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IEX J-Term 2019: What Happens in Vegas: Leadership & Innovation in Healthcare
Las Vegas, United States (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: January Interim
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This program is currently not accepting applications.
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Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
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Fact Sheet:
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Program Provider:
Gustavus Adolphus College
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Program Term(s):
January Interim
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Minimum Class Standing:
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Minimum GPA:
Program Description:
Program Description:
Gusties Connect Logo
Vegas sign
Build your professional network and learn about innovations in the business and organization of health care in Las Vegas!

This Gusties Connect J-Term course will combine innovative examples in the health care industry with student—alumni engagement in the Las Vegas region. Gustie alumni in Las Vegas Paul Schiminsky '93 and Dawn Soong '93 will open doors for students to see many different health care settings and meet unique health care providers and business people. An affordable study away opportunity, we will partner with the Gustie alumni group for organizational site visits, hosted social events, service work and unique Vegas entertainment! In Vegas, we share a home, diverse experiences, and create a Gustie student and faculty community. Come build your Gustavus alumni network and increase your career readiness and confidence!
HighlightsBergman with Vegas group
  • Students from any major can participate in the growing focus at Gustavus on innovation, entrepreneurship and creative thinking
  • Especially for pre-health, nursing, and business students, they will learn about how health care is growing and changing with unique examples and site visits in the Vegas area
  • Students will learn about their own creativity and innovation skills through self-assessments, course activities, entertainment options and business visits
  • Students will connect students with Gustie alumni and supporters in the Las Vegas region, building career readiness and networking skills
  • Experience a truly unique study away opportunity at a low cost
  • Course fulfills one of the two IEX credits required for graduation
Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas provides a regional context and flavor unlike anything else in the United States. “What Happens in Vegas…” is their unique tagline and captures the ethos of the sites, people, and culture that Midwest students would not otherwise be able to experience. This J-Term domestic study away course targets the fast-moving field of health care from both business and provider perspectives. We will have access to health care organizations as ‘insiders’ because our contact Gustavus alumna Dawn Soong ’93 is a nurse, and her husband Darren is a prominent weight loss surgeon in the Vegas area. Moreover, Vegas itself hosts a variety of unique aspects and innovations in health care, so provides a rich context for exploration of this topic.  It is home to innovations in 1) veteran care at the Sierra Nevada VA, 2) care for the sex worker population, 3) ethical issues and care for those with addictions exacerbated by the casino properties, and 4) care for women and youth.

Outside of coursework, recreational activities together can include exploring the Vegas Strip and its one-of-a-kind sights, the Fremont Street Experience, hosted dinners and social events, visiting area museums like the Mob Museum, and hiking opportunities in Red Rocks National Conservation Area.
Faculty Leaders
Kathy Lund Dean, Economics and ManagementDahlseidK Lund Dean
Kathy Lund Dean teaches management courses in Economics & Management at Gustavus, and specializes in experiential learning opportunities. She developed the Gusties Connect program, and has run this Gusties Connect course in multiple cities, including Las Vegas (2016), Seattle (2017) and the upper Midwest (2018). She encourages students from all majors to experience Gusties Connect courses to build their professional Gustie network—let Gusties help Gusties!

Jeff Dahlseid, Biology and Chemistry
Jeff Dahlseid teaches biomolecular science courses for the Biology and Chemistry Departments at Gustavus.  He enjoys asking students to consider how, as scientists and persons, they see themselves within the broader context of the world and its needs. In teaching and advising pre-health students, he challenges them to better understand their sense of identity, meaning, and purpose through attention to astonishment, resiliency, and personal narrative.

Local ContactsDarren SoongDawn SoongSchiminsky
Our site coordinator is Paul Schiminsky '93 (left). Paul was instrumental in developing Gusties Connect and has served Gustavus on both the Alumni Board as well as on the Economics & Management Advisory Board.

Another site contact is Dawn Soong '93 (middle), who hosted students at her home in 2016 and was a Nursing major at Gustavus.

Dawn's husband Darren Soong (right) is not a Gustie, but he loves us just as much! Darren is a surgeon at the Surgical Weight Control Center in Vegas, specializing in permanent weight loss solutions.

Academic Calendar
Approximate dates for 2019 are as follows:

Two to three pre-departure meetings: TBA during fall semester 2018.  If you’re studying away during this semester, contact Kathy Lund Dean for arrangements.
On-campus program: January 7 to January 15, 2019
On-site program: January 15 to January 26, 2019
On-campus program: January 27 to January 31, 2019

Anticipated accommodations will either be a short-term house rental or an extended-stay hotel.

Vegas students

Program Costs
The program fee will cover round-trip shuttle to Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, round-trip airfare to Las Vegas, local transportation, lodging, meals and excursions. The final fee will be dependent upon the number of students who apply and are accepted. We estimate the final fee to be between $2,900 and $3,200 per student.

All Gustavus Adolphus College students who meet the general study away requirements are welcome to apply. We aim to enroll a mix of students, both those with interest in the business and organization of health care and those with interest in being providers of health care, in order to intentionally enrich and cross-fertilize the conversations and perspectives of all those enrolled.  We will engage those managing and providing health care in conversation and discussion and allow students to explore questions such as “do I want to be a manager or provider in this industry?”, “what are the deepest contemporary challenges to managers and/or providers?”, “what is all this discussion about access about anyway?”, “what does true, entrepreneurial innovation look like, and by what criteria do managers and/or providers judge success?”, and “what contribution or difference could I make through a career in this field?”

Application Deadline
Students must complete the online application by April 30, 2018. 

Entry visas
Visas are not necessary for domestic study away programs. Students should make sure that their state-issued IDs are Real ID-compliant (for TSA). Please contact CICE if you have questions about this requirement.

See more slides about the program Vegas slides.pptx!

The information in this online brochure is subject to change. Please contact CICE with questions.


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This program is currently not accepting applications.