MNU news

The MNU Experience

Where will an education from MNU take you? Well, anywhere really. These alums are living their dreams—their careers and their lives—all influenced by the MNU experience.

Fun fact: Runs 5Ks and has completed her first sprint triathlon.

Chasing Her Dreams

It’s not often someone credits a phone call with being a stand-out moment of their success. But for Kori Rienbolt (’13), biology major, the call confirming her acceptance to the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry was exactly that.  

“It was a goal that I had been working toward throughout undergrad, and being accepted into such a competitive program was a huge accomplishment,” she recalls. “I attribute all of my success to my parents and my faith. It has definitely not been an easy journey, but my family was always there to encourage me, and God gave me the strength to keep on chasing after my dreams when I felt like they were out of reach.”

Fast forward to today—Rienbolt is in her second year of the four-year Doctorate of Dental Surgery program at UMKC.  

“A day in the life of an average dental student would involve lectures or lab periods from 8 to 5 and then hopefully dinner and some form of exercise before heading back to the lab in the evening to work on projects or studying until you can’t keep your eyes open,” she says. “Then you wake up and repeat.”

It’s a strenuous path but one she’s been dreaming of since her own middle-school braces. 

“I enjoy the challenges and am thankful for my prior education (at MNU), which enables me to keep reaching my goals,” Rienbolt adds.

Fun fact: Joined Residence Hall Government at MNU just to meet the organization’s president. It worked! She’s now his wife

Inspired to Serve

During an MNU graduation ceremony, a young man stepped on stage. He took his oath of office for the U.S. Marine Corps. The audience was moved—expressing so in a standing ovation. But a 15-year-old boy was moved to something more.

Capt. Sam Smith, RN (’09) was the boy in the audience that day. During the moment of standing applause Smith knew he wanted to follow in the young lieutenant’s footsteps. So after high school Smith enrolled at MNU and made the football team, all while being an active ROTC member.  

While Smith’s initial aspirations were of combat and leading on the front lines, God’s plans were different. After joining the Army National Guard to help pay his way through school, Smith discovered he was color blind. Faced with the choice of becoming a clerk or a combat medic, Smith chose the latter—discovering his passion for medicine during basic training. 

“I applied for the nursing program at MNU and never looked back,” he recalls.

Smith is now a nurse at San Antonio Military Medical Center, which has doubled in size since his arrival. He has assisted in opening a new unit, was one of only six nurses selected to apply for the White House Nurse position and one of only five Army nurses selected to attend nurse anesthetist school last summer—the top program in the United States. 

One can imagine the young man who inspired Sam all those years ago would be moved by Smith’s story. And proud. Incredibly proud.  

Fun fact: Piercy says she is addicted to list making.

Loving the Law

Adrien Piercy, JD (’10) is an attorney with Bever Dye, LC, in Wichita, Kansas. But before that she was a marketing major at MNU. She was actually Marketing Student of the Year in 2007.

Piercy says being a lawyer is much different than what is portrayed on TV. She deals primarily with transactional (contracts, advising) work rather than litigation. She knew early on she wanted to work with estate planning. And since she received the CALI Award for Estate Planning: Practice—she had the highest score of the entire law school class—she was probably on the right track. After interning with Bever Dye, LC, and before entering her third year of law school, she was offered her current job, an accomplishment that made her last year that much easier.

“Law school is hard,” admits Piercy, who attributes her success to God, her husband, her family and her professors at MNU.  

“My professors were so much more than professors—that sounds cliché, but it’s hard to even put into words.  They’ve been mentors, they’ve been friends.” 

They were the ones she went to with career questions, life questions and everything in between. They helped her discover what she wanted to do, find internships, and even attended her law school graduation with her family.  

“The real life guidance and relationships. That’s way more than you think you’re paying for when you write a tuition check for sure,” she adds.

Fun fact: Luce’s family boasts a combined 99 years of nursing in Kansas.

Always More to Learn

For Paul Luce, RN, MBA, MSN, FACHE  (MSN ’12), a rekindled love for the profession of nursing was a surprising outcome of his MNU experience. After all, he is a third-generation RN and has been director of patient care at Miami County Medical Center (MCMC). Luce says he still had much to learn to enhance his career and performance. 

“I was so impressed with the graduate faculty in the School of Nursing,” Luce says. “They helped me be well prepared for the changes we’re facing in the health care industry, and the issues we studied were current and relevant to the practice of nursing.”

Luce credits earning his Master of Science in Nursing with helping him become vice president for operations at MCMC in 2013. Luce has administrative responsibility for all clinical activities and operational oversight at the medical center.

“I am focused on providing excellent patient care with every action I take. ‘Are patients safe, are they getting the best, current, evidenced-based care, and are we providing patients with more than they expect when they come to the hospital?’ My education at MNU enhanced my ability to help provide leadership and direction to the team of professionals at MCMC.”  

Miami County Medical Center has the awards to prove that it is meeting its goal. In April, MCMC was the only Kansas City metro-area acute-care hospital to achieve a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and HealthGrade.  

“This success has been aided tremendously by my own education at MNU and the MNU education received by many, many members of the staff at MCMC,” Luce says.    

Why did he choose MNU? Several reasons, Luce says. In fact, strong recommendations from coworkers helped him decide on MNU. Now, so many of his MCMC team have attended MNU he says he has lost count.

“MNU had the best program for my needs with a focus on nursing education, the best scheduling options and the mission and Christ-centered purpose that was important to me,” he says.

So what about you? Send your story about where your MNU degree has taken you by emailing

Winter 2019 Accent Cover image
This Issue

Winter 2019

Being Called. Read about the many ways one can be called in this Winter 2019 issue of Accent.

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