January 15, 2019

By Kelly Field, The Hechinger Report 

MANKATO — Adley Nyakora, 18, bends over the body of a bloated man in polka-dot boxers, examining a bucket lodged in the patient’s knee. He picks up a medical instrument and slowly lowers it, his brow furrowed in concentration. His friends, who hover over him, hold their breath.

Nykora aims for the bucket … and misses. The man’s bright red nose lights up, and a buzzer sounds. Nyakora jumps, and his friends laugh.

Luckily for Nyakora — and the patient, Operation’s “Cavity Sam” — the surgery is only a game, part of a stress-management workshop for freshmen and sophomores in a program for underrepresented students here at Minnesota State University, Mankato. The idea, said Ann Swartz-Beckius, interim director of student achievement, is to teach students how to remain calm under pressure, “to tune out the noise in their heads.”

Read the full story here.