School of Nursing Vice President named and the Ott Hall of Sciences and Nursing

Dr. Barbara Ihrke ’93 has been given a new title, Vice President of Academic Affairs for the School of Nursing. This change is reflective of the enormous success and growth the School of Nursing is experiencing under Dr. Ihrke’s leadership.

Dr. Ihrke has been with IWU since 1994 and assumed leadership of the School of Nursing in 2009. SON has seen significant growth under Dr. Ihrke’s leadership, with enrollment growth of 34% and the development and implementation of multiple new programs. In addition, Dr. Ihrke was instrumental in the planning of the Ott Science and Nursing building.

Dr. Ihrke holds a Doctorate from Purdue University with a focus on Curriculum & Instruction. International travel with students is a passion of Dr. Ihrke’s. She is a strong believer that modeling transcultural nursing, even though a challenge, permits students opportunities to understand cultural concepts. She has traveled with students to Dominican Republic, El Salvador, England, Guatemala, Ireland, Malawi, Nicaragua, Russia, Scotland and Yucatan.

She has also been instrumental in the development of the faculty/student exchange with Shenyang Medical College (School of Nursing). In addition, Barbara facilitated a team and academic affiliation with St. George’s University for Post-licensure nursing.

Ott Hall of Sciences and Nursing Naming

During the recent naming of the Ott Hall of Sciences and Nursing Building, Dr. Ihrke shared from her perspective over the many years at IWU. “The commitment to high quality, patient-centered education for example BSN, MSN, DNP has not changed.” As she reminded the audience that in 1992 we had one small lab with four beds, the expansion of the new building now includes a large lab with multiple rooms, larger than small critical access hospitals.

20140612-105734.jpg IWU President Dr. David Wright ’77 with Gary and Connie Ott ’74

Dr. Ihrke spoke about the commitment to things that have not changed over the years;

The commitment to spiritual care – for each student, for each patient has not changed. The integration of faith into the classroom, the clinical setting, and into life has been continued since the beginning of nursing education at Marion College. Nikki Rodriguez-Borasz, a recent graduate was honored by Wright State University as a Cameo of Caring© recipient for exemplifying compassion and caring in the nursing profession

The commitment to Transcultural Nursing has not changed. Since the first class 1975, students have had required experiences with patients in a variety of settings – locally, nationally, and globally. The goal has always been to provide culturally appropriate care to individuals. Wes – personal nurse of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Jake, missionary nurse in Mali, Africa, Charissa, nurse on a Mercy Ship in Africa, and Linda Craft, DON at Mary Breckinridge Hospital in Hyde, KY.

Ending the naming ceremony Dr. Ihrke spoke about how truly blessed we are. On behalf of the IWU faculty and staff of the School of Nursing she thanked those in attendance as well as Gary and Connie Ott ’74.

Building Video Feed

For more information on registering for School of Nursing – School of Nursing


Tours of the building will be available during Homecoming on October 2-4
The Ott Hall of Sciences and Nursing Building Dedication Ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, Oct 2 at 11:00 AM.

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