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Meet Our Alumni Advisory Council Chair

Meet Our Alumni Advisory Council Chair

Posted on 5 Jul 2022 by Khadijah

New Mom, New Leadership Role, New Opportunities

Adaptability is a core nursing strength. It's also essential in Chelsi Wright's everyday life as a new mom, a nurse and chair of the Alumni Advisory Council at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College. Her chair position began in January when her baby was just 3 months old.


The 2017 Goldfarb graduate of the college joined the Alumni Advisory Council the year after her graduation.


"After graduation, I wasn’t ready to NOT be involved at Goldfarb so I joined the council along with two other recent graduates," Wright says.


She co-chaired the council for two years before accepting the chair position. “I was honored to be asked and I have grown to love the people and the council," she says. "I'm the 'youngster' on the council and serve with alumni from many different decades. I bring a unique perspective and have knowledge of the recent curriculum and teachers. I’ve also gained leadership skills and see how I can contribute to Goldfarb’s future."


Wright acknowledges that some graduates are not as invested in Goldfarb because they may only have been students for a year. One of her goals as chair is to determine how to better engage alumni and help them stay involved.

Engaging Younger Alumni for a Healthier Future


She is already racking up accomplishments as the chair of the Alumni Advisory Council. Soon after assuming the chair, she spearheaded efforts to survey alumni. It showed that the newer generation of nurses were not invested in the college 11 months after graduation.


“Because of the pandemic, we've all felt a little more disconnected," she says. "I would love to come up with creative ways to help others become proud alumni. I want to grow the team and get people excited and interested in the Alumni Association."


The Alumni Advisory Council includes about 15 to 20 people. Some members have been involved from the beginning, Wright points out. "The members are very loyal and our quarterly meetings have great attendance. We have lively conversations and everyone contributes ideas. It's fun and I've learned a lot from fellow council members."


She believes getting younger alumni involved is vital to the future of Goldfarb and is a learning opportunity. "The leadership experience you gain on the Alumni Advisory Council is so valuable. And it allows you to still be involved in Goldfarb to shape the future of nursing education."


Wright continues: "It was an honor to go to Goldfarb. I love that the school is always looking at ways to stay at the top. I'm a forever learner. That's important to nurses because the world of health care is always changing."

How Chelsi Got Her Groove Back


Wright came to Goldfarb with a bachelor’s degree in pre-nursing from University of Missouri–Columbia. She wanted to stay in St. Louis for nursing school and Goldfarb's accelerated option caught her eye.


"I toured Goldfarb and loved it," she says. "It's the best decision I've ever made. I felt Goldfarb was where I belonged and I had a passion for nursing."


After her graduation from Goldfarb, Wright worked in the neuro ICU at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Later she became an assistant nurse manager for a year. Once the pandemic hit, she adjusted her schedule to meet her family's changing needs. Today, she continues to work in the neuro ICU as a staff nurse.


Since Wright stepped into her leadership role on the Goldfarb Alumni Advisory Council, she got married and had a baby—a lot of change in a short time. Although balancing her personal life and her professional responsibilities is a challenge, she juggles it like a pro by relying on her skills of flexibility, prioritizing and resiliency.


“My biggest challenge is how to adjust to the new normal," she says. "I like to stay busy and now I’m finding my groove in managing my work with a new baby."


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