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Mennonite College of Nursing hosts visiting scholars from Brazil

Nurses and professors together

Transcultural Coordinator Melissa Moody (left), Associate Professor Kim Schafer Astroth, Visiting Scholar Thalyta Mansano-Schlosser, Assistant Professor Teresa Valerio, and Professor Caroline Mallory

Illinois State University’s Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN) continues its relationship with UNICAMP (Universidade Estadual de Campinas) in Campinas, Brazil. In June visiting scholar Thalyta Christina Mansano-Schlosser arrived in the United States to work on her Ph.D. and work closely with MCN Assistant Professor Teresa Valerio on her research, said Melissa Moody, transcultural coordinator.

Mansano-Schlosser is a nurse with her master’s degree and specializes in sleep quality and cancer in the elderly. She is now finishing her Ph.D. dissertation, “Poor Sleep Quality and Occurrence of Distant Metastasis in Women With Breast Cancer,” with the help of Dr. Maria Filomena Ceolim, her advisor back in Brazil. She is also thankful for the partnership of Valerio and Ceolim in her endeavors.

Mansano-Schlosser arrived in Chicago first, and then flew to Minneapolis to meet Valerio for a sleep conference for her first few days in the U.S. During her three-month stay, she was also able to attend a Systematic Review Training workshop at Purdue University in Indiana with Valerio and Associate Professor Kim Schafer Astroth. Together they did a systematic review on sleep, fatigue, breast cancer, and exercises that they plan to develop in the next few years. She also attended a school nurse conference in Normal with Instructor Lynn Kennell.

Mansano-Schlosser was able to attend several MCN undergraduate and graduate courses. She spent some time in the Nursing Simulation Lab, and Sarah Lindsey, a D.N.P. student, spent time with her serving as a peer mentor. Mansano-Schlosser said the experience was very enriching and she learned a lot working with Lindsey. She also had the opportunity to tour several of the local and regional hospitals and cancer services.

Mansano-Schlosser attended various cultural activities with the faculty and staff. She visited the Lincoln Museum and Lincoln’s Tomb in Springfield and attended a musical event at Starved Rock. There were some wonderful summer festivals happening in Normal during her stay that she was able to experience, as well as a Peoria Chiefs baseball game.

During Mansano-Schlosser’s stay, her husband, Christian, came to join her for a few weeks to celebrate their anniversary. They are both theater enthusiasts (Christian is an actor) and enjoyed all of the Shakespeare Festival productions at Illinois State. They spent their anniversary weekend sightseeing in Chicago, and later traveled to New York City to see some Broadway shows.

Mansano-Schlosser wishes to thank everyone who made her stay in the U.S. so valuable and enjoyable. “I’m especially grateful to Transcultural Coordinator Melissa Moody, who made my time here happy and safe,” she said. “And thank you to Professor Lynn Kennel, who taught me so much about nursing in the U.S. and the American way of life, OSFS Specialist Nancy Wagler, and their families.”

MCN also welcomed Sandra Veiga de Oliveira Santos from UNICAMP on August 1 for a yearlong visit. She will be working with Associate Professor Susan Kossman this fall on lab simulation, and next spring will be working with Associate Professor Wendy Woith on her specific research on insertion of nasogastric feeding tubes in adults.

Mansano-Schlosser and Veiga de Oliveira Santos, who knew each other from UNICAMP, were able to spend about a month together before Mansano-Schlosser returned to Brazil at the end of August. Mansano-Schlosser said she’s “grateful to Sandra for an unforgettable opportunity to reflect on their education in classes and the Nursing Simulation Lab.”

Mansano-Schlosser intends to continue with postdoctorate work after her dissertation is completed in July 2015. She will continue to study sleep and breast cancer and would like to keep working with Valerio on the next manuscripts. After this she intends to fulfill her biggest dream: to become a professor in nursing. She said she is grateful to UNICAMP for this opportunity and to MCN. Her time in the U.S. made one of the biggest differences in her career.

“We are thrilled to continue this relationship with UNICAMP,” said Kennell, transcultural faculty advisor. “We look forward to hosting more visiting scholars, and we plan to take our students to Brazil again next spring for a transcultural experience.”

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