Capella Alumna Breaks Down Barriers in the NFL

July 31, 2015

Capella PhD in Psychology and MS in Sports Psychology grad, Dr. Jen Welter, just became the first female coach of any kind in the NFL! Jen is one of seven interns hired by the Arizona Cardinals and will be an inside linebackers coach during training camp and the preseason.

Coach Jen Welter, Ph.D.

Coach Jen Welter, Ph.D.

Dr. Welter has had a long career in sports; she played rugby in college and was a linebacker in the Women’s Football Alliance for 14 years, where she helped the Dallas Diamonds win four championships. She played running back and special teams for the Indoor Football League’s Texas Revolution and she became the first woman to coach in a men’s professional football league last year as an assistant coach for the Revolution.

While in her PhD program at Capella, she tailored her studies to focus on sports. “I took everything I learned in psychology and looked for an application to sports and to athletes in general. And I think the biggest thing that most people don’t realize is that athletes are humans too. We see them as players, but we tend to be very bad at looking past the helmet and seeing the people.”

Read the full article in Time. There is also a great article on NBC News.

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FlexPath Graduate Shares Three Tips for Adult Learners in Huffington Post Article

July 29, 2015

For adult students, the path through their educational journey is different than most college students.

Today, the Huffington Post published an article by Capella FlexPath graduate Tim Weiderhoft.

Capella FlexPath graduate, Timothy Weiderhoft

Capella FlexPath graduate, Timothy Weiderhoft

In his article, Timothy suggests three important considerations for adult learners when choosing a degree program. “With the right program, you can actually balance your life and career.” He also discusses Capella’s competency-based model, how his work experience helped him earn a degree, and how his degree has impacted his career. “My bachelor’s degree isn’t just a check on my resume. I benefited from a meaningful educational experience that helped me to refine critical skills, enhance my career knowledge, and grow as a successful manager.”

Read the article here.

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Star Tribune features Executive Dean Dr. Barbara Butts Williams

July 27, 2015

On Sunday, the Star Tribune featured Barbara Butts Williams, Ph.D., Capella’s executive dean, external relations and partnerships and School of Business dean emeritus. Barbara has had an impressive career in workforce development and she is an active civic leader in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Executive Dean of External Relations and School of Business Dean Emeritus Barbara Butts Williams Ph.D.

Executive Dean of External Relations and School of Business Dean Emeritus Barbara Butts Williams Ph.D.

In the article, Barbara talks about her experience in workforce education. She discusses the perception of online learning, “If I was a CEO, the questions I would ask are: Who can provide the best outcome to help our employees succeed, understand our needs and provide an acceptable return on investment? … I seldom today have the conversation about whether it’s online or not.”

She also discusses the Twin Cities, how it has changed over the last 25 years and where she sees areas for growth. “We have a significant achievement gap that we really need to take a look at and use our regional resources to solve.”

Be sure to check out the article here.

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(PODCAST) Nursing Enrollment Counselor Sarah Peterson Shares Her 15-Year (and Counting) Capella Journey

July 24, 2015

Sarah Peterson, Senior Enrollment Counselor from our School of Nursing and Health Sciences, joins me on the podcast today. Sarah has worked at Capella for over 15 years in many of our programs, but has found her niche working with our nursing learners.

Sarah Peterson from the Nursing Enrollment team

Sarah Peterson from the Nursing Enrollment team

In our conversation today, Sarah and I discuss the growth and change she’s seen at Capella; she still remembers the celebration when we enrolled our 1,000th learner. Today, Capella currently has around 36,000 students. She talks about her role on the enrollment team as a “match maker” and what kind of learner is well-suited to the degree programs offered at Capella. We discuss what makes the nursing programs at Capella unique, changes in the healthcare industry and her suggestions for nurses considering going back to school. I also got to know a bit more about some of her passions: camping, books and her family… no word yet on the location of her favorite camping spot! I hope you enjoy the conversation.


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The Outstanding Nurses Awards

July 16, 2015

Today’s blog post is a guest post from Nursing Faculty Chair, Dr. Christy Davidson.

Earlier this week, I was honored to attend Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine’s fourth annual Outstanding Nurses Awards ceremony. Capella University was the presenting sponsor and it was great to share the stage with some amazing nurses. This year, there were over 80 nominees in 19 different categories and we had a wonderful evening recognizing their stellar contributions across the healthcare industry.

Pictures on the red carpet

Pictures on the red carpet

The night started out with a red carpet and photo station for the nominees and their guests (be sure to check out some of the photos!) We were fortunate to have several Capella staff at our table, including Barbara Butts Williams, Ph.D., executive dean of external relations & partnerships and dean of business, as well as Jennifer Hoff, vice president and general manager of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. We were also thrilled that two local Capella nursing learners were able to join us! There was palpable excitement from everyone in attendance and it was great to connect with the local nursing community.

Dr. Davidson gave an opening speech.

Dr. Davidson gave opening remarks.

I was honored to give short opening remarks at the program. Nursing is an extraordinary profession because it requires such a deep commitment to life-long learning as well as empathy and compassion for patients and their families. We played this iAMaNURSE clip at the end of the speech. I think it really sums up the dynamic components that make being a nurse so special.

All of the nominees had remarkable stories that highlighted their patient interactions, organizational impact and leadership. There were more nominees this year than ever before. Many were nominated multiple times and some by their patients, which was incredibly powerful. It was moving to see such talented nurses cheered on by their family and friends. In the end, 20 nurses were selected to receive an Outstanding Nurse Award. The evening’s top honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award, went to Mary Jo Peck. Mary Jo is a nurse manager and program manager at Hennepin County Medical Center’s Knapp Rehabilitation Unit and she has worked at HCMC for 46 years. You can watch an inspiring video about Mary Jo here.


The evening ended with a lively on-site after party where they turned up the music and more than a few nurses took to the dance floor. It truly was a joyous event and an honor to help celebrate the outstanding contributions of nurses in our Twin Cities community.

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