One of my first Mount de Sales memories is the day I received my acceptance letter. Instead of excitement, I felt stressed. The truth is, I secretly hoped that if I did not get into MDSA, I could attend another school. I realize now this moment set the stage for the rest of my life.
If you look at my MDSA class list, you will find resumes filled with accomplishments.
Personally, after completing my B.S. in nursing and becoming a registered nurse, I became both a Critical Care and Stroke Certified Registered Nurse. The academic preparation at MDSA is top notch; however, being successful is much more than study tactics and time management. This is where MDSA excels. By fostering emotional and moral wellbeing, students and alumnae are empowered to be the best women we can be.
My husband Shawn and I married in 2013. Even though we dated through his time at the Naval Academy and flight school, my adventure as a military spouse was just beginning. Immediately, we received orders to move to Hawaii and Shawn deployed two weeks after our arrival. We spent the first six months of our marriage on opposite sides of the world. He jokes that at least he left me in Hawaii! We persevered and then endured an almost eight-month deployment a year later.
In Honolulu, I worked in a Neuro Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Facing the trying situations and sometimes depressing outcomes, I remembered the example set by the Dominican Sisters of unwavering, loving faith. My faith has allowed me to work well in the ICU environment and as a military spouse. When things seem overwhelming, I am reminded, “Trust the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5).
The Dominican Sisters showed me how to be honest, kind, and confident. They were unapologetically themselves. Sister Andrea Marie was the baking master behind “Sailor Cookies,” Sister Patrick Steven wore her workout apron on the basketball court, and Sister Mary Leonard was a listening ear for everything, from schoolwork to dating. Such relationships make a lasting impression on young women. Friendships are a part of my backbone, especially since I have moved several times and am thousands of miles from home. From the Sisters’ example, I connect with people of every race and religion, even with a huge language barrier.
After three years in Hawaii, we received orders to go to Japan. Again, I felt steadfast that the Lord had a plan. I volunteer with the Red Cross and teach English to Japanese people of all ages. Recently, I travelled to Nepal as a volunteer nurse. In one of the most incredible, yet trying, experiences, I never felt more strongly my faith working through me. I owe MDSA and the Dominican Sisters my faith, resiliency, and open heart. I proudly wear my school ring to this day and carry the spirit of Mount de Sales around the world.