July 25, 2014
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University director of public relations, (785) 594-8330, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Young patient's nomination leads to national honor for nurse

Diagnosed with cardiomyopathy when he was 16 years old, Britton Streck, BSN '10, remembers communicating regularly with nurses during his regular trips to the hospital as a teenager. During the visits he admired the nurses for their ability to ease his concerns and keep him positive, especially after being told he could not participate in athletics because of the condition.photoforweb

Four years after graduating from the Baker University School of Nursing, Streck relates to his patients the same way, helping children through times, as a staff nurse in pediatrics at The University of Kansas Hospital. Cristabell, a 9-year-old patient battling cystic fibrosis, took note of his compassion and recommended him for the prestigious DAISY award, a national recognition for excellence in nursing that he received earlier this year.

"As a teen, I think my condition gave me insight to know what it is like to be a patient and that you might not know what will happen or the outcome will be," said Streck, who lives with his wife and year-old twin daughters in Gladstone, Mo. "It helps me deal with the kids and know what they are going through just a little bit. As a nurse you work every day to make people better. Making people feel better is a big deal."

The DAISY award, an acronym for diseases attacking the immune system, is designed to thank nurses for their education, training, brainpower, skills and the care they put into their work.
Calling it the highlight of his young career, Streck was honored to receive the award. He keeps Cristabell's letter in his locker at work. During the award ceremony, Cristabell leaped into his arms.

"She wrote the sweetest nomination letter for me," Streck said. "She talked about how she met me, how I told her how brave she was and that when I left I always gave her a hug."

Streck always has enjoyed working with children. He has spent years coaching and assisting with camps.

"I love taking care of children so much, and I'm a big kid myself," he noted. "You become a part of their life and love it."

Being a parent to infant daughters who needed medical attention also has helped Streck relate better to patients. Streck and his wife, Stephanie, also a nurse, are parents of Savanna and Madelynn, who were born two months prematurely. The twins, who spent 2 ½ months in neonatal intensive care unit, turned one on July 6.

"Their journey into this world helped me be a good nurse as well," she said. "It helped give me insight as to what the parents feel. You never know what that is like until you have your own children."

Streck is becoming so popular with his patients that they often request him, Allison Malicoat told the KC Nursing News.

"He is an outstanding nurse on our unit," said Malicoat, the nursing manager of pediatrics at KU Hospital. "He really touches the lives of our pediatrics patients."

Streck believes his two years at the Baker School of Nursing in Topeka helped prepare him for a successful career and connect with the patients.

"I loved each and every one of my teachers at Baker," Streck said. "You become friends than more teachers. I felt I received a great education there. It set me up for being a good nurse today."

Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.


July 25, 2014
Contact: Kyle Davis, Baker University marketing and communications, (785) 594-8399, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Coach's quick response helps save life

Lance Brumley, '94, heard his phone ring as he stood at the starting line of a seventh-grade boys cross country race hosted by Nixa Junior High in September of 2013. Brumley, a high school science teacher and varsity cross country and track coach at Nixa High School in Nixa, Mo., was working the junior high meet with some of his high school athletes.Lance-Brumley 1froweb

Brumley rarely hears his phone and says wife, Chris (Billups) Brumley, '97, gets on him for not answering. But he heard it ring this time, and it saved a boy's life.

"I think God's hand was in that deal," Brumley said.

It was a series of "happened to's" that saved Logan Young. Brumley happened to hear his phone. His high school students who followed runners through the course in case of injury or an emergency happened to have his number.

They told Brumley something was wrong. One of the runners had collapsed.

By the time Brumley reached a clearing in the woods where Logan laid, someone else was on the phone with 911 who happened to be an off-duty EMT. A parent who came over to help happened to be an ER doctor.

It all fell into place and every advantage that could have helped Logan happened.

Brumley began administering CPR. It may have only been for a minute before the sirens from the ambulance could be heard in the background. Logan's heart hadn't started yet, but it was a minute that kept Logan alive. EMTs continued CPR in the ambulance and were able to get Logan's heart started on the way to the hospital.

"A lot if medical people say it could have saved his life," Brumley said. "I don't know. If anything, I was able to get some oxygen to his brain and lessen the effects. (The ambulance) may have been there in record time to save his life."

Logan, a seventh-grader from Lebanon, Mo., spent two nights in the ICU in Springfield, Mo., before being transferred to Kansas City. He had open-heart surgery, repairing a valve from an undetected, preexisting heart condition. That September afternoon kept Logan in the hospital until December.

Caring for athletes has been on Brumley's mind since he attended Baker. Wanting to become an athletic trainer, Brumley majored in biology and played on the Baker football team. After graduating in 1994, he earned a spot on Charlie Richard's coaching staff for the fall of '94. Brumley comes from a family of educators. His mother was a teacher and his father was his high school football coach. When he realized athletic training wasn't the right path for him, he went back and got a degree in education.

Brumley took a course in CPR after college and, although he wasn't certified, learned more about it and other medical procedures just by being around athletics. Four or five years ago, CPR training and certification became mandatory for all coaches in Missouri.

The investment and connection between a coach and his players is strong. Brumley spends every afternoon with his cross country and track athletes for 28 of the 36 weeks of the school year. He wants them to succeed, but he also wants to keep them safe.

"It's a pretty humbling experience to think that could happen to one of your athletes and you just have to step in and take over," Brumley said. "I look at them as an extension of my family. Their parents trust me to take care of them. I don't take that responsibility lightly."

Logan and Brumley reunited at a banquet on March 19 in Springfield as Brumley received an Everyday Heroes Award sponsored by the American Red Cross.

It is a situation that Brumley says you train for and think will never happen until it does. He just hopes someone will be present and ready the next time something like this happens. That there will be another set of "happened to's" that will save another life.

"I have a third-grade daughter and I'm thinking this could be my kid," Brumley said. "I hope someone else will be there for her."

Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.



July 25, 2014
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Baker alumna soars to leadership position

Known for her high energy, determination and willingness to try something new, Brooke (Brutto) Hughes, BS '07, MSSL '10, isn't one to sit still for long.Brooke-Hughesforweb

Since graduating from Baker University with an undergraduate degree seven years ago, Hughes has taught kindergarten, third grade, fourth grade and fifth grade and served as a student support coordinator — all for the Gardner Edgerton (Kan.) School District — before becoming the intermediate principal of Atchison (Kan.) Elementary School in 2013-2014. She recently returned to Gardner as the assistant principal at Wheatridge Middle School.

"I love new opportunities," said Hughes, who recently completed her first year toward a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership at Baker. "Any time something opens up, I take it if I know I can grow and become a better professional and better serve the students."

Hughes returned to Gardner this summer to begin her new administrative role at Wheatridge, home to 600 students in the fifth through eighth grades. She has gained experience in special education, staff development, behavior management, educational technology, and curriculum management and design. In her new position, she will be involved directly with discipline, hiring, positive behavior and athletics.

Some of children she taught in kindergarten at Nike Elementary School seven years ago are now in their final year of middle school.

"I can't wait to see them again when they report this fall," Hughes said. "I am eager to see how they have developed personally and academically."

Hughes enjoys working in a school with students eager to learn. The one year in Atchison provided Hughes an opportunity to connect with a diverse group of students.

"When you are able to find something you love, it is an awesome feeling to go to work knowing you are making a difference," Hughes said. "I thought when I graduated from Baker I would always be a teacher because I loved teaching so much. When I began working more closely with my mentors in Baker's master's program and with my colleagues at work, I thought going into administration was a strong possibility."

Hughes became familiar with Baker in the late 1990s when her brother Bryan Brutto, BA '00, MASL '06, played football for the Wildcats. As a pre-teen, she and her family traveled from their home in Olathe to watch games at Liston Stadium. On game days, Hughes would wander through the Baldwin City campus.

"I knew when I was 10 years old that Baker was going to be the perfect place for me," she recalled.

While an undergraduate at Baker, Hughes was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority and student council. She was the student representative on the presidential search committee that selected Pat Long as the Baker president in 2006. Hughes also met her future husband, Shaun Hughes, BS '07, on the first day of her freshman year when the two attended a magic show sponsored by the Student Activities Council.

"I love what Baker stands for and I love the professors," Hughes said. "I loved the opportunities Baker allowed me to have. It was small enough that you could try so many things and see what you are great at."

In the classroom, Hughes absorbed as much information as she could from School of Education professors, including Carolyn Doolittle, Verneda Edwards, Harold Frye, Peggy Harris and Karla Wiscombe.

"I met so many great people, professors and students in the undergraduate and graduate programs," Hughes said. "How could I not be a part of it and continue to work on my doctorate? There are so many people with different backgrounds in the cohorts and you build a connection with them."

The mentorship provided by the Baker professors is something she will always remember.

"I felt the professors in the graduate program were there for me when I called — not just when I had a question about my studies but also to help with something I was going through at work," she said.

When she is not receiving guidance from her former professors, Hughes cherishes those moments when her colleagues take the time to pass along their wisdom. While teaching at Pioneer Ridge Middle School in Gardner, she welcomed an important piece of advice from administrator Dave Webb.

"He showed me the importance of building relationships," Hughes said. "When I realized how central relationships are to your growth and development, that is when doors began to open for me. Everybody has certain areas they excel in. As a teacher and administrator, it's up to us to get the staff on the right bus and right seat. You can't understand their areas of expertise until you have a relationship with them. That works the same way with students."

Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.




July 21, 2014
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Broadway at Baker to feature 'The Wiz'

Baldwin City, Kan. — Broadway at Baker and Music Theatre for Young People will present "The Wiz" at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, July 27, at Rice Auditorium on the Baldwin City campus. Cary Danielson Pandzik will direct the musical theater production.Broadway-at-Baker4forweb

Students 13 to 18 years of age gain stage skills during the weeklong intensive preparation, which culminates in a full-scale performance on Sunday.

"The Wiz" is a musical based on "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum but with a more fun, funky modern version of the story. Dorothy, a girl from Kansas, is blown by a tornado into Munchkinland, defeats the evil witch and goes to see the powerful Wizard, whom she later learns is a phony. However, he convinces Dorothy that she can do anything she wants to, if she just believes in herself.

Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for seniors and children under 12. Tickets are available at the door or by calling (785) 594-8478.



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