top of page

evidence of growth

The University Level

The University of Mary was a natural selection in my pursuit of a master's degree.  Benedictine values and servant leadership have been the cornerstone of my personal and professional life.  I received my undergraduate at the University of Mary in 1999 and fully understood the importance and impact a master's degree rooted in the Benedictine values and servant Leadership would have on my leadership development. It is my philosophy that I serve by serving the growth and well-being of others.  In my graduate degree journey, I have greatly enjoyed and benefited from classmates and instructors who hold common values and challenge me to further develop as a servant leader.  Below you will find evidence of my growth at the university level as a servant leader and in the University of Mary Graduate Competencies.  Influence and contributions the Benedictine Values have had on my graduate education will also be shared.

Respect for persons

As a patient care manager there are times when the discipline of staff is necessary.  During times of staff discipline, the Benedictine value of "Respect for Persons" is paramount.  Through my graduate experience I have greater learning the need to show respect for my staff by holding them accountable for their performance.  I also have learned to hold people accountable while exhibiting flexibility, empathy, and compassion.


During my graduate experience I was challenged to further develop my work-life balance. I found that when I truly practice moderation, I not only met work expectation more easily but also felt greater fulfillment personally and professionally.


The Benedictine value of hospitality has contributed to my graduate experience through the improvement of mentoring conversations with my staff. As I have grown as a leader, so has the comfort level my staff have in coming to me for advice and guidance in performance as well as their own professional growth.  By exhibiting hospitality, I improved my approachability and increased the validity of the mentoring conversation.


My preceptor for my clinical experience taught me the value and responsibility in giving back to my alma-mater. She was active in her alumni association and with her encouragement, I now serve as a Minnesota chapter lead for for the University of Mary Alumni Association.

benedict medal back.JPG
univeristy of mary.JPG

Open to find meaning of the Benedictine Medal

Link to UMary Benedictine Values Page

benedict medal front.JPG

"Whenever you begin any good work you should first of all make a most pressing appeal to Christ our Lord to bring it to perfection".

                                                                      ~Saint Benedict of Nursia


As a graduate student who continued to work full time, gained a promotion, and raise a family while pursing academic goals, I found that the Benedictine value of Prayer helped keep me grounded and decreased stress levels. I would take time during the work day to reflect in silent prayer and began to volunteer more regularly in the Adoration Chapel in my parish.  Prayer also helped me cope with moments of empathy and compassion fatigue when emotionally processing complex needs of my staff.


When balancing the demands and time constraints of work, home, and academic work, one could easily reduce time spend in the community.  I have found that often those with the least amount of time to spare, often give the most time.   The Benedictine value of community is very important to me personally and professionally.  During my graduate experience I continued all of my community service and even added services such as lead of St. Francis Xavier School Home and School Association and a lead for the Minnesota chapter of the University of Mary Alumni Association. I also have worked to improve work culture, engagement, and a sense of community on the nursing unit I lead.

" Servant leadership at the University of Mary is a pattern of living marked by competence in one’s chosen profession, courage in making ethical decisions based on Benedictine values, and compassion in serving the needs of others. In a context of relationship to God, to one another, and to self, we believe that leadership is making a difference for good. Rooted in the Gospel and in the founding vision of the Benedictine Sisters to serve spiritual, intellectual, and cultural needs of others, the model for servant leadership is Jesus Himself. At the University of Mary, students grow into leadership through service. Learners become leaders in the service of truth."

                                                                                                                                             ~Sister Thomas Welder, 2006

                                                                                                                                               President Emeritus, University of Mary

The University of Mary graduate programs offer its students preparation in the following four areas of competence:


Graduates demonstrate excellence in all facets of communication including the publication and presentation of scholarship.

Definition: Graduates differentiate themselves via an ability to fortify technical acumen with robust communication skills.  They become leaders who actively listen to those with whom they work and collaborate; who dialogue when they introduce ideas, clarify meaning, and strategize towards solutions; and who write with disciplined purpose to effectively disseminate and contribute to new or existing information.  Graduates’ communication skills enable them to excel through effective interaction with colleagues across all levels and environments.

Education Incorporation & Professional Contribution Influence:  The graduate course curriculum is designed to increase competency in communication in nearly every discussion post and assignment.  These competency exercises have increased my ability to effectively communicate with others by increasing my ability to articulate my own thoughts and ideas as well as respond to others. 

Coursework Examples of Competency Growth:   In the communication competency examples below, you will find an example of how communication was essential in formation of the capstone group I was a part of.  Through the discussion post provided, you see evidence of growth in my ability to communicate to my classmates as well as respond to their discussion post submissions. I am also providing a reflection on employee engagement as an example of communication competency as it is through reflection that we evaluate our communication.


Graduates access, analyze, evaluate, and process information from a variety of sources to generate new ideals which guide decision making to influence meaningful change.


Definition: Graduates foster a culture conducive to scholarship in which they use research principles to answer relevant questions which lay the foundation from existing knowledge and from those foundations generate relevant and innovative ideas and new knowledge.  Our graduates are leaders in the synthesis of research to inform best practices.

Education Incorporation & Professional Contribution Influence:  Though there is a multitude of opportunity for growth in scholarship competency throughout the graduate experience, the one that had a significant affect on my growth was that of the preceptorship I did with the director of the Performance Improvement department.  This experience greatly improved by professional ability to process information and seek solutions to problems using evidence based practices. I use skills learned during the preceptorship to address quality and process improvement on my unit on a daily basis.

Coursework Examples of Competency Growth:   Below you will find the compendium assignments from my coursework.  This the same course where I completed my preceptorship hours. This assignment exemplifies growth in scholarship through synthesis and analysis of many components of leadership.  This includes but is not limited to change management, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, decision making and organizational climate.

Professional Distinction

Graduates are values-based and evidence-driven professionals who are servant leaders committed to excellence in their professions and communities.


Definition: Graduates grow in excellence, focusing professional skills and technical proficiency towards a higher commitment to service.  They interact collaboratively and effectively within environments comprised of individuals who have diverse educational backgrounds, cultures, and professional talents.  Their leadership is founded in both values-based and evidence-driven practice and recognizes its role in contemporary society as one of distinct contribution and gift of self.

Education Incorporation & Professional Contribution Influence:  The University of Mary frequently asks students to reflect on their servant leadership in coursework.  In particular, this is often done through discussion posts where the student is encouraged to reflect on clinical and professional experiences.  Theses educational exercises influenced my graduate level education by making reflection, self-assessment, and appraisal a part of my leadership competency.  In addition, the course curriculum provided opportunity to learn cultural competence while greater learning the nursing process.

Coursework Examples of Competency Growth:   In the professional distinction examples from my course work provided below, you will find that I have grown in cultural competence when completing an assignment on immigrant population health.  In particular this assignment was meaningful as the Somali population is growing in my own community. I also have learned from the multitude of discussion posts over the duration of the graduate experience.  Of significance, I learned from the discussion posts on servant leadership as it provided the opportunity for me to learn from the servant leadership of others.

Moral Courage

Grounded in faith and reason, graduates clarify and defend moral personal and social values to uphold the pathway for justice in multiple contexts.


Definition: Graduates evaluate the human, cultural, religious, and social conditions and history in which decisions are made and habits are formed.   With courage they take responsibility to make and follow the course of action which helps build a profession of integrity and a civilization of virtue and dignity rooted in ethical principles that serve the authentic good of all persons.

Education Incorporation & Professional Contribution Influence:  The University of Mary frequently incorporates cultural and ethical assignments into the curriculum.  Further challenging growth is fostered by many of these assignments being group assignments.  Just as in the professional setting, leaders are often challenged to work on projects with people who may have a different ethical or cultural perspective than ourselves. By providing assignments that require me to think outside of my own cultural, religious, and social value context, I have gained the competency of moral courage as I am able to better evaluated the perspective of others while remaining grounded in my own personal values.

Coursework Examples of Competency Growth:   An example of competency in moral courage is the assignment on Hmong birthing rituals, Genetic Passports, and Assisted Suicide.  Each of these assignments challenged me to see other ethical and cultural perspectives.  The assignment competed on assisted suicide in particular fostered growth as it was a group assignment that prompted discussions on our role as nursing leaders in controversial, legal, and ethical health care topics.


Measels Outbreak

Hmong Ritual Births

Assisted Suicide

Genetic Passport

NUR 613:

Servant Leader Discussion Posts

Nur 696

Discussion Post

Bus 360

Employee Engagement Reflection

NUR 613:

Leadership Compendium

The University of Mary Graduate Competencies

bottom of page