Timaka Wallace ’23 is a Chicago native who earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree through Augsburg’s DNP Transcultural Nursing Leadership tract and serves as an adjunct professor. Her connection to Augsburg goes back to 2014. “I was already in a psychiatric nurse practitioner program on the East Coast, however, I wasn’t having a good experience at the school,” Timaka recalled. “I thought because I was a bit of an older student, the culture of the school and seeing a representation of myself wasn’t important. But I learned a valuable lesson in never going to a school I didn’t visit.”
She decided to take a leave from school and, during that time, visited Minnesota to check out Augsburg. After spending two days on campus with Department Chair and Associate Professor Joyce Miller and retired faculty member Janet Lee Stockwell, Timaka knew Augsburg was the right place for her. “Even though this trip was in 2014, every so often over the years they would reach out to me to see how I was doing.” Timaka ended up completing her graduate program and when COVID hit in 2020 she had already been accepted to Augsburg. “It was difficult,” she shared candidly. “The Transcultural Leadership group was going to visit countries and assist with nursing from a variety of cultures and we were robbed of that opportunity because we couldn’t travel, but I ended up getting the community my spirit yearned for so it’s still been a great experience.”
A pivotal moment for Timaka came when she gave a presentation in April 2022 on how daily activities connect to the cross-generational trauma transmission in African American culture. “It was a heavy topic, but the feedback I got from my professor and Joyce demonstrated to me that they understood the change that needs to happen. I knew I was in the right place on that day.” As the nursing program continued to increase its efforts towards dismantling racism in healthcare, leadership intentionally sought out African American representation and leadership in these conversations. Later, Timaka was asked if she would be interested in co-leading a course with Dr. Katie Clark, which she eagerly agreed to.
For Timaka, the opportunities she has received as a student and adjunct professor in the nursing program are centered around stewardship and what it means to give back. She is a recipient of the Lloyd A. and Barbara A. Amundson Nursing Scholarship Honoring Dr. Paul Mueller ’84. “This scholarship is really a full circle moment,” she shared. “It warms my heart to hear they [The Amundsons] formed a connection with Dr. Mueller on their healing journey and paid homage to him through this scholarship, and now Dr. Mueller is leading the Great Returns campaign effort! This is what paying it forward looks like.” Timaka hopes she can find ways to continue these acts of kindness by supporting future nursing students. “It’s so important to have conversations with students like me who are beneficiaries of these scholarships of how to pay it forward as you get yourself aligned to financially do so.”
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