University of Nebraska Medical Center

Member Spotlight

Shining a Spotlight on Dr. Nicole Kolm Valdivia

Headshot of Dr. Nicole Kolm Valdivia

Academy Member Since 2023
Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs
, Office of the Dean, College of Public Health
Assistant Professor, Epidemiology, College of Public Health

What do you do at UNMC?
I serve as assistant dean for academic affairs in the College of Public Health. In this role, I oversee our academic programs, as well as accreditation. I am also a faculty member in the Department of Epidemiology.

Tell us about your educational research interests and teaching role.
I regularly teach in the Master of Public Health (MPH) program and mentor students in our MPH and Doctor of Public Health programs. My educational research interests lie within the areas of online education, classroom inclusiveness and use of AI in learning.

What is one of your favorite/memorable teaching moments?
To me, the biggest compliment I can receive as an instructor is when a student who took my course tells me about how it benefited them professionally. Recently, a student who took my Planning and Evaluation course told me how he used the concepts in the course as a guide to plan for, develop and implement a syringe services program (a.k.a needle exchange) in his community. I love that he created impactful change in his community based on what he learned in my class. That was, indeed, a memorable moment.

What do you see as the biggest benefit to being a member of the IAE?
To me, the biggest benefit to being a member of IAE is the opportunity to network with other professionals who value education and teaching. This network provides a space to share ideas and collaborate, which allows us all to grow and learn.

What do you enjoy doing in your free (non-work) time?
My family loves to travel! We are trying to get to all 50 states before our kids (ages 7 and 11) graduate high school. We are currently at 38, so we're making great progress. When we travel, we aim to be outdoors as much as possible, so we're also visiting as many national parks as we can. So far, the state of Maine and Arches National Park (Utah) have been our favorites!

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