Wheelhouse Talks series to feature KCON's Tricia Thomas

Tricia Thomas with the Kirkhof College of Nursing

With a lifetime devoted to nursing, Tricia Thomas with the Kirkhof College of Nursing knows the significance of what empowerment can mean to a patient. Building connections with patients and their families can make all the difference in their recovery, she said. 

“It's offering hope, and painting a picture that may be different than the one that they have in their mind's eye, but something they can see for themselves that they want to move toward,” Thomas said. “That’s very empowering.”

Thomas will share her experiences with Grand Valley students, faculty and staff as part of the 2023-2024 Wheelhouse Talks lecture series at 4:30 p.m. on December 1 at the DeVos Center on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

The Wheelhouse Talks, a signature program of the Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy, presents leaders from a variety of backgrounds to share their philosophies and expertise with the Laker community. 

Friday’s event also concludes the Hauenstein Center’s programming theme of empowered citizenship for 2023. The theme will continue in 2024 with the Hauenstein Center hosting authors, lecturers and scholars who will explore the responsibilities facing citizens on national and global scales.

Along with guiding Grand Valley’s nursing students, Thomas has extensive experience working internationally with faculty and students in Asia and Europe. She said an emotional farewell ceremony in Japan a decade ago still resonates with her and impacts her work at Grand Valley. 

“It was like an experience I'd never had,” Thomas said. “Ten years later, it still moves me, and it really helps me to appreciate that when you think about where we are here at Grand Valley, we talk about thinking and acting locally for global impact. It really brought that into full focus for me.”


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