2021-2022 NJNS Board of Directors

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President

Jessica Zheng, Rutgers School of Nursing 

 

Hello, New Jersey nursing students! My name is Jessica Zheng, and I’m honored to serve as the newly elected President of the New Jersey Nursing Students Inc. (NJNS) for the 2021-2022 term. I am currently a rising senior at the Rutgers School of Nursing in New Brunswick in pursuit of a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Nursing.

As the newly elected President, it is my hope to increase awareness of the importance of student nurses’ participation in our state and national organizations. I believe increased engagement translates to better nursing practices for the future leaders of nursing and prepares us as change agents of healthcare policy to support marginalized communities who lack representation in the healthcare system.

My involvement with NJNS started as a monitor and an attendee at the NJNS Convention and Council of School Participants (COSP) in 2018-2019. I was inspired and awed by the dedication, passion, leadership, and outstanding efforts of the board members to create enriching and meaningful experiences for aspiring nurses and sparked my desire to serve as the 2020-2021 Resolutions Director. This experience expanded my knowledge of the nursing profession and requisite research to raise awareness of the mental health needs in marginalized communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. I had the opportunity to advocate, engage my peers in underlying and worth noting issues, and make policy recommendations on a state and national level.

I continue to promote nursing service in school and community organizations. I am an active member of Rutgers School of Nursing (RUSON) Public Relations Committee, Community Outreach Committee, and an official Rutgers School of Nursing (RUSON) Brand Ambassador. Additionally, I work with Health, Outreach, Promotion, and Education (HOPE), focusing on peer health education, mental health awareness, and community engagement and I look forward to my new position as the 2021-2022 Resolutions Director for Rutgers School Nurses’ Association (RSNA).

Aside from nursing, my hobbies and interests include fitness, health and wellness, exploring nature, reading and writing, and spending time with my friends and family.

Once again, I am honored to serve as NJNS President. I am excited to work with the rest of the board to have a successful 2021 COSP and 2022 NJNS Convention. I am excited to see what the future will bring; I am humbled to be part of this organization and to learn from my fellow board members and the advisors. If you have any questions, ideas or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to me at president@njnsinc.org.

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First Vice-President

Julia Yoon, The College of New Jersey School of Nursing 

Hello everyone! My name is Julia Yoon. I am honored to serve as the 2021-2022 First Vice President of New Jersey Nursing Students, Inc. (NJNS). I am currently a junior at The College of New Jersey, completing my Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, with a concentration in Health and Wellness. Over the summer, I began to research NJNS, its role, and its functions, out of curiosity and interest. I was aspired by their mission and vision, which sparked my interest to get involved.

 

In October, I had the opportunity to attend my first Council of School Participants (COSP). Overall, it was a truly eye-opening experience and I was able to gain exposure to my first NJNS speaker event. What stood out to me the most was the engagement of nurses and students through insight and reflection on the central topic of nursing resilience and what it means to find one’s nursing voice as a developing clinician in the healthcare field. I enjoyed having the opportunity to network with fellow students who attended the event. I was able to relate to many of the points that were addressed by various speakers such as Imposter Syndrome, burnout, and ways to advocate for ourselves and fellow healthcare professionals through empowerment, collaborative teamwork, and resilience. The messages of each speaker were introspective of the journey that many nursing students are currently undertaking to fulfill their aspirations of becoming successful, well, and confident nurses.

 

During my time as the First Vice President, I hope to create a positive experience for fellow nursing students by collaborating with the student population and e-board members to plan for the annual convention. In addition, I hope to expand my nursing network and form inclusive relations with various nursing students across the state. Most importantly, I would like to be an advocate for members/non-members to participate in professional development and leadership opportunities while upholding the mission of NJNS. Outside of academics, I enjoy playing tennis, practicing Zumba, and engaging in therapeutic art. I am very excited to serve as an e-board member of NJNS, looking forward to a great year!

 

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Second Vice-President  

Francesca Angelica Culala, Rutgers School of Nursing 

Hello everyone! My name is Francesca Angelica Culala. I am honored to serve as the 2021-2022 Second Vice President of New Jersey Nursing Students, Inc. (NJNS). Currently, I am a rising Senior at the Rutgers School of Nursing, completing my Bachelor of Science  (BS) in Nursing degree.

 

My first experience with NJNS was in my sophomore year when I attended the Council of School Participants (COSP). I loved hearing from the speakers and learning about others who shared the same passion for nursing as I did. It reminded me that as a nursing student, my learning extended beyond the four walls of the classroom. I was so amazed by the experience that I attended the Annual State Convention as a delegate. Personally, I found the focus sessions to be the highlight of the convention as they allow exposure to a vast number of topics ranging from advice for certain nursing courses to possible career choices. As such, I could not think of a better way to get involved in NJNS than having the honor of serving as the Second Vice President.

 

Over the course of my college career, I have been involved in leadership positions that have molded me into a well rounded professional. As a Faculty Nominated Peer Tutor for the School of Nursing, I worked closely with students to help them achieve their optimal academic performance. As a member of the High Impact Case Committee at the Rutgers Global Health Institute, I was part of a team of 5 where we were tasked with creating a competition that aimed to address the effects of COVID-19 on the New Brunswick Community. Lastly, I have been an active member of Rutgers Student Nurses Association (RSNA), first as part of the Resolutions Committee, then as Vice President, and currently as President. These experiences have taught me how to advocate and work with people from diverse backgrounds. I hope to use these skills in my role in the NJNS Board as well as a future nurse.

 

Outside of nursing, I love traveling, hiking, and watching movies. I also enjoy learning new things. Currently, I am learning how to cook.

 

 

I look forward to serving you as the NJNS Second Vice President. If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please feel free to reach me at 2ndvp@njnsinc.org.

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Secretary 

Pearl Bengali, Rutgers School of Nursing 

Hello everyone! My name is Pearl Bengali, I am honored to serve as the 2021-2022 Secretary of New Jersey Nursing Students, Inc. (NJNS). I am currently a rising senior at Rutgers School of Nursing in New Brunswick, completing my Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. 

 

I have been involved with NJNS since I was a freshman in college. I was a monitor for the first two years that I have attended the convention and then I became a delegate during the third year. For my final year, I couldn’t think of a better honor than to serve as the secretary of this esteemed organization. I have really enjoyed being a part of these conventions throughout my college experience as they have shown me so many different avenues of nursing and just how important student organizations are for promoting the experience of a student nurse. In my years attending the convention, I've seen the importance of the many focus sessions that are offered to the attendees, and I am looking forward to contributing to this year’s convention to ensure that other nursing students can get the same, if not better, experience.

 

I have always been passionate about joining the nursing workforce as I have many strong, influential figures in my life who are in the healthcare field. Since joining the nursing program at Rutgers, I have tried to gain as much exposure to nursing as I could during my undergraduate years. I am currently working as a patient care technician at Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, and I have had previous experience working as a food service member at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. I have also been able to work as a clinician and administer COVID-19 vaccines. These experiences make me very proud to be a member of the healthcare community and they push me to become the best nurse that I can be.

 

Outside of nursing, I enjoy cooking, gardening, hiking, watching movies and TV, and going on walks with my dog!

 

I am very excited to serve as the new secretary for this year’s board and I am honored to work amongst my fellow board members to put together an engaging and meaningful convention. Please feel free to contact me at secretary@njnsinc.org with any questions or suggestions you may have concerning this year’s convention!

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Treasurer 

Tuyen Hoang, Rutgers School of Nursing 

Hello everyone, my name is Tuyen Hoang. I am honored to serve as the 2021-2022 Treasurer of New Jersey Nursing Students, Inc. (NJNS). Currently, I am a senior at Rutgers School of Nursing - New Brunswick, pursuing my Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

 

My interest with NJNS began freshman year when our dean spoke about how amazing the organization and NJNS Convention were. Her opinion was reinforced by how many of my peers and upperclassmen continuously spoke about how wonderful the conventions were each year. They were always blown away by the speakers and the nursing topics that were discussed at the NJNS Convention, finding both very impactful to their nursing education and future career. Their experiences led to my curiosity and highly regarded perceptions with the organization, and I could not have thought of a better way of becoming involved than becoming a part of the board itself. I look forward to fulfilling the responsibilities of treasurer and contributing my skills to create positive experiences for the board, convention, and NSNA members.

 

Aside from being involved in NJNS, I have been a part of multiple programs offered at my university. Previously, I served as a peer mentor in the Peer Mentor Program in which I planned events and assisted freshmen in adjusting to their first year of college. A year later, I became the Campus Coordinator in the same program which involved performing the same duties as a peer mentor in addition to serving as the bridge between the program advisor and other peer mentors. My experience in the Peer Mentor Program allowed me to refine skills of creativity, communication, organization, and time management. Currently, I am working alongside an amazing mentor, and we are conducting research that deals with osteoporosis, fall risk, and interprofessional education. One of my goals for the research is finding a way to enhance community outreach and have the elderly population of all races, gender, and socioeconomic statuses be screened for osteoporosis and fall risk. Falls and fractures are major events that can be prevented with appropriate interventions, and I believe that everyone deserves to have access to them.

 

Outside of nursing, I partake in activities that allow me to experience novel things and reconsider my perspectives on a topic. Examples of the activities I like to do are trying different cuisines, reading medical anthropology excerpts, and watching TED talks.

 

I look forward to serving you as the NJNS Treasurer. If you have any questions or suggestions, please reach out to me at treasurer@njnsinc.org at any time.

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Pulsebeat Editor / Public Relations Director

Jauw Montalbo, Rutgers School of Nursing 

Hello, New Jersey nursing students! My name is Jauw Montalbo, and I am excited to serve as the Pulsebeat editor / Public Relations Director of New Jersey Nursing Students, Inc. (NJNS). I am currently a rising Senior at Rutgers School of Nursing, completing my Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nursing degree. 

 

My love for nursing grew during my sophomore year in high school, where I underwent surgery for a prior health condition. Never in my life had I ever been unhealthy to the point of going to the hospital. I was overwhelmed with anxiety upon hearing the bad news about my health, but nurses comforted and empowered me along the way.  Their kind words and actions inspired me to pursue nursing and help others. 

 

Over the past three years, I have become a more well-rounded professional by undertaking diverse roles both in and out of school. As a Patient Experience Department volunteer at RWJ, I developed a passion for providing safe patient care and optimizing patient experience.  Last year, I was the Community Outreach Co-Director for RSNA. My love for helping others motivated me to organize philanthropic events to raise awareness and funds for various medical causes, such as leukemia and lymphoma, Rutgers Against Hunger, and more.  I was also the Public Relations Chairperson for Rutgers Nursing Student Senate (RUSON), where I've honed much of my skill in and advertising events. My leadership positions helped me gain the confidence to collaborate with my colleagues and develop ideas to improve our organization and community. I am excited to apply what I've learned to my current position at NJNS and create an amazing year with my fellow NJNS board members.

 

Since my freshman year, I have attended the annual NJNS Atlantic City convention as both a monitor and nurse delegate. Each year, I was blown away by the speakers and how a group of college students can pull off such a successful convention for hundreds of nursing students. I yearned to organize nursing conferences that united schools and provided resources for nursing students to thrive. Therefore, I decided to run for the Pulsebeat Editor / Public Relations Director for NJNS. My goal is to improve NJNS's social media presence and get more students interested in being a part of NSNA and attending our events. 

 

Other than being a nursing student, I enjoy bullet journaling and drawing in my free time. While I am not Picasso, I also enjoy attempting to follow Bob Ross's painting tutorials. In addition, I like to play board games with my family and bond with friends over a picnic at the park. 

 

I am excited and honored to serve you as your Pulsebeat Editor / Public Relations Director. Feel free to contact me at publicrelations@njnsinc.org with any questions, concerns, or suggestions. 

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Membership/Nominations Director
Health Policy and Advocacy Director

George Henson III, Rutgers School of Nursing 

Greetings, New Jersey nursing students! My name is George Henson III, and I feel honored and ecstatic to serve you as the 2021-2022 Membership/Nomination Director of New Jersey Nursing Students, Inc. (NJNS). I am currently a senior at Rutgers School of Nursing, pursuing my Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Nursing.

Attending the NJNS 2019 and 2020 Conventions as a monitor and delegate, respectively, and the Council of School Participants (COSP) 2020 inspired me to apply to and serve in the NJNS board. My active participation in these events broadened my knowledge about the nursing profession and introduced me to connections and friendships with other nursing students from various schools and healthcare professionals from different organizations that should last a lifetime. Most importantly, I have witnessed firsthand the passion and dedication of the previous board members in improving NJNS and its events every year, which immensely motivated me to become a part of the board this year.

 

During the 2020-2021 academic year, I served as the Secretary of both the Rutgers School of Nursing (RUSON) Student Senate and Rutgers Student Nurses’ Association (RSNA). While my position mainly entailed the maintenance and organization of records and documents, I did a lot more by forming connections, relationships, and bonds with the whole student body. I used my voice to represent everyone, inspire others to become the best versions of themselves, and instill confidence to take up space and cement our legacies both in and out of RUSON through selfless service. I hope to continue these acts by serving as the Vice President of our Student Senate and the Treasurer of RSNA this year. Along with these positions, I also served, and will continue serving, as a Faculty-Nominated Peer Tutor that provides me an awesome opportunity to help my fellow nursing students with their classes, test-taking strategies, and time management. Holding these positions during this past hectic year was difficult, but it has definitely improved my communication, organization, and prioritization skills, made me disciplined and resourceful, enhanced my ability to work efficiently with a team, and strengthened my resolve to get through nursing school and become an RN someday. With these, I am truly excited to continue enhancing my leadership skills and representing all NJ nursing students by serving as the Membership/Nomination Director this year!

 

Outside of nursing, I enjoy watching thriller movies and medical TV shows, listening to soothing music, exercising, and spending time with my family and friends. To prevent procrastination, I maintain a busy, structured schedule, yet prioritize my health at all times by treating myself to the movies, spa, restaurants, or mall.

Once again, I look forward to serving you as the NJNS Membership/Nomination Director and working with the other board members and advisors to create enjoyable, informative, and meaningful events and provide networking opportunities for you all! I hope to see you at COSP and our annual convention. Should you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please feel free to email me at membership@njnsinc.org, and I will be more than happy to answer!

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Population and Global Health Director

 VACANT!

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Breakthrough to Nursing Director 

VACANT! 

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Resolutions Director 

Anjali Badeti, Rutgers School of Nursing 

 

Hello! My name is Anjali Badeti and I am a rising senior at Rutgers School of Nursing in New Brunswick. I am excited to serve as Resolutions Director of New Jersey Nursing Students, Inc (NJNS) for 2021-2022. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Rutgers University, and have also completed minors in Psychology and Spanish.

 

I first found out about NJNS my first year at Rutgers and was fortunate to be able to attend the NJNS Annual Convention that year as a monitor. I was thoroughly impressed by the goals of the organization to bridge nursing students across the state as well as disseminate new research and advice to future nurses. I am looking forward to developing a resolution to present at the convention, and hope that it will help bring to light areas in nursing that we can improve.

 

During high school, when it was time to decide what I wanted to do, I remember struggling with the kind of role I wanted to play in the healthcare field. When I picked nursing, I did not have much experience with the field, but was simply drawn to it due to the nurse and patient dynamic. I am very grateful for my experiences during my time at Rutgers as they have helped solidify my desire to be a nurse. My experiences through clinical, working with patients with COVID-19 as a Nurse Aide at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, and my involvement in NJNS helped me understand and appreciate nurses to a whole other degree, as well as made me thankful that I entered this field.

 

Additionally, I now understand that nurses not only provide care, but can be instigators in policy change to better patient outcomes. As a student in the Honors program at Rutgers School of Nursing, I work with doctoral-prepared nurses and am currently researching the efficacy of screening protocols for post-concussion symptoms. My project has helped me understand the impact of nursing research on changing healthcare policy, and I am excited to extend these skills into NJNS when I work as Resolutions Director! 

 

Outside of nursing, I spend my Fridays at RU Pilot Me, a youth mentoring program for New Brunswick public school students. I also enjoy baking, finding and trying out new recipes, and knitting! Please reach out to me at resolution@njnsinc.org with any questions or suggestions regarding resolutions for this upcoming convention!

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Fundraising Director 

Lauren Bedell, Trinitas School of Nursing 

Hello, fellow New Jersey nursing students! My name is Lauren Bedell, and I feel honored and privileged to serve as the newly elected Fundraising Director of the New Jersey Nursing Students Inc. (NJNS) for the term of 2021-2022. I am currently in my very first semester of nursing school at Trinitas School of Nursing, seeking my RN. 

 

As the new Fundraising Director, I have several goals and aspirations. I am looking forward to supporting my fellow nursing students in any way I can. It is my hope to reach out to as many organizations, businesses, and individuals that share in our passion for healthcare and helping others to obtain their support for the NJNS. 

I first became involved with the NJNS by attending the NJNS Convention and Council of School Participants (COSP) held during the 2021-2022 term. I was motivated and inspired by the commitment, intelligence, and eloquence of the speakers and board members alike. My attendance at this event truly sparked my interest in becoming part of the NJNS because I witnessed first-hand the positive influence the convention had on myself and my peers also in attendance. 

I also serve the nursing student community by being a Student Nurse Association (SNA) class representative for my Nursing 130 class at Trinitas School of Nursing in Elizabeth, NJ. In addition, I work full-time as a pharmacy technician for the inpatient pharmacy at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. Interacting with patients and healthcare colleagues in the hospital setting has further piqued my interest in nursing. I am particularly interested in ICU nursing.

 

In addition to nursing, my interests include cooking/baking, watching movies, and spending time with friends and family. I thoroughly enjoy reading and learning about different cultures and languages, as well. 

 

I am eager to serve you as the NJNS Fundraising Director. I am really looking forward to collaborating with my fellow board members on the upcoming 2022 NJNS Convention to make it one of our best conventions yet! I am optimistic about my future with the NJNS as well as grateful to be a part of an organization dedicated to advocacy and the professional development of our state’s future nurses. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me anytime at  Fundraising@njnsinc.org.