Senior Biology Majors Accepted into Accelerated Nursing Program

Two William Woods University students have been accepted into the accelerated bachelor’s degree in nursing program at the University of Missouri-Columbia.


The students are Melissa Wilkinson-Franke of Troy, Mo., and Emily Teepe of Nevada, Mo., both senior biology majors.


Emily TeepeTeepe, who is interested in both animal and human medicine, was also accepted into MU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and has decided to pursue that career path.


The accelerated nursing program at MU is a 15-month option for students who hold bachelor’s degrees or master’s degrees in fields other than nursing. Previously two WWU graduates also completed the program: Mandy Henke Lawrence and Emily Thomasson.


Lawrence graduated in 2008 with a B.A. in biology with minors in chemistry and physical science. She finished MU’s accelerated nursing program last summer, earning a BSN, and now works at St Mary’s Health Center in Jefferson City as an RN on the oncology unit.


“Going to William Woods, made my transition into Mizzou’s nursing program much easier,” Lawrence said. “As a student-athlete and a biology major, I had to manage my time very wisely to survive and succeed. I am proud to say I played softball all four years and finished my biology degree in four years. Dr. (Mary) Spratt and the rest of the faculty were always willing to be flexible with my schedule and happy to help in any way possible. I loved my time at Woods and I will never forget what I learned.”


Admission into the accelerated nursing program is highly competitive, with less than 10 percent of the original applicants being admitted. Franke and Teepe were among the 40 applicants accepted this year.


 “Each of these students is an outstanding young woman who will make contributions to her profession,” said Dr. Mary Spratt, Cox Distinguished Professor of Science at William Woods University.


“Both are excellent students, highly organized, and leaders in campus and extracurricular activities, including both being officers of Beta Beta Beta, the national biological honor society.”


Teepe said, “I feel my undergraduate experience at William Woods has prepared me well. I owe my success largely to my professors who have constantly challenged, encouraged and provided me with guidance through the past four years.”


Franke has been involved in a research project this year on Borrelia Melissa Wilkinson-Frankespirochaetes found in ticks, bacteria that cause both Lyme Disease and Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness. She expects eventually to become a physician’s assistant.


“The biology program at William Woods has prepared me to exceed in many ways,” Franke said.  “I thank my professors for their support and encouragement.  Being accepted into the accelerated nursing program is a huge thrill and I am excited to begin yet another journey.”