By: Dezaray Barr
Julie McCallum was an undergraduate, resident student in the Nursing Program (before the school of nursing) at Indiana Wesleyan University from 1992-1996.
“I kind of chose nursing on the spot… it very was spontaneous, because I thought I was going to be a bio major,” McCallum said. “I nearly registered for bio classes and walked to the nursing office, and since then never changed my major.”
After graduating from the Nursing Program in 1996, Julie married Chad McCallum, who is also an IWU grad and spoke in chapel last week.
Once the couple was married, they spent 17 years in central and western Michigan. While in Michigan, McCallum spent most of her career in state and local public health departments, which is what she is passionate about. She discovered that passion while taking the community health course at IWU during her undergraduate career.
Her first job was in a public health department in Hillsdale County, Michigan as the clinic coordinator. She also received her Master’s Degree in public health with an epidemiology focus from the University of Michigan.
Her family then moved to the Grand Rapids area, where she worked for the Kent County Health Department as a nurse. She then spent eight years at the Michigan State Health Department doing tuberculosis control as the regional tuberculosis consultant for the State of Michigan.
After spending those 17 years in Michigan, the couple and their children have spent the last three and a half years living in Indiana.
McCallum is currently an adjunct faculty for the IWU School of Nursing, where she works part time teaching Population Health and Perspectives in Poverty and Health in the non-residential program for the R.N. B.S.N. Completion Program.
“Both classes have a connection to public health nursing and that really was my passion,” said McCallum. “It’s a different focus, but the classes are interesting. I love teaching because I love learning. The students are professionals, and they bring a lot experience to the table.”
She also works part-time as the Lead Nurse Planner at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health.
McCallum enjoys being an adjunct faculty at IWU, because she has the ability to share her faith with students and can include that part of herself in the classroom. She also appreciates being able to have a first response with her students of prayer.
“I would tell current students to keep an open mind throughout all of nursing school, because they may find their niche,” said McCallum. “I didn’t take my community health class until my very last semester… there are so many avenues of nursing. Obviously, they need to learn it all, but keep an option mind because there are many ways you can go as a graduate.”
Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a sophomore Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU Dezaray is involved in PRSSA leadership and runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.