shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

News Highlights

Page address:

Nursing Students Distributing 'Wooden Nickels' When Seeing Acts of Kindness

Students in "Courage, Caring, and Team Building" course are watching for good deeds.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 3-7-2017

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato students enrolled in three sections of the University’s Nursing 101W course – titled “Courage, Caring, and Team Building” – are documenting acts of kindness they witness this semester by passing out “wooden nickels” to the purveyors of the good deeds.

Professor Norma Krumwiede and adjunct instructor Becky Gerdes teach the classes. The approximately 70 enrolled students (mostly first-year students) are documenting the kind acts they see in written summaries, which they are posting online using serial numbers imprinted on the 1.5-inch wooden disks, or “wooden nickels.”

The students will reflect on their experiences in class Tuesday, March 21 from 6-6:30 p.m. in Pennington Hall 114. Members of the news media may attend the class.

For students, the project is a creative writing assignment that focuses on the concepts of caring and community engagement in relation to the nursing profession, said Gerdes. The assignment’s goal, she said, is to make students realize how kind gestures may often go unnoticed or unappreciated, and to reflect on and acknowledge the gestures.

The wooden nickels were provided to the students in mid-February, and the students are expected to have logged their experiences prior to the March 21 class session.

Minnesota social practice artist Su Legatt created and donated the wooden coins as part of her Minnesota Nickel Project, which intends to examine the concept of the practice of “Minnesota Nice” throughout the state.

For more information, please contact Becky Gerdes, adjunct instructor in the School of Nursing, by phone at 507-317-2708 or by email at, or Norma Krumwiede, professor in the School of Nursing, by phone at 507-389-6822 or by email at

Minnesota State Mankato’s School of Nursing is part of the University’s College of Allied Health & Nursing.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,110 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

Email this article | Permanent link | Topstories news | Topstories news archives