Adopting a scholar eases transition to nursing student

Though they now live in different states,Tracey Wilds (left) and Amy Blumling stay connected through the Adopt-a-Scholar Program. They are shown here at a scholarship recognition reception last spring.
Though they now live in different states,Tracey Wilds (left) and Amy Blumling stay connected through the Adopt-a-Scholar Program. They are shown here at a scholarship recognition reception last spring.

Tracey Wilds 88OX 91N is a transition expert. At Emory University Hospital (EUH) Midtown, she was one of the first nurse practitioners to help patients manage their care after leaving the hospital.

This past spring, Wilds joined the Lehigh Valley Health Network in Pennsylvania as the first nurse practitioner in the network’s Home Health Division, where she helps with transition of care.

And last fall, she eased the transition to nursing school for BSN student Amy Blumling 09OX 12N. The two met through Emory’s Adopt-a-Scholar Program, through which Wilds provides scholarship support and serves as a mentor to Blumling.

Mentor and mentee have much in common: Both graduated from Oxford College and attended Emory College to complete their prerequisite courses for nursing school. Blumling grew up in Pennsylvania, where Wilds now lives.

“I had a crazy first year going from college student to nursing student,” says Blumling. “Because of Tracey, I saw it was possible to get through nursing school and juggle family and work.”

When Wilds worked at EUH Midtown, she helped collect clothing donations for the nursing school’s Farm Worker Family Health Program and co-chaired a hospital employee project to assist patients and families. Committed to serving the nursing school in a more personal way, she volunteered for the Adopt-a-Scholar Program.

After Wilds and Blumling first met, they stayed in touch via email and lunch dates. Wilds encouraged Blumling to contact her anytime.

“I wanted Amy to know that I was there for her,” says Wilds. “She’s a neat person. I’ve learned through Amy how the school is modifying its curriculum to integrate research more fully and make it more meaningful for students. It’s exciting to know the school is doing that.”

This summer, Blumling is working with faculty member Tami Thomas PhD CPNP RNC on a research project looking at perceptions about the human papillomavirus (HPV).

“Tracey and I talk about everything, including my HPV work,” says Blumling, who plans to become a pediatric nurse. “She told me, ‘I’m so proud of you for doing this.’ I was glad I could make her proud of something that I was doing at the School of Nursing.”

Although Blumling and Wilds now live in different states, they stay connected via email and phone calls. And Wilds will continue to assist Blumling financially during her senior year.

“Even though we’re no longer physically close,” says Wilds, “the Adopt-a-Scholar Program will help me stay connected to Amy and my school.”—Pam Auchmutey


How To Adopt a Nursing Student

The university’s Adopt-a-Scholar Program provides a way for alumni to honor their time at Emory. Alumni commit to a minimum gift of $2,500 annually throughout a student’s course of study and are encouraged to serve as mentors. Currently, four nursing alumni have adopted students:

• Barbara Reed 52N 79MN and Kaitlin Seabolt 13N
• Sally Lehr 65N 76MN and Rafael Rosu 13N
• Cheryl Murphy 77N, along with her husband Fred Murphy 77C 81M 86MR, and Margaret Ann Hoffman 13N
• Tracey Wilds 88OX 91N and Amy Blumling 12N

Reed and Lehr are previous participants in the Adopt-a-Scholar Program. To learn more, contact Betsy Oliver, senior associate director of development and alumni relations, at 404-727-5291 or


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Fall 2011

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