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Go Ahead, Think Big

Like many nurses in the Great Lakes Bay Region, Dr. Wanda Zenzen started her career with an associate’s degree.

Now an associate professor in Delta’s nursing program, Zenzen can relate to many of the struggles her students may face – being a parent, working a full-time job while going to school, or both. “When I started off in my associate’s degree program, I was a single mom with two children at home,” said Zenzen, who teaches mental health nursing. “I think that by sharing my story, it gives them a little bit of encouragement to show them that I did it, so they can too.”

"Delta is a wonderful college with wonderful faculty and we’re here for their success. We give students what they need to be successful regardless of their educational goals."

 After getting her two-year degree, Zenzen began working in critical care while also working on bachelor and master degrees at the University of Michigan, becoming a nurse practitioner. She’s worked at Delta for over a decade now. She believes her experience has helped her tremendously in her role as a faculty member, saying that she and other faculty members encourage students to think big and to consider pursuing an advanced degree.

Wanda Zenzen“I always tell students to use the nursing program as a foundation,” Zenzen said. “Delta’s program prepares students to work in the community. It also prepares them to go on and obtain higher education.” But not all students need to go on, she said. “I think that sometimes students feel like they have to go to a four-year university and that’s not the case,” Zenzen said. “Delta is a wonderful college with wonderful faculty and we’re here for their success. We give students what they need to be successful regardless of their educational goals.”

Many of Delta’s students, including those in the nursing program, are non-traditional and may be a little older than some of their classmates. Zenzen recently ran into an older student she had encouraged to stay in the nursing program. The woman did, going on to complete her master’s degree when she was well into her 50s. “She held my hands and told me that it was because of my words of encouragement that she went on,” Zenzen said. “That touched me.”

Meet more big thinkers

Carrie BurdzinskiCarrie Burdzinski
Assistant Professor of Biology
Carrie does more than teach biology at Delta – she helps her students understand how they can use that knowledge outside the classroom to improve their health. 
Brad DeRocheBrad DeRoche
Associate Professor of Music
An accomplished classical guitarist, Brad fosters a classroom environment where learning and developing as a musician also means growing as a person.
Jo HernandezJoseph Hernandez
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
A Delta graduate, Joseph now helps the next generation of students learn and grow by teaching mathematics at his alma mater. 

 

Joe LewisJoe Lewis
Associate Professor of English

Some might see a Hollywood film as mindless entertainment. Joe sees it as a reflection of society and a valuable teaching tool. It’s part of what makes his lessons in English engaging and relevant.
Lisa O'LaughlinLisa O'Laughlin
Associate Professor of Office Administration & Technology
Passionate about teaching and technology, Lisa equips students with the knowledge to be skilled office administrators, while also offering support and a listening ear. 
Linda PlackowskiLinda Plackowski
Professor of Philosophy
Living ethically and with a purpose has been Linda’s life “quest.” As a philosophy professor at Delta, she helps students find similar meaning for themselves, while equipping them to think logically about everything from advertising to politics.

 

Wanda ZenzenWanda Zenzen
Associate Professor of Nursing &
Coordinator of Nursing Program
Wanda prepares her nursing students for the workforce by giving them the most up-to-date, hands-on training in a real-life laboratory setting prior to their clinical work.