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Megan Nielsen | Faces of Midland Employee Edition


A Positive Influence

Megan Nielsen’s decision to become a teacher was forged in the classroom while she was a college student.

During her time at Wayne State College, Megan was inspired by one of her own teachers, paving the path to follow in her footsteps. “I formed a close relationship with one of my professors (Dr. Jean Karlen). She encouraged me to go onto graduate school and motivated me to become the same type of professor she was for me.”

For the past 13 years, Megan has been working to inspire students of her own at Midland University. Nearly two years ago, her role expanded when she became the Dean of the Luther College of Arts & Sciences. Whether in the classroom or leading the department, Megan’s love for education centers around the development of students. “My favorite part of teaching is seeing the progress and growth that happens with students, whether that’s over a course of four years or just a semester. I love sharing with them the excitement of a big project that came together, an insightful internship, or that desired job offer.”

Those experiences don’t end after graduation, as Megan is grateful that a place like Midland affords professors the opportunity to build a rapport with students. “I love being part of the Midland community, where you are able to get to know people on a personal level and oftentimes form relationships that last beyond the time each of you is at Midland.”

It’s an experience she hopes students can appreciate during their journey through Midland. Being able to enjoy every opportunity that comes their way is something they won’t regret. “I would tell students to slow down and enjoy the ride. Take advantage of the opportunities to listen to a speaker, volunteer in the community, and complete an internship. The connections and memories you will make through those experiences is invaluable.”

Outside of the classroom, Megan works to build her own memories through time with her family. That time is best spent through hiking, boating, biking, or camping. When she does have time for herself, a good book on the porch usually hits the spot.

Getting to know Megan Nielsen:

Something people might not know about you: I have held 20 different random part-time jobs, one of which was being a waitress for only one weekend. Worst job ever!

If I weren’t working in higher education, I’d be . . . I’m not quite sure what I’d be doing. Maybe something that involved community work with a nonprofit organization, or working in sales (teaching sociology felt like sales at times), or perhaps owning some sort of small downtown boutique, as I love the community connection.

Snack that you can’t resist: Yogurt-coated raisins.

When flipping channels, I’ll always stop to watch this: Friends.

What artist dominates your playlist? The Chicks (formerly known as the Dixie Chicks).

What is your ideal vacation? One that involves seeing beautiful things in nature and opportunities for hiking.

What is your most used emoji? The thinking face 🤔

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