Catherine Nosek announced 2019 Professor of the Year


Contributed by Catherine Nosek

Nursing professor Catherine Nosek was named the 2018-19 Professor of the Year. Nosek was recognized for her dedication to her students, the work she does with travel studies and Med-Life.

Hannah Hippensteel, Features Reporter

Catherine Nosek, a nursing professor, was named as the 2018-19 recipient of Professor of the Year.

From a young age, Nosek said there were two games she loved to play with her younger sister: school and nurse. The fun and games evolved into a curiosity about the field and led her to becoming both a nurse and a professor.

Nosek went through many years of schooling and decided to pursue an associate’s degree in critical care.

Through many courses in critical care and with her clinical expertise, she found herself inspired by her own teacher’s passion, knowledge and commitment and translated that into her own life. She later earned her bachelors and masters of Science in Nursing.

Nosek has been at Winona State since 1997. Before that, she spent time at University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Nosek said the best word to describe her teaching style is passionate. This became evident as she talked about her willingness and flexibility with students, both in and outside the classroom, as she prides herself on valuing her students’ time and experiences.

Nosek said it is important for her to stay student-oriented by reading their energy and flexing with them throughout her classes.

She also takes the time to forge meaningful, personal connections with her students which she said is always appreciated.

“My teaching style also reflects being a risk-taker. I like to try new things, and I’m okay if they don’t always work out,” Nosek said.

Katelyn Bracken, a term one  nursing student, said Nosek helps ease the stress of being a new student to the nursing program through her kindness and determination to see her students succeed.

“She cares about her students and she cares about our future careers as nurses, which is a prime example of why she deserves Professor of the Year,” Bracken said.

Kelton Sundstrom, another first term nursing student, expressed that he enjoys having Nosek as a professor.

“She always puts her students’ concerns first and finds way to help every student succeed,” Sundstrom said.

Nosek’s colleague, administrative assistant Melissa Neitzel, said she enjoys working alongside her.

“Cathy goes the extra mile for her students. She challenges them to think outside the box and is a professor that students make a point to remember and keep in contact with after graduation,” Neitzel said.

When Nosek is not in the classroom, she enjoys participating in travel studies to Tanzania and working closely with Med-Life to both connect with students and help provide healthcare to impoverished countries.

Nosek, who had previously been a bed-side nurse, recounted that her decision to leave her role was not an easy one. However, she had two points on that matter.

First, teaching is not about knowing everything, second, even though she no longer works as a bed-side nurse, she still enjoys being able to influence patient outcomes through her students.

“When you’re able to make a difference, it makes a difference,” Nosek said.