Monthly Archives: March 2019

NLC Sweethearts: Two BYU Nursing Students Get Hitched


Nursing students Robert Kemsley and Julia Lee in the Nursing Learning Center.

By Quincey Taylor

There are a lot of things you will find in the nursing program. You will find challenge, teamwork, problems to solve, and maybe a little stress. But for nursing students Julia Lee and Robert Kemsley, there is something more that they’ve found in the nursing program: their eternal companions!

Married January 4th of 2019, this nursing power couple have been navigating the fulfilling, and sometimes hectic, life as current BYU nursing students.


Encounter 1: Meet-cute at CPR Class

It all started in a CPR class, and no, he didn’t give her mouth-to-mouth. Lee had recently returned from her mission to Argentina and Kemsley had just been accepted into the program. Both needed to be CPR certified. After overhearing her speak Spanish to a friend, Kemsley decided he wanted to talk to her since that was something they had in common. Both felt a connection, yet parted ways afterwards without exchanging numbers.


Encounter 2: Impromptu Library Date

Two months later, Kemsley and Lee ran into each other in the Harold B. Lee Library. They recognized each other, but didn’t remember when they had met. They rekindled their connection over nursing homework, helping each other with their problems.

Kemsley gathered his courage and ended up asking her for her number. However, Lee had just gotten a new number since returning from her mission and still didn’t have it completely memorized. She accidentally gave him the wrong number, off by one digit. “Poor guy probably thought I was trying to get rid of him,” laughs Lee.


Encounter 3: Reflecting in the NLC Computer Lab


Reenactment of that fateful NLC moment.

Lee had almost given up seeing him again. Even though they were both nursing students, different semesters rarely mix with each other. However, she noticed Kemsley sitting at a computer in the NLC computer lab. He also happened to look up and see her reflection in his computer’s monitor. They laughed after waving – not to each other, but to each other’s reflections.

Lee laughs, “That broke the ice.” Kemsley likes to joke that’s when he knew he’d found the one. They resolved the confusion over the wrong phone number and started periodically going on dates.

They liked to help each other on their homework assignments, Lee always being careful not to give him the answers to her past assignments. You know it’s true love when your date stays with you until one in the morning to help you on a big assignment. Their relationship escalated until they eventually got engaged and then married.


Balancing Life Together

With their different and busy schedules, Lee and Kemsley have a new set of challenges as a newlywed couple. Lee is busy completing her capstone at American Fork Hospital while Kemsley is still completing classes on campus as well as clinicals at Utah Valley Hospital. At the beginning, Kemsley would leave notes with Lee’s lunch in the refrigerator as a way of connecting. Nowadays, they enjoy little traditions like attending devotional together.

The nursing program has played a huge part in their relationship, including things like meeting for the first time to making future plans.

When asked how having two nurses for parents will affect their future children, Kemsley laughs, “They’re either gonna love nursing or hate nursing.”

Julia likes to add, “Nursing has been a good facilitator to talk about raising a family. I’m really grateful for the nursing program, because it prepared me to go on my mission. At that point, I was personally learning about communication. When I came back I wanted to be a more proactive communicator. When I started dating I was able to talk about things that might have made me uncomfortable in the past, and I think I learned that in the nursing program.”


Finding Harmony

One thing that has bonded the couple since the beginning has been piano. Lee grew up surrounded by piano music and Kemsley is currently the pianist for the BYU ballet technique classes.

Playing for BYU Ballet was one of Kemsley’s dreams. Ballet technique is traditionally done to live music, and the BYU ballet team always hires pianists to play during their technique classes. Kemsley “I wasn’t very qualified, but I was really interested in the job.” Even though he wasn’t the most experienced pianist, his positive energy and willingness to improve left a lasting impression; he was hired.

While not a part of his future career, Kemsley loves playing the piano and uses it as a stress reliever in his everyday life.


Connection Is Up To You: Dr. Sabrina Jarvis Receives DAISY Faculty Award


Dr. Sabrina Jarvis with her sister after receiving the DAISY Award

By Jessica Tanner

“I was really surprised to be honest,” says associate teaching professor Dr. Sabrina Jarvis after receiving this year’s DAISY Award  Faculty Award. She was nominated by a student to whom she had shown kindness and care. Living by life philosophies taught to her by her father has opened doors to connecting with others and blessed many lives.

Dr. Jarvis worked as a family nurse practitioner in Veterans Administration Hospitals. It was in her clinical practice she not only found fulfillment in nursing but was also introduced to teaching. However, she reports, “It was quite the learning process,” as she was shy and unfamiliar with giving presentations. Thankfully, she had a mentor, one who could teach her about presentations tap on a projector if she was going overtime. “As you go along, you learn,” Dr. Jarvis says. “I don’t think you spring up being a full-blown teacher; you have to learn the craft.”

Those early experiences prepared Dr. Jarvis to teach at BYU, as she has for the past twelve years. For her the craft of teaching is not just in planning lessons or grading projects; it is about the relationships she builds with her students. She lives life by a philosophy her father taught her:  “In every encounter during your day, it’s usually not neutral; it’s either going to be positive or not.”  Those encounters are often small, such as a smile or asking someone how their day is going. Dr. Jarvis is also a firm believer in communication. “I also don’t believe in ESP—that if we don’t ask, we don’t know.”

“We go past a lot of people and how much connection you make is up to you,” says Dr. Jarvis. She makes a habit of talking with her students after class and strives to learn a new name every day. These simple, trust-building acts have paved the way for opportunities to give of herself. “You don’t realize you’ve made an impact in the moment because you’re just trying to help someone and you learn from them,” Dr. Jarvis says.

One student who nominated Dr. Jarvis for the award wrote, “I nominated her as I was impressed with how supportive and positive she was as she helped me during a project. She created an environment where I felt important and could turn to her for help if needed. I knew I had an advocate who wanted to see me excel. During the semester, she followed-up and showed genuine care for me. My understanding of the Healer’s Art has been expanded and deepened thanks to the example of Sabrina Jarvis.”

Dr. Jarvis was touched by the award but the real reward was in the relationship. Of the student’s letter, she said, “It really just touched my heart. You don’t think you’re having that impact on a person, and for her to go to the time and effort and the beautiful words she wrote…that to me was the award.” For Dr. Jarvis it has always been about making connections. “You helped them but the gift is you get to know that person. They’re part of your life, and that to me is what it’s all about.”



Integrity When No One is Watching: James Reinhardt Receives DAISY In Training Award for Winter 2019


Reinhardt celebrates with his wife and son.

By Quincey Taylor

James Reinhardt, current BYU nursing student, was one of two students to receive this semester’s DAISY In Training Award, which is given to extraordinary nurses and nursing students. Selected by nomination forms filled out by other nursing students, Reinhardt really goes the extra mile in showing everyone around him that he cares. The college is proud to be represented by students like him.

When he found out he had been selected as one of this semester’s DAISY In Training recipients, Reinhardt felt surprised and humbled. He says about the experience, “I think it made me want to live up to those expectations a little bit more. To make sure that I can back up what they’ve said with my actions. It makes me want to make sure I’m doing everything, even holding the door open for somebody.”

“James never hesitates to help a patient that is in need. It doesn’t matter how smelly, how messy, how off-putting the job is. The patient doesn’t even need to be his – if he sees a call light that has been going off, he responds. He treats every one with respect and kindness,” says student Jane Harlan.

Allie Giguiere, current nursing student, illustrated this characteristic of Reinhardt’s by sharing an experience: “Last semester there was a code during clinical and James noticed that the patient’s father was alone and really struggling, so he went into the room and supported this dad and let him know that he was not alone. I was really impressed by his ability to notice a need and have the motivation and courage to fill that need. As a student, it is sometimes difficult to know your place in the clinical situation, but James put himself out there and did what he could to help a suffering soul. I think that is really what the Healer’s art is.”

It was really special for Reinhardt to have his family come and see him receive the award. Reinhardt enjoyed having his young son there and comments, “Having a kid in the nursing conference made me feel like a spy.”

When asked how he’d like to thank those that nominated him, Reinhardt laughs, “Besides owing them lunch? I guess I’m just really grateful that they notice the small things. It’s really cool to be caught doing something good when you don’t think that anybody else is watching.”

Reinhardt knows the importance of integrity at all times, at work and in his everyday life. He says, “Compassion is important in the workplace. However, it’s even more important outside the workplace because that’s when you’re not expected to be nice and you get to show who you really are.”

“Ray of Sunshine” Sherry Huang Receives DAISY In Training Award for Winter 2019


Huang and her family celebrate her achievement.

By Quincey Taylor

Sherry Huang, sixth semester nursing student, was one of two students to receive this semester’s DAISY In Training Award. This award, intended for extraordinary nurses and nursing students, was given based on nominations written by fellow students. From bringing treats to class to remembering everyone’s names, Huang truly emulates the spirit of the DAISY award.

Learning the names of all her patients and coworkers is really important to Huang. Laura Grenfell, fellow student, says about Huang, “In class, she knows everyone and is aware of the details of everyone’s lives. In clinical, she has compassion for the patients’ troubles and concerns.” When asked about this passion for people’s individual lives, Huang comments, “I think I picked that up from Gay Raye my first semester. As a student, when a professor calls you by name you feel so important. I wanted to be able to do that. I think the little things can show a lot of compassion.”

Compassion is something Huang believes is essential in the workplace. She knows that, “When you’re in the hospital, you’re with people in their worst days. They need compassion in that moment.” Claire Weeks, nursing student, shares an example of how Huang shows compassion on a daily basis: “Sherry never complains, and is able to lift everyone else up around her. Not only does she care for her patients, but she also cares for her other nursing students. For example, on our drive up to Primary Children’s, it was not uncommon for her to bring us all homemade muffins.” When asked about this, Huang laughs, “Food is very therapeutic!”

One of Huang’s most influential role models has been assistant professor Dr. Julie Valentine. She has been inspired by Valentine’s work and hopes to follow in her steps. Emily Santillan, current nursing student, says, “Sherry cares deeply for her patients and constantly strives to make herself into the best nurse possible so she can give excellent care. She has gone through an extra training program to help victims of sexual assault, has helped with research of sexual abuse, and hopes to become a SANE one day.”

It was really special for Huang to have her family there when she received the award. Her mother flew from Wisconsin. Her siblings both attend BYU and were happy to see their sister receive the DAISY award.

Huang has a bubbly personality and is able to stay positive even when things are tough. When asked how she is able to stay happy even on hard days, Huang responds, “I’m used to failure in my life, with school and with different life experiences, and I honestly think that has helped me a lot. If I don’t do well on a test or if something goes wrong at clinical, it’s easy for me to bounce back and think ‘everything will be okay’ because it always has been every time I fail at something.” She also heavily relies on prayer, scripture study, and church attendance to stay positive in difficult times.

To all those that nominated Huang, she wants to say, and I quote, “THANK YOU!!! 😭😭😭” She feels she has been influenced by so many other nursing students and believes, “People influence others a lot more than they think they do.”

The Healer’s Art in Action: Year Three of The Magic Yarn Project

By Jessica Tanner

The Magic Yarn Project is an organization that has delivered thousands of yarn wigs and crocheted caps to little cancer fighters around the world. There is no shortage to the need for smiles and comfort amid times of hospitals, needles, and pain. But Holly Christensen, the organization’s co-founder, is determined to do what she can to help.

The project, which now includes hundreds of volunteers, began with a simple act of kindness. Christensen was praying for purpose in her life when she got sad news from her friend and fellow graduate Rachel Mecham (both graduated from BYU College of Nursing in ’06). Mecham’s daughter Lily had been diagnosed with lymphoma. For the next six months, their family spent 80 nights in the hospital. Mecham kept a blog on Lily’s progress to update family and friends (including Christensen). An oncologist, Christensen sees the pains of cancer daily. As Lily underwent chemotherapy and lost her hair, Christensen decided to step in and help.

“She wanted to do something and knew she couldn’t take away her cancer or physically be there in the hospital,” relates Mecham. Christensen had recently learned how to crochet and made Lily a beautiful, bright yellow Rapunzel wig. “It really brought a lot of cheer to her and to our family,” says Mecham.

Soon, the project that started with one wig turned into dozens. Mecham knew of more people who could use a wig for their children fighting cancer, and Christensen began asking for volunteers. Three years later, Christensen and her team of Magic Makers host the project in several states with hundreds of volunteers, or Fairy Godmothers, lending helping hands.


Hundreds of volunteers came to tie yarn to the crocheted caps.

Last week on Saturday, March 16, volunteers gathered at BYU to make these magical princess wigs and superhero caps. Among them were students, faculty, families, and local volunteers. “There are so many people willing to help and get involved and I feel that God works through us,” says Christensen. It has been a joy for us at the BYU College of Nursing to coordinate with The Magic Yarn Project in this endeavor, this year being year three for BYU.

Many nursing students have been involved these past few years. Sixth-semester nursing student Leah Guerrero says, “I love volunteering for The Magic Yarn Project!…I have had several family members diagnosed with cancer and I know how costly wigs can be and how important their wigs meant to them. So I have a lot of respect for this organization because it is all volunteer based and it does not cost a single penny for those who receive a beautiful yarn wig. I cannot imagine what these children go through as they fight cancer, but I hope their wigs are able to lift their spirits and bring a smile to their faces.”


Magic Makers teach volunteers to style and decorate the wigs before they are sent off.

Wigs made will go to Primary Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House, which offers a home-away-from-home for families with children fighting cancer. A representative from the Ronald McDonald House in Salt Lake City came to share his gratitude and the impact the wigs have on the children. These wigs truly warm the hearts of these little cancer fighters and their families.

On Saturday, our goal was 500 wigs. Together we made 537! Thank you to all Magic Makers and Fairy Godmothers who helped with this great event.

For more information on how to get involved, visit


There’s a movie star in our midst


Eden stars on the set for NP educational videos.

By Quincey Taylor

Assistant teaching professor Lacey Eden, who is also the chair of the immunization special interest group for the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners or NAPNP, recently starred in some training videos for nurse practitioners. Promoting the meningitis B vaccine, these videos provide nurses with the skills to know what to say in order to educate their patients on the importance of this vital vaccine.

There were four educational videos paired with an explanatory segment. The videos explored:

  1. How to talk to a patient who is hesitant to get the vaccine because they are sick
  2. How to express the importance of the vaccine to a patient who claims they are too busy
  3. How to respectfully talk to parents that don’t want to give their child the vaccination
  4. How to talk to the parent of a child going off to college that needs the vaccine

These simulations, which portray situations that Eden experiences every day in the clinic, will prepare nurse practitioners whom Eden calls the “forefront for advocating for vaccines.”

NAPNP received a grant to make these videos and invited Eden to play the NP. They gave her the star treatment, flying her out to Atlanta to the production studio and airbrushing her makeup. “In between clips they would come in and powder my nose,” Eden laughs, “real nursing is not that glamorous.”

Before coming to Atlanta, the video team created an outline for the script. Eden was able to read through it and change a few things she felt would more closely mirror a real-life setting. She comments, “It was fun to see that my feedback was very valuable to them.”

Nurses have an incredible responsibility to educate their patients about the importance of vaccines. The important thing, however, is to always treat patients respectfully so that they want to come back. Eden says, “It definitely take some mutual understanding and respect and listening to their side. Parents are always trying to do what’s best for their child. You need to present your material on the facts in a manner that is respectful so that they’ll come back to you.”

When asked if this is the start of a budding acting career, Eden laughs “No, but it was a lot of fun and if they asked I would totally do it again.”

These free access videos are on YouTube for anyone to use. They are available here:

CON receives $50,000 in scholarship money from Intermountain Healthcare


Pictured from left to right are Brenda Voisara from Intermountain Healthcare HR department, Cosmo, Dean Patricia Ravert, and Nathan Peterson of the Community Giving department.

By Quincey Taylor

Recently the College of Nursing accepted a generous donation of $50,000 from Intermountain Healthcare. Intermountain has donated to the college before, and college officials wish to express their deep gratitude.

Every semester, students come to BYU not knowing exactly how they will be able to pay for tuition. That is where donations like this comes in. This money will go towards helping students through scholarships. Intermountain hopes their donation will promote diversity in the student population.

Diversity in the student population can mean many things. It can mean promoting racial or ethnic minorities at BYU. It can mean being male in a typically female-dominated field. It can mean returning to school at a non-traditional age or time of life. It can mean helping students from different socioeconomic backgrounds or starting a BYU legacy with a first-generation student.

Cara Wiley from the College of Nursing Advisement Center explains that they are also looking for potential scholarship recipients that have had diverse experiences with different populations around the world. An example would be students with a women’s studies minor, which has its own study abroad across four different countries where students focus on helping women specifically.

When asked why Intermountain is giving scholarships to promote diversity, Wiley says, “They are trying to diversify their workforce. To do that, you diversify the students that will become your workforce.” They will begin picking candidates for scholarships in the fall, and hope to find those that can contribute to the diversity of the nursing program.

Wiley is so thankful for the donation and stresses, “This is a huge benefit for our students. It’s also a benefit to the college because it can be used in a variety of ways…There are a lot of students who have financial needs, a lot more than anyone thinks. There are some that are really having some serious struggles and it’s nice to have this kind of donation. Students’ thank-you letters say it all, you can feel their appreciation and love.”