What I learned from Becky Bartell and Donovan Tann

Celebrating faculty moving on to new opportunities

Becky Bartell

Becky BartellI started learning from Becky the day I walked into my first nursing class. Without a doubt, I knew walking into class every day that she wanted every single student to thrive. She was passionate about sharing her knowledge and helping us create a solid foundation on which we could launch our nursing careers.

Toward the end of my first nursing semester, I started wavering on whether I wanted to continue on the nursing track. I thought business school might be a better fit. Becky quickly could see my insecurities forming. One day while we were at clinicals, Becky pulled me aside and showed me a list she had made for me. She had written down all of the different paths a person can take once they become a nurse. She showed me how many opportunities I can have with this career and took the time to talk me through all of my concerns. It is because of Becky taking extra time and effort, Kara (Ropp) '12 Yoderto support and guide me, that I continued through the nursing program.

I frequently think back to those times with a smile on my face because I am so incredibly happy to be working as a nurse today and couldn’t imagine my life any other way. I absolutely have Becky to thank for that!

– Kara (Ropp) ’12 Yoder

Donovan Tann

Donovan TannIt’s the very nature of education, particularly at Hesston, that the process of learning builds a relationship. Therefore, while a professor may only set out to instruct their students on the finer points of critical research, they will also naturally transmit some other teachings to their students, such as an appreciation for The Good Place, the traits of a good queer ally and the strategy of using little joys to trudge through the pandemic schooling slog. All of the above are things Dr. Tann taught me over the course of my two years at Hesston, whether or not he included them in his lesson plans.

Of all of his lessons, my favorite is what I’ve come to call a spirit of gentle curiosity. More than once, class with Donovan got just slightly off track because we were diving too deeply into a single concept. This love for intellectual exploration is best explained through one of my essays that was aimed at declaring what traits, abilities or interests us students particularly wanted to carry with us into the future. It was a small class, and I had talked at length about how my many interests had given me too many futures to reasonably pursue, and I was starting to avoid choosing a major as a result. Morgan Graybill '21All this had made me dread this assignment, but we discussed the prompt and explored enough to write a paper that I was proud of and work through some of my own anxieties in the process. This perspective has helped me to make decisions less fearfully, and to continue exploring the world with more childlike wonder.

– Morgan Graybill ’21