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NDSU nursing students pie their professors' faces to help fund trip to Africa

Twenty-three students will make the trip to Malawi, Africa in April to immerse themselves within the country's health care system through an international practicum experience.

An NDSU nursing student throws a pie on the face of Dr. Dean Gross of NDSU.
Mike McGurran / WDAY News

FARGO — Imagine a chance to get some payback on a teacher.

"It's been a long time coming," said student Morgan Anderson.

After all, it's not everyday you get to throw a pie in your professor's face.

A group of North Dakota State University School of Nursing seniors are heading off to Malawi, Africa in April. They'll work alongside health care workers in the country and bring some much-needed medical supplies to help out.

The students have been fundraising for the trip and came up with a creative idea to raise money. The students have raised over $5,000 since their fundraising efforts started in February.


"I think every nursing student would love to see a professor get pied," said student Skylar Bergan. "I think it was a great way to raise some money and bring the nursing community at NDSU together."

Two teams went head to head, representing different NDSU nursing faculty. Professors on the losing team got a pie in the face.

The faculty were good sports about it.

"Even though we might not be in Africa, so many of those skills still translate back to the people right here in our community," said Dr. Abigail Burkett Vetter, NDSU School of Nursing assitant professor.

To the tune of Don McLean's classic song "American Pie," they announce the winners.

Eight faculty members brace themselves for a face full of whipped cream, courtesy of their students. No one's face went unscathed.

Faculty family members even got in on the fun. Dr. Heidi Saarinen's husband stopped by to join in on the pie projectile pleasure.

After all, two pies are better than one.


Now the next stop is Africa.

"It's going to be a very different scope of practice that we're used to," said student Ivy Ngo. "And obviously, we're gonna learn their traditions and we'll teach our traditions to them as well."

There were no hard feelings from the professors.

Mike McGurran has been a reporter and anchor at WDAY-TV since 2021.
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