Tanya Velishek is not only an adjunct instructor for the Minnesota School of Business (MSB) nursing program at the Richfield campus, but she is also a full-time professional working in the field, an instructor at another institution and a philanthropist.
In 2009, Velishek and other members of five different churches came together because they saw a need for a food shelf in the Jordan, Minn. community.
“The project was unique because five different spiritual faiths came together to work on one goal,” says Velishek. “It was a community assessment project that became a reality. We saw that the need was there, and faith didn’t matter.”
The Jordan Area Food Shelf began as a mobile food shelf, but demand led to the desire to find a space for a permanent location. Velishek says the Jordan Area Food Shelf is different because rather than just handing out bags of food, people are able to pick out what is needed and what they will actually use. Having served 570 families, the food shelf also supports a community fund and backpack program for those in need. In addition, Velishek hopes to start a free clinic in the next five years.
When she’s not assisting with the food shelf, Velishek works in academic talent acquisition at Fairview Health Services. She helps place MSB nursing students in careers at hospitals and clinics. She also enjoys being an adjunct instructor in the program, a position she began in 2010.
“Students are inspirational,” Velishek says. “I love giving back my expertise and giving them the opportunity to learn.”
Velishek provides that opportunity in the form of unique applied learning projects. She takes her nursing students to Peru where they set up clinics, bathrooms and beds, provide clothes, and perform health assessments. She also has her Community and Public Health students help out at the Jordan Area Food Shelf, where they learn about nutrition value, confidentiality and how to communicate with an underserved population.
“Teaching is a fun job,” she says. “It’s a give and take between the students and the professor. The student is only as good as you are.”
Visit the Minnesota School of Business nursing program page to learn more.