In high school, Kylie Rieser ’12 was fascinated with anything medical. She was so intent on getting into Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN) that she earned a certified nursing assistant certificate and got some experience before applying.

Rieser was able to attend MCN with support from the Peter A. and Ella G. Schertz Scholarship, which is awarded to an undergraduate student who is strong in leadership, community service, and/or volunteerism. The new $2 million MCN Nursing Simulation Lab enabled Rieser to practice hands-on nursing skills and interventions on lifelike mannequins with “live” responses.

“It gave us this ability to go through the hard and difficult simulations that maybe you don’t want your first time on a unit,” Rieser said. “We were able to do all procedures from beginning to end and also critique the practice with a video review. It was amazing.”

When Rieser heard about the opportunity to study nursing abroad through the Jana L. Edge Endowed International Transcultural Nursing Scholarship, which would pay part of her expenses, she knew she had to apply. She was able to study nursing in Great Britain, where she learned how a universal health care system works.

“It’s a system focused on preventative care, rather than chronic illness. The system is less taxed by the higher costs of disease management, and patients are less stressed while in care because there is someone always keeping in touch with them. This approach can really affect how people heal.”

Kylie received the Jana L. Edge Endowed International Transcultural Nursing Scholarship and the Peter A. and Ella G. Schertz Scholarship. The Jana L. Edge fund enables nursing student leaders in the program to broaden their knowledge through travel, learning, and application of their knowledge and skills in other cultures. (Another Edge fund, the Orlyn Edge Scholarship, provides scholarships to actuarial science students.) The Schertz scholarship was established by Beulah Schertz Roth and Velma Schertz, Mennonite Hospital School of Nursing (MHSN) graduates, in memory of their parents. Beulah’s daughter, Cinda Roth, is also a 1965 MHSN and 1972 ISU graduate. Family and friends continue to support the fund. The scholarship is awarded to a full-time Mennonite College of Nursing student who demonstrates leadership, a spirit of friendship, sharing, and service.

The personal stories of gratitude shared by these students are increasingly the norm at Illinois State University, as more alumni and friends of Illinois State make an investment in the University’s programs and people. Every gift received has a positive impact. Private support reveals each donor’s passion, while fueling the passion of students whose college experience is either made possible through financial assistance or further enriched because campus offerings are bolstered. State your Passion today by making a contribution online at, calling (309) 438-8041, or sending an email to