FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Therese DeVries Narzikul, MBA, MSN, CRNP brings a wealth of experience to CPS classrooms
Beginning in the Fall 2023 semester, Therese Narzikul joined Villanova's College of Professional Studies (CPS) as Professor of the Practice, adding to the growing group of full-time faculty within CPS.
Narzikul brings a passion for education and teaching that was forged early in her career, which started not in the classroom, but in hospitals. She graduated from the University of Scranton with a nursing degree, putting her education to practice caring for older patients. She treated and consulted with patients and their families, covering care at home or in a hospital or long term care facility.
She then chose to continue her education, earning a master's degree in nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. While working in gerontology at UPenn, she began teaching undergrad students, unlocking a love of teaching.
As her career continued, Narzikul began to notice changes in the healthcare industry and sought to better understand her field .
"I discovered that it was primarily people in administration, who had business degrees, that informed those changes," she said. "So I decided that I was curious enough that I wanted to get my business degree to better understand why they were making those changes, and perhaps influence them with my experience as a provider and instructor of students."
That thinking led her to Villanova and the executive MBA program. During that program, she took a particular interest in systems thinking and leadership strategy, which were areas that she could connect to her prior experiences.
"I saw the opportunity to have a tighter connection between theory and practice," she said. "My experience as a nurse practitioner, healthcare leader, consultant, and educator really put me in a great position to use the understanding of the broader context of any situation to find the way forward."
For Therese, the patterns that build the systems around us connected all of the points in her educational journey.
"There are patterns and a way of seeing similarities and differences that can help to better understand the way a system works, whether it's a biological system like our bodies, or if it’s an organizational system or the sociocultural systems all around us," she noted.
As she moves forward in her new role with CPS, Narzikul relishes the chance to work with a new, exciting group of students.
"I feel like every time I work with new groups of people or new individuals, I learn as much from them as anything I'm able to impart to them," she said. "I'm a learner myself, so I love to learn from students and take suggestions from them for different ways that we can accomplish our learning goals together."
In her new role, Narzikul will have ample opportunity to teach and learn from CPS students, primarily in the fields of systems thinking and leadership. With her rich history in both healthcare and higher education, Therese is poised to make an impact at CPS.
“I love to see the professionals I work with take theories and make them their own in their practice.”