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College of Nursing Professor Heading to Worldwide Apple Conference

Melissa Willmarth-Stec, an associate professor of clinical nursing at UC's College of Nursing, will attend the Apple Distinguished Educator Global Institute in Berlin, Germany.

Date: 7/14/2017
By: Katie Pence
Phone: 558-6052
Melissa Willmarth-Stec, DNP, associate professor of clinical nursing at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Nursing, has been selected to attend the Apple Distinguished Educator Global Institute in Berlin, Germany next week. Being invited to the organization's biennial international conference is just the latest in a series of honors for Willmarth-Stec.

In 2015, Willmarth-Stec was accepted into the American College of Nurse-Midwives Fellowship program and inducted as a fellow-at-large, and was recognized as an outstanding educator by Cincy Magazine. The same year, Willmarth-Stec was named an Apple Distinguished Educator—a selective global community comprised of more than 2,000 of the world's education pioneers who are using company technology to transform teaching and learning in the classroom. The program was started in 1994 by Apple founder Steve Jobs.

"I was accepted to be an Apple Distinguished Educator for the Americas and attended that institute in Miami last July," Willmarth-Stec says. "The application for the worldwide institute became available in late winter. Each candidate submitted a two minute video about their impact in the classroom and on other educators.  I had an amazing 2015, I presented all over the country on using technology integration in education.  As a result of that work, I was chosen to be a worldwide Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE)—and the only nurse or nursing faculty to be included."

Willmarth-Stec is one of 400 Worldwide Apple Distinguished Educators chosen to attend from more than 2,300 ADEs around the world. The four-day intensive learning experience will bring the 400 ADEs together to collaborate, share and learn. Willmarth-Stec will be sharing her work on tracking achievement of competencies using electronic portfolios that are a culmination of the work that students do in Doctor of Nursing (DNP) program.

"For me, it provides me the opportunity to meet and work with people who have ideas that I never considered," Willmarth-Stec says. "As educators, it's important that we practice our trade—just like an actor or a musician—you don't get better if you don't practice and study."

Willmarth-Stec, the director of the DNP in the UC College of Nursing hopes the experience in Berlin helps her build on the work she's already doing with her students. "It's about changing the pedagogy of the traditional classroom and moving beyond just remembering concepts, to applying them in a hands on way using technology.  It really is a transformation of education that is taking place."