Category Archives: Staff

Airplanes and Game-Shows. Welcome to BYU Denise Cummins!

DeniseBy Corbin Smith

Listen up all you travel-junkies and game show fanatics! New faculty member Denise Cummins (AS ’86) is someone you have to meet!

For the inner adventurer in you, you can go ask Cummins about the more than 10 countries that she has visited in her lifetime! She has gone places like England (where she was born), Belgium, Morocco, the Mediterranean and more! Wherever she goes she loves to kayak and visit historical sites! Go ask her about the tons of experiences she has had all over the world!

For you lovers of games such as Jeopardy and The Price is Right, along with dreamers to one day compete on a program like that, Cummins can be your guide! Years ago, while living in Los Angeles as a newlywed, she competed on three game shows! She played Million Dollar Chance of a Lifetime, Secret Password and The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour and racked up some sweet prizes! For those who want to follow in her footsteps, she is the one to talk too!

Cummins life, however, is more than traveling to exotic places and playing game shows. “It is amazing to make a difference in someone’s life. You truly can make a big impact through being a loving and caring nurse,” she says. Cummins loves being able to serve people and make their lives happier each day!

This semester Cummins is teaching Nursing 320, 351 and 352. She is so excited to work with BYU students and faculty this year!

 

To learn more about Cummins, read her official bio below!

 

When it comes to gaining an education, Denise Cummins (AS ’83) is not hesitant about traveling afar. She came from England after joining the Church to attend BYU, where she earned her first nursing degree. She has lived in California since graduating but has earned additional degrees and credentials from BYU–Idaho, Frontier Nursing University in Kentucky, the University of Sheffield in England and, most recently, from the University of Utah, where she completed a doctoral program in nursing.

The traveling continues! Within weeks of starting her BYU position, she and another nursing professor took a group of nursing students to India, working with a Hindu organization and caring for families affected by leprosy as part of the clinical practicum for the public and global health nursing course.

Cummins’s professional experience is just as unique. After becoming a registered nurse, she cared for women and babies in a variety of settings, including small community hospitals, a large university teaching hospital, a midwife clinic, and even a mobile health van. Later, after becoming a nurse practitioner, she supervised a hospital-based maternal-fetal medicine clinic, serving women with high-risk pregnancies, and coordinated its perinatal research program. Most recently, Cummins was the director of quality and regulatory compliance for a rural hospital district, while concurrently teaching an online nursing research class for BYU–Idaho.

She considers her undergraduate education at BYU to be one of the great privileges of her life. It prepared her not only for a career in nursing but to live a life and raise a family centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ. As a new faculty member, she is excited and honored to help students prepare for these experiences in their own lives. After entering BYU to learn, then going forth to serve, she is pleased to return to teach. Cummins currently instructs the nursing care of women and newborns course and clinical labs, and scholarly inquiry in nursing.

When she is not in the hospital or teaching, you will find her traveling between California and Utah, where much of her family still resides.

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BYU “Levels Up” in Exercise is Medicine Program

Neil Peterson

Dr. Neil Peterson is excited to continue working toward a healthier BYU community.

By Corbin Smith

Click the link to see what Dr. Peterson and his team did last year to achieve the bronze level campus recognition!

https://byunursing.wordpress.com/2017/09/13/byu-earns-bronze-level-campus-recognition-from-american-college-of-sports-medicine/

For some, it may be easy to believe that BYU’s only focus is the spiritual well-being of our community. Assistant professor Dr. Neil Peterson is dedicated to showing that BYU is also very committed to the physical well-being of the campus.

In 2017, BYU was awarded a bronze level campus recognition from the American College of Sports Medicine after the success of the Pokéthon 3K run/walk event Dr. Peterson spearheaded in October 2016. This year, thanks to the hard work of Dr. Peterson and many others, BYU was recognized again, receiving a silver level campus recognition.

The Exercise is Medicine On-Campus program is unique in that they require a university to do different things to receive the various levels of recognition. For example, a bronze recognition requires a campus to have an event to raise awareness for physical health, like BYU did with the Pokéthon run/walk. To reach a silver level recognition, the university must implement a program to educate its community on the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. BYU was one of the 56 universities in the nation to receive the silver recognition in 2019.

To educate the community on physical health, BYU started with its students. In the undergraduate program, Associate teaching professor Gaye Ray instructs her students about the importance of physical activity as well as how to measure it in their patients during her physical assessment class. Dr. Peterson also teaches this on the graduate level. All is in an effort to prepare students to help future patients improve exercise and health habits.

group pic

Dr. Peterson and his team had another successful event in October 2018: The Super Hero Fun Walk. Photo courtesy of Peterson.

The BYU Wellness Program has also done a lot to help BYU receive a silver level recognition this year. “BYU wellness has monthly wellness talks and activities. They provide resources to the community for people to participate and teach everyone how to be active in their lives,” says Dr. Peterson. Visit wellness.byu.edu to check out some of their resources and find info for later events!

In the future, Dr. Peterson has plans to work with the Student Heath Center on campus to work toward the gold level recognition, the level received when a system to measure physical activity is put into place.

It is not hard turn those bad habits into healthy ones. “We just have to do these little things to make our lives a little bit better,” says Peterson.

Below are five of those simple tips that Dr. Peterson recommends for healthier living!

 

5 Pro Tips to a Healthier Lifestyle at Work

  1. Take Short, Mental Breaks Each Hour.

To be able to maximize your ability to focus, you need to give your brain some time to rest. You work hard and you have people to help, but taking 3-5 minutes to relax and give yourself a short break will make a huge difference in your productivity.

  1. Take the Stairs!

To live a healthier lifestyle, it is important that you get your heart rate up occasionally. Taking the stairs is the perfect way to get your heart pumping and your body moving. You’ll feel better and be getting a little bit of exercise in!

  1. Get a Workout App

Need a constant reminder to get active? Downloading an app that suggests short workouts is the answer. Some apps even help you monitor your diet and set health goals. Dr. Peterson uses “Streaks Workouts” to keep not just himself but also his students to stay active during class!

  1. Go Outside Every Few Hours

Being inside all day can take a toll on your eyes. “When you go outside your eyes can focus on something in the distance, like the mountains. That allows for your eye muscles relax and go straight,” says Peterson. Get headaches frequently? This could be your solution!

  1. Do Some Work Standing Up

Not only can working standing up help reduce back pain, but you also burn an average of 1000 more calories a week by standing instead of sitting! Even if you can’t get a standing desk, standing up every once in a while will still make a positive impact on your health.

 

New Staff Members: Robert Dickerson and Jon Hardy

robPhoto of Dickerson. Photo courtesy of Leo Liang.

By Quincey Taylor

With the start of the new semester, the College of Nursing welcomes two new staff members to the family. Robert Dickerson will be joining the IT department in administration, and Jon Hardy is taking over as the new Nursing Learning Center Facilities Supervisor. We look forward to getting to know these men a little better and hope their transition is smooth.

Dickerson completed his undergraduate at BYU Idaho studying software engineering. When asked about how he found out about this open position, he laughs, “That’s a funny story.” In Santa Clarita, California, he was part of the singles ward council. The ward council was looking for ways to get members more active in the local self-reliance classes put on by the stake. As part of this motivation, they decided to attend the classes and be an example.

Dickerson attended the classes for twelve weeks without much expectation. He was looking for a job at the time, but did not expect the class to result in his next career path. That’s where he was wrong. The facilitator of the class told him about the opening posted on LinkedIn for a senior software engineer at the College of Nursing, and he applied. He says, “This ended up being one of the best jobs I can find right now in my career. I’m really happy and grateful for this job.”

Outside of work, Dickerson enjoys playing volleyball and being a great uncle to his four nieces and nephews. He taught improv comedy for a year and performed it for three. He loves his family and always looks forward to a trip to the temple.

In the future, Dickerson plans to get a master’s degree in computer science at BYU while continuing working. He says about his new life here in Provo, “I know this is where I need to be.”

jonHardy and his wife and kids. Photo courtesy of Hardy.

As the new NLC Facilities Supervisor, Hardy will act as the ‘man behind the curtain,’ ensuring everything in the Mary Jane Rawlinson Geertsen Nursing Learning Center is running smoothly.

BYU has been a part of Hardy’s life for as long as he can remember. He is originally from Spanish Fork, so he always lived close. His father has been working at BYU for thirty years, currently in the Treasury Services. Hardy had been looking for an opportunity at BYU for a while now, and was overjoyed at this new opportunity to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Before the College of Nursing, Hardy studied at UVU. He also worked as their head custodian over the Student Life and Wellness Center. He graduated from UVU with a degree in technology management.

Hardy is married with two kids, ages four and six. His wife, Olivia, is from Wyoming. The two met here at BYU as students and coworkers.

Outside of work, Hardy enjoys playing board games and spending time with his family. He also loves hiking and the outdoors in general.

Hardy looks forward to helping streamline as much as possible in the simulation lab, making it easier for all participants. “I’m excited,” Hardy exclaims, “to be working with all of the great nursing students and faculty here.”