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National Lutheran Communities & Services Hosts Valparaiso University Students for Fourth Summer

May 30, 2017

Rockville, MD- For the fourth year in a row National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) will welcome a small cohort of students from Valparaiso University. Michelle Andersen, a social work and psychology double major, Katie Bahn, a nursing major, and Madelyn Nieter, a health care leadership major will be detailed to The Village at Rockville—A National Lutheran Community starting June 5, 2017. The three students will primarily work with the community’s Executive Director Jason Gottschalk, to gain an understanding of the role and function of clinical operations in a continuing care retirement community (CCRC).

Valparaiso’s CAPS (Calling and Purpose in Society) Fellows Program, through the Institute of Leadership and Services, offers students the opportunity to take part in experiential-learning at non-profits throughout the United States, like NLCS. The program focuses on providing students with a well-rounded, 9-10 week summer internship that focuses less on the students’ major, and more on gaining real-world experience.

“I realized that I don’t know exactly what I want to be or what I desire to do professionally,” wrote Nieter as part of her CAPS Fellowship application. “I know that I undoubtedly desire to help others.”

Through the CAPS Fellowship with NLCS, Nieter and the other students are exposed to all aspects of operating a CCRC, including the department in which their degree would lead them. This programmatic design allows students to explore options available to them before graduation. Valparaiso University ensures that the students are able to immerse themselves fully in the program by providing housing in the internship area, a stipend for living expenses, and moving assistance for those students traveling out of state.

“I am most proud of my alma mater for making these wonderful students available to us during the summer,” said Kathryn Baerwald, Valparaiso alum and chief philanthropy officer at NLCS. “The CAPS program brought us together with very qualified students; young professionals who we would strongly consider for future full-time employment once they graduate.”

About National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS)

Based in Rockville, Md., NLCS is a faith-based, not-for-profit ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) Delaware-Maryland, Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and Virginia Synods, serving people of all beliefs. With more than 125-years’ experience, NLCS provides seniors with a variety of lifestyle, residential and health care options through retirement communities and services in Maryland and Virginia.

Other communities and services sponsored by National Lutheran include myPotential at Home in Winchester, Va., and Rockville, Md., The Village at Rockville in Rockville, Md., The Legacy at North Augusta in Staunton, Va., The Village at Orchard Ridge in Winchester, Va., and The Village at Providence Point in Annapolis, Md., subject to Maryland Department of Aging approval. For more information, visit