About Sethann Knauss

“During the 2020-2021 academic year everyone struggled a bit,” said Sethann Knauss, referring to social distancing, Zoom fatigue and other coronavirus-related stressors.

She craved face-to-face time with people who understood.

“I realized that if I needed it, probably some other students needed it as well,” she said. “It would be good, especially during the pandemic, to get something going where people can come and talk and express their concerns and get some help.”

When the need for a student-nurses support group came up during a Nursing 425-Family and Community Health class meeting, Sethann volunteered to start one.

She worked with classmates Evelyn Welch and Alicia Sanichar to hold weekly meetings for Nursing students at the end of the spring semester.

They will resume meeting in the fall, “just to bounce ideas around and see other ways in which people cope, during the pandemic and with school itself,” said Sethann. “It was really beneficial. I learned some new things from the other students.”

Sethann plans to work with Assistant Professor of Nursing Jill Ensminger Ph.D., MSN, RN, to recruit students from the fall 2021 Family and Community Health class to be co-leaders and ensure the group’s continuity after she graduates in December 2021.

The support group was one of the first activities in the Nursing department’s Watson Room, a dedicated space in Ackerman Hall for Nursing students to recharge (Students in Family and Community Health I and II helped establish the Watson Room as a class project.)

Besides inspiring Sethann to start the support group, Family and Community Health has also inspired her choice of practice area after she graduates. “I’m gearing toward public health in my career,” she said.