MSOE’s Dr. Aruna Lal is a Milwaukee Business Journal Woman of Influence
Dr. Aruna Lal, an associate professor in MSOE’s School of Nursing, is one of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Women of Influence for 2021. She was selected for the award from a pool of nearly 150 nominations, and will be honored during a virtual award ceremony July 15. Lal was honored in the “inspiration” category of the awards.
“In all, we will honor 28 women as part of the Milwaukee Business Journal's 2021 Women of Influence Awards. These women are the cream of the crop of Milwaukee’s professional community,” said Mark Kass, editor-in-chief of the Milwaukee Business Journal. “They’ve grown businesses, created products, inspired future generations and made the community a better place.”
“Dr. Lal is an outstanding educator and someone who embodies the MSOE Mindset. She encourages our students to become leaders of character, responsible professionals, passionate learners and value creators,” said Dr. Eric Baumgartner, MSOE executive vice president of academics. “Through her work as a nurse and in the military, the impact and influence of her actions stretch around the world.”
As images of refrigerated trailers outside New York hospitals flashed across television screens during the nightly news last spring, Lal quietly packed her bags and prepared to care for New York’s COVID-19 patients. Lal is an inpatient and outpatient trauma nurse and Major in the U.S. Army. She was a member of the command team of the B Company, 452nd Combat Support Hospital—part of the Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force in New York City. For several months, she helped coordinate and run the field hospital for patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19.
This wasn’t the first time she has been called to serve in a field hospital and her work has been recognized. In 2016 she was awarded the Army Commendation Medal by the Department of the Army for exceptional meritorious service while assigned to the Bravo Company 452nd Combat Support Hospital. Her professionalism, dedication to being an American soldier, and living the Army values were key to the operational success of the unit. Her attention to detail and unwavering technical knowledge reflected great credit upon herself, her combat hospital, and the 807th Medical Deployment Support Command and the U.S. Army. She has also taught medical education and trauma nursing in the military.
In addition to teaching courses on campus at MSOE, Lal has previously worked as a nurse and clinical faculty member at Froedtert and Aurora Health Care, overseeing nursing and medical students on the Level 1 trauma floor, cardiac, oncology and medical surgical units.
Her experiences around the world through the military, medical professional career, collegiate teaching, and volunteer service have uniquely prepared her to teach MSOE’s “Transcultural Nursing” course to undergraduates. She shares her personal and professional experiences in the course, which describes influences on beliefs, values and practices in relation to health, illness and health-seeking behaviors by providing culturally congruent and competent nursing care. Lal helps students explore how perceptions, values and roles are influenced by culture and the environment.
In addition, Lal has led several service trips to Central America for MSOE students through the university’s Global Brigades medical unit. She has gone to Nicaragua and Honduras with the students, providing basic health care to impoverished communities.