Posted: May 13, 2019

Spaghetti, Marshmallows and Interprofessional Communication


Initiation of an interprofessional education program in a public institution without an associated academic medical center has been a grassroots effort. Faculty and administrative members from Nursing, Communication Disorders and Sciences, Exercise Science & Physical Education, and Nutrition & Food Studies have worked to develop interdisciplinary activities for undergraduate and graduate students. The disciplines involved include representatives from audiology, nursing, exercise science, dietetics, and speech-language pathology. A pilot event was run with 5 students from each discipline for a total of 25 participants. Students participated in an ice breaker over lunch, then they were tasked with a spaghetti tower challenge, a debriefing session, and survey regarding their thoughts and experience. Students understood the goals of communication, collaboration, and teamwork. They managed the pressure of the timed event, unexpected outcomes, and made clear a desire for more experiences to better understand health professions beyond their own.


Collaboration, Teamwork, Interprofessional Communication, IPEC Faculty Development Conference Presentations, Spaghetti and Marshmallows, Spaghetti Tower Building, Team building


Courtney Reinisch, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, DC, Montclair State University

Janet Koehnke, PhD, CCC-A, Montclair State University

Mary Boyle, Ph.D., BC-ANCDS, ASHA Fellow, Montclair State University

Lauren M. Dinour, DrPH, RD, CLC, Montclair State University

Peter A. Hosick, PhD, CEP, Montclair State University

Rachel Lyons, DNP, CPNP-PC/AC, Montclair State University

Evan Matthews, PhD, CEP, Montclair State University

Maryrose McInerney, PhD,CCC-A, Montclair State University

Janice Smolowitz, RN, PhD, EdD, DNP, ANP-BC, DCC, Montclair State University