitation in health care settings.

“By having the opportunity to walk past and ponder an image of the sunset over a lake nestled in the mountains of Montana or the breathtaking view of the Great Wall of China, individuals can take a peaceful, joyful or reflective moment for themselves,” Schaffer said. “Our intention is to build a solid base for “Healing Images” in the present location and use it as an opportunity to expand into nearby locations. In the coming years, we hope to have a substantial amount of art in place within the area before expanding the mission throughout the Upper Midwest."

The students selected “Healing Images,” as part of the College of Business’s Legacy leadership program, an undergraduate professional development program focused on team-oriented leadership. Tim Peterson, associate dean of the College of Business, administers the program.

The photographs will be on display in the Bethany entrance through early spring 2013, during which the students will engage in an ongoing effort to purchase and display more images. Following this period, Bethany Retirement Living can purchase the images at the cost of production. Individuals, or their families, also will have the chance to sponsor an image in the name of a loved one. A sponsorship includes the donation of a "Healing Image" and sponsor plaque to be displayed permanently in Bethany.

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.

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North Dakota State University
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