Melody earned her BA in nursing from EMU in 1989 and went on to earn a MS in medical/surgical nursing from University of Virginia two years later. In 2003 she earned her graduate certificate in teaching nursing. In August 2010 she earned her PhD in Instructional Technology from the University of Virginia Curry School of Education.
Wendy joined the nursing department in 2011. She received her BS in Biology from Bridgewater College, then completed her BS in nursing at Virginia Commonwealth University. She worked part-time in medical psychiatry and long-term care while completing her MS in nursing at VCU. Her favorite area of practice came during her four years at Hospice of the Piedmont where she worked first as a long-term care case manager and then a nursing supervisor.
Wendy is married to Jeff, a local pastor and Eastern Mennonite Seminary graduate. They have a three-year-old son and are expecting another son in September 2012.
Ann Graber Hershberger has worked in family health, community health, international health, and nursing education since 1976. Ann and her husband Jim, a pastor, have spent 10 years in church sponsored service in Central America. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia; her dissertation was “A case study of relationships between Nicaraguan non-governmental health organizations, communities served, donor agencies, and the Ministry of Health.” She spent the 1999-2000 academic year in Nicaragua researching the project. During the fall semester of 2008 she was on sabbatical and completed a research study on the experiences of families in Guatemala and West Bank, Palestine who have hosted EMU Cross Cultural students over the last decade. She has been a consultant for a Nursing School in Nicaragua, and has been on the board of MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) since 1997, and is currently the chair of MCC U.S. Mother of three adult children, she enjoys speaking Spanish, reading, gardening, and sitting on her porch.
Tammy has many years experience in Community Health Nursing roles. Since 2005 she has been teaching nursing. In addition, she serves in a number of volunteer roles in the community setting, including working as a Parish Nurse. Working with vulnerable populations, including the area homeless, is also a major area of interest. Currently, Tammy is pursuing a Ph.D. in Strategic Leadership at JMU.
Erica is a graduate of the EMU nursing program. Her specialty areas include cardiology, acute care, biomedical ethics, and patient safety and quality. Erica and her husband Neal Lewis, owner of Sustainable Solutions of Virginia, have two children in elementary school. For hobbies Erica enjoys going to the gym and cooking with her kids.
Don Tyson has been teaching in the Nursing Department at the undergraduate and graduate levels at EMU since August 1999. During the summer, as well as on weekends throughout the school year, he works at Sentara – Rockingham Memorial Healthcare in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit on a prn basis. He has previous experience in a variety of clinical and administrative nursing roles related to critical care, post-anesthesia care, and quality improvement. He graduated from Goshen College in 1979 and from the University of Virginia in 1986. In April of 2012 he received his PhD in Nursing from George Mason University based on his qualitative research examining the critical thinking characteristics of African students enrolled in nursing programs in the United States. While a student at George Mason, his research focused on issues related to the uninsured and undocumented immigrants as well as critical thinking, learning style, and other issues experienced by international nursing students. He enjoys singing in the local Shenandoah Valley Choral Society, baseball, gardening, biking, and camping.
Jo is a Family Nurse Practitioner who has worked as an FNP for the past 8 years. Prior to getting her MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner, Jo worked for 20 years as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner in Alaska and the Pacific Islands. She joined the nursing department at EMU Fall 2008 and is fulfilling a life goal to teach basic nursing students. She is married to Pete Wallis and has two children, Adam and Kosh.
Laura Esch serves as the Administrative Coordinator for both the Undergraduate, and Graduate Nursing Programs of Eastern Mennonite University. Before coming to EMU in August of 2005, Laura supervised an adult home that promotes independence for adults with physical and mental disabilities.
In February 2004, Laura married Eastern Mennonite High School graduate, Chad Esch. Together they have two sons, Liam Edison and Elijah Newton.
During Laura’s free time, she REALLY enjoys watching college basketball, playing volleyball, home remodeling, being outdoors,reading, writing and spending time with her family.