Facilitators of UMSN: Jamie Rasmussen

At the University of Michigan School of Nursing we believe that success is a collective endeavor. We celebrate the unique talent and drive that propels our students and faculty to achieve as scholars as we recognize the skilled network of staff who support them along the way.

"Facilitators of UMSN" is a series that will spotlight some of the 118 staff members at UMSN who use their expertise to help members of the UMSN community work toward their goals as scholars, educators, and nurses. We hope you learn more about these talented and dedicated people through this series. 

UMSN Facilitator: Jamie Rasmussen

Instructional Learning Senior

Hometown: Thomas Township (Saginaw County), MI

Joined UMSN in February 2013

What do you work on during a typical day?

I do any needed IT support for the School of Nursing, so it’s wide variety of work. It could be fixing a broken computer, teaching someone how to use a piece of software, or figuring out why a simulation mannequin isn’t working in the Clinical Learning Center.

Many of our faculty are using cool technology in their research. For example, Dr. Aebersold is researching how virtual reality can be used in teaching. Sometimes I get to help with those kinds of projects which is really fun.

Many people find technology complicated and frustrating. What advice do you have to make things easier?

I love doing IT but my passion is teaching IT. I would encourage more people to take advantage of training sessions. Our IT team spends a lot of time putting the programs together. The end goal is always to give our community the resources and skills that will be helpful to their jobs. It’s like that old parable about fish. If you give a man a fish, he’ll eat that day but if you teach a man to fish, he can eat for lifetime. We’re always happy to be your fish supplier but we love to teach people how to fish.

You’ve gotten involved with planning some of the fun activities for faculty and staff.  Why do you think that is an important part of work?

I’ve worked in boring corporate offices with white walls and no fun activities. I’ve also worked in offices with bright colors on the walls, and cool stuff in the break room like ping-pong tables, slushies and popcorn. My experience has been that people are happier and more productive when there is fun in the workplace. They also tend to stay in their job longer instead of looking for other opportunities. Group activities, like the picnics, are also good ways to build camaraderie among co-workers which can be beneficial to the work. You always have to get your work done, of course, but there’s usually room for a bit of fun too.

This is your first time working in higher education and nursing environments. What have you learned?

I had no idea how rigorous the nursing program is for students. In my IT program, you could fail a test and still bounce back to graduate with honors. For nursing students, it can have serious implications. Plus, with their clinicals and other requirements, they have really intense schedules. I’m really impressed by how hard our students work.

What’s something people don’t know about you?

I just got engaged so that’s definitely the biggest thing in my personal life right now. I’m really looking forward to the next stage of my life. I also volunteer a lot. I’m part of the Junior Chamber, which is a civic organization that gives back to the community. I also volunteer once a week at Mott Children’s hospital. I love to run.

I’ve completed a few half marathons and lots of shorter distance races. I won a 5k once. It was held where I went to high school so that felt pretty good.