Minnick Named October 2023 Staff of the Month

Published: December 14, 2023

Congratulations to Academic Advisor, Denali Minnick, who was named College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Staff of the Month for October 2023.

Minnick supports and advises Practical Nursing (PN), Registered Nursing (RN), and Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) students. She also works with other Health Science students at the College who are seeking healthcare professions.

Minnick joined the CWI community last December because she was drawn to the College’s mission to provide affordable and quality post-secondary education to students from all backgrounds, as it aligns with her own beliefs and values. She strongly believes in creating equitable educational opportunities and access for all.

“Education liberates and empowers so many individuals to pursue life-long dreams that result in strengthened communities,” said Minnick. “I hope to live a life of consequence where positive outcomes are achieved – I truly believe I can do so at CWI.”

Before CWI, Minnick went through the AmeriCorps' Teach for America program and worked in education as a Science Teacher at Nampa High School, where she taught Physical Science, Forensics, and Physics for three years. She was also previously the Life Skills Instructor at the Idaho Job Corps in Nampa.

Since joining the College a year ago some of Minnick’s favorite memories have been working alongside students to help them achieve their professional and personal goals. It has been rewarding and fulfilling for her to be part of a student’s journey where she can get excited with and for them, as well as share moments of relief and a sense of optimism.

Minnick also enjoys working alongside colleagues who share in that same testament.

“In my first weeks of onboarding, I remember talking to many of my new co-workers about their journey into Academic Advising. It was refreshing and exciting to hear so many like-minded individuals care about their students and programs.”

Colleagues around the College have taken notice of how supporting and caring Minnick is for others – sharing that she makes herself available when a student is in need.

In a most recent example, Minnick immediately came to the aid of a student who was in distress after being dismissed from a program. She approached the student with care, respect, and compassion and validated their emotions. The student opened up about issues outside of school that were hindering their success, and Minnick was able to ask questions about options the student may not have considered.

Minnick began offering ideas about returning to the program and asked permission to call the student's spouse and the student agreed. Minnick, while waiting for the spouse, asked the student about things they liked to do, and the student was very engaged and even offered a smile. Minnick stayed with the student until their spouse arrived.

“Because of CWI, I am able to support my community through a fulfilling and fun career. I can experience joy at work with enough energy to partake in personal hobbies and nourish friendships. Every day I get to meet interesting students and hear inspiring stories of perseverance.”

Minnick holds a bachelor's degree in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. She also has a master’s degree in Education at Boise State University.

Outside of the College, Minnick enjoys spending time with family, her fiancé, and their two dogs.  She likes to spend time in the mountains hiking, fly fishing, biking, skiing, and camping. After her workday is over she enjoys playing soccer with friends, taking walks with her dogs and partner, reading, and watching movies while working on jigsaw puzzles. She also loves eating new foods from around the world.

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