There were no classes for Moreira to take on the topic of gender in Rio, but that didn’t stop her. She went in her own direction. Rather than writing on the political coup like everyone else, her first serious research was investigating what life was like for women during that historical period.
“People didn’t think gender was important to study, but I had a wonderful professor who challenged me,” she explained. “I needed to
feel like what I was studying and would inevitably teach was validated.” That’s what motivated her to attend the University of Denver’s doctoral program in communication and culture.
Moreira’s journey was challenging and fast. One month after defending her master’s thesis, she left Brazil to work on her doctorate in another language, which she completed in May 2014. She’s been at Graceland for four years now and has an empathetic understanding for students with challenges of all kinds. On her office door is a poster that concludes, “You are an invaluable part of our campus community. I am committed to building an inclusive, supportive and equitable space where you know you belong, you are safe and you can thrive.”
“ The Graceland faculty encouraged, ‘Jolene, how did you do it at UMKC?’ They’ve wanted me to share my previous experience and perspectives.”
– Jolene Lynn, PhD, RN
Associate Dean – School of Nursing (Graduate)
AFTER JUST ONE YEAR AT GRACELAND, JOLENE LYNN, PHD, HAS TAKEN ON THE ROLE OF THE ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR GRADUATE PROGRAMS. LYNN BRINGS A WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE TO GRACELAND.
A registered nurse for 36 years, she graduated from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). She has been a nurse educator for over 20 years, teaching for Johnson County Community College and the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) nursing programs. Her practice experience includes emergency, day surgery and wound care.
Serving as the BSN Program Director at UMKC for over nine years, Lynn completed her MSN-Nurse Educator at UMKC and her Doctor of Philosophy-Nursing at the University of Missouri-Saint Louis.
Q:Describe your new position?
My position deals with administrative responsibilities like budgets and planning, but since we’re such a small group of faculty for the nursing program, we do a lot of things together. We meet on Mondays and address all kinds of issues — from student concerns to teaching techniques — and have a good team approach. With nearly 700 students in the nursing program, our relatively small staff is busy.
I’m still teaching the introduction courses and am the lead for the Theory of Nursing course — my favorite.
Q:How did you choose nursing?
I’m a first-generation college student, and my parents were adamant that my sisters and I continue our education. My dad was frustrated without a degree to get ahead and wanted better possibilities for us. I was a candy striper in junior high, and the nurses were so kind and inspiring. They treated me like I was part of the team even though I was just passing out water and magazines. It was because of that experience that I went into nursing.
I was the first nurse in my family. My husband was a respiratory therapist for 30 years and six years ago went to nursing school. My son is a nurse, and my niece is a nurse now too. I guess I’ve been recruiting for nursing school! It’s such a good career and so flexible.
Q:Why did you move into academia?
I had worked in an emergency department and ran a wound care center, but we needed to adjust our schedules to accommodate child care, so I actually moved to teaching for the flexible schedule.
I started out at Johnson County Community College and then got my master’s at UMKC, which was starting a BSN program, so I got in on the ground floor. It was perfect for raising our three sons. I don’t know how it happened, but they’re all grown!
Q:Best part of your job?
I love the collegiality of Graceland and the process of problem-solving at the lowest level. You can’t get that at a lot of places. Everyone’s been so welcoming to me as a new person. When new nurses came to UMKC, they would drone on and on about their last place, so I was hesitant to say much. The Graceland faculty encouraged, “Jolene, how did you do it at UMKC?” They’ve wanted me to share my previous experience and perspectives.
I originally didn’t think I wanted to be in administration again, but the faculty was very supportive, and Dr. Jan Rice was so organized and helpful in the transition. In the past, I had to invent or create my position, so it is exciting to find that there are such good pieces already in place.
Reading fiction, bargain thrifting, Royals baseball, boy scouting — my husband and three boys are all Eagle Scouts — and our 1920s house is a hobby all in and of itself.
“ I had a vision of where we wanted to go — to bring in a stronger scientific base. We want students to know what they’re doing, but also why.”
– Bryan Gatzke, MS
Division Chair – Health and Movement Science
Bryan Gatzke, MS, is the division chair for Graceland’s health and movement science program.
Health and movement science has concentrations in allied health, coaching, health, health education and physical education, which often leads to graduate work in physical therapy, occupational therapy or chiropractic studies.
Gatzke has been leading the program toward an evidence-based practice model using research and experience to help drive the decision-making process as a practitioner.
Gatzke is up to date with this changing and prevalent area in higher education. Currently, all the health and movement science professors are working toward their terminal degrees — the highest in their field. Gatzke is in a doctoral program in human sport performance at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Provo, Utah.
He plans to complete his dissertation in strength conditioning with the Graceland women’s volleyball team and coach Stew McDole.
“I was in Utah for my doctoral work and spent time with physical therapists, occupational therapists, nutritionists, athletic trainers, strength conditioning folks and all kinds of professionals, which really let me collaborate with them. I’m always concerned for Graceland’s students and thinking of ways that we can make our program better. We are trying to prepare them at this level for what they’ll need at the next.”
Growing up in Wisconsin, Gatzke comes from a blue-collar factory working family and is a first-generation college graduate. He nearly didn’t make it through undergrad and had never considered graduate school as an option, but once he found his path, he made up for lost time.
“I changed my major four times — I can relate to many students who haven’t found just what they want to do yet. I had terrible grades and took time off; I just wasn’t focused,” explained Gatzke. “I had to come back from that. I was readmitted conditionally at the university. I switched over to fitness management and took anatomy physiology, and it turned out to be the best class I’d ever taken. Something clicked, and I realized I needed to put in serious effort. I couldn’t get through by guessing — I needed to really know the content. There is no easy street. It was the first class that really instilled my academic work ethic.”
Gatzke finished his undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in fitness management. He made an amazing comeback from a 1.0 grade point average to finish top of his class for fitness management students. While he was there, he worked in their biomechanics lab, presented at the state symposium and attended a few national conferences.
Now working on his doctorate, he realizes the importance of the academic field and brings his expertise to the classroom. Gatzke is making sure Graceland students are as well-equipped as any in the country.
Student-athlete Lucky Lovan ’19 noted the time Gatzke has taken to answer questions from lectures and help him prepare for physical therapy school: “Professor Gatzke is very knowledgeable in his field and values my learning by explaining the material in great detail,” says Lovan. “He expects the most out of his students and wants us to succeed in our future endeavors as clinicians.”
Awarded six-week artist residency
Assistant Professor of Art Karen Gergely was awarded a six-week artist residency at Brickscape in Charlestown, West Virginia, this summer. Gergely was one of 10 artists selected to create an immersive, socially-engaged installation responding to the history and culture of the Charleston community. The residency culminated in an exhibition for FestivALL June 15-24.