Volunteers from WSU-Rochester are active in our community. (Photo taken prior to COVID-19 physical distancing.)
Students and staff from WSU-Rochester enjoy volunteering with our community. (Photo taken prior to current COVID-19 physical distancing requirements.)

The best way to improve your spirit is to help others!

Volunteering and supporting my neighbors has been interwoven into every day of my life. The concept of supporting others has been central to my career choices and life decisions, which is why I decided to become a nurse. There are many focus areas to nursing. My love remains in public health nursing and serving communities, families, and individuals with home visits, information, vaccines, or health and wellness care. Nursing is both a career and a passion, which is why I volunteer with non-profit organizations to support the people I help while on the job.

When I transitioned to higher education and began teaching community health, I shared with student’s this area of healthcare that is largely unnoticed. Teaching nursing students and nurturing the next generation of healthcare professionals became my new passion. I introduced these students to service in the community, meeting people in their homes, and non-profit organizations that help people in our communities. Seeing the students grow from new student to practicing professional was an honor. I loved seeing the pride in their families, the joy in the students, and the opportunities for each graduate.

As an educator, I continue to volunteer for local non-profits. The joy of volunteering with my friends from Rotary and my colleagues from work, make my career and community time richer and better. For me this is about being generous. My parents have generous hearts and help others out. Following their examples, I tend to be generous with my time, resources and spirit.

Student Volunteers and the Rochester Public Library

Winona State University-Rochester is proud of our community partnership with the Rochester Public Library. Our students gain valuable field experience volunteering at the library’s Wellness Corner where they help provide social services and support for people in need. In celebration of National Volunteer Week, recognized this year from April 19-25, I chatted with Professor Amber Fiedler, Coordinator of Community and Mental Health Practicum Experiences at WSU-Rochester, and Susan Hansen, a reference librarian with the Rochester Public Library. Join us as we discuss the power of student volunteers and the importance of public resources.

Watch our full conversation on YouTube.



In this clip, Professor Fielder introduces herself and talks about her work connecting students to volunteer opportunities in the community as our Coordinator of Community and Mental Health Practicum Experiences.



In this clip, Professor Fielder shares why the Rochester Public Library is a valuable community partner.


In this clip, Susan Hansen talks about the success of the Rochester Public Library’s Wellness Corner.


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Dr. Jeanine Gangeness

Dr. Jeanine E. Gangeness is the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs – Rochester and Dean for the School of Graduate Studies at WSU.

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