What experiences as a Chapman undergrad were most valuable to you?
My Chapman journey was more than an education. While I was able to get a great education that prepared me for graduate school, I also developed as a person and a leader. Some of these experiences included being an Orientation Leader for 3 years, direct access to staff and facility, and getting to express my creative side through dance, even though I wasn’t a dance major. I was also fortunate enough to be involved in research, different internships, clubs, and Greek Life. Collectively, this made me the person I am today and prepared me for the challenges ahead.
Did you work closely with a professor or mentor who made a difference in your education?
One of the greatest attributes of Chapman University is the direct access to faculty and staff that take a personal interest in students. I was able to develop meaningful and lasting relationships with faculty and staff that I will be indebted to for the rest of my life. These heroes included Dean Hill, Heidi Girolamo, Dr. Gruenewald, and Dr. Keller. I want to give a huge “shout out” to Dr. Schwartz who I met as a freshman when I was a Biochemistry major in Schmid College. Even though I transferred to Crean College to follow my passion for Health Science, Dr. Schwartz remained one of my biggest influences and I’m eternally grateful to have her in my life.
What was your favorite class at Chapman?
While I loved all of my science classes, and I wouldn’t change my major for anything. My favorite “fun” class was one that actually lasted four years… It was a tap dance class taught by Brandee Lara. This class served many purposes. It was not only great exercise, but allowed me to continue my love of dance, meet new friends, participate in Chapman Celebrates, and gave me a break from the rigors of the heavy class and lab load as a Health Science student.
Where you involved in research or any clubs/activities?
I was so blessed to be actively involved in so many activities at Chapman including research with Dr. Gruenewald as an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Healthy Aging Lab. I credit her with igniting my passion and advocacy for geriatric patients who deserve a high quality of life. I also participated in many clubs including Floor 13 for all four years and was an active member of Pi Beta Phi (Boom Boom – If you know, you know).
What actions, classes, experiences, internships did you do as an undergrad to make you a strong applicant for nursing school?
I was fortunate to take advantage of all that Chapman University had to offer, and I believe it allowed me to be a well-rounded applicant for Master’s of Science in Nursing programs across the nation. During my first year, I took advantage of HSK 101 class to define my four year college plan which I was able to follow and share with other first year students when I was an OL. Furthermore, I was able take advantage of a research assignment with Dr. Gruenewald, and had an internship as a Business Operations Specialist. Additionally, I was able to develop personal relationships with key faculty and staff that I went to for advice. My other secret weapon was Heidi Girolamo who provided personalized coaching all 4 years of college to help me build a solid resume of patient care experiences. With her advice, I became a Certified Nursing Assistant and shadowed a variety of healthcare professionals such as Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants to help me determine my career path.
Congratulations Lauren! We are so proud of you and all our talented Crean College alumni doing amazing things!