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Rachel Gunderson ’11 was a student at Brigham Young University in Utah when her husband was accepted into the graduate program at Lehigh University. In her search for the perfect school at which to continue her studies, she applied to several in the Lehigh Valley, and was accepted, but when she walked around Moravian’s campus and met some of Moravian’s staff and faculty and talked with students, she knew it was where she wanted to be.
“I interviewed with Erika Mondok, and felt Moravian was a good fit right away. I realized the caliber of people at Moravian was high, and that I would gain the skills I would need to move forward in a positive way,” she remembers. “I am always proud to let people know that I graduated from Moravian College. I have found that people are aware of the caliber of students who come from Moravian, and I want them to know they can expect that same level of dedication and caring from me.”
The nursing student now works as a registered nurse in St. Luke’s Cardiac Surgical Intensive Care Unit and attends graduate school at University of Pennsylvania. Her goal is to be a nurse practitioner. “Moravian has prepared me to be a good nurse. I was given the skills I needed to pass my exam and transition into being a registered nurse.”
Gunderson’s college experience was a little different. As a married student, she was slightly older than most of her classmates, and she worked part time throughout her three years. Her professors were understanding and worked with her to accommodate her schedule.
“The faculty were all focused on students and made me feel like they wanted me to succeed. They knew what was going on in my life, and they wanted to see me succeed,” she adds.
Gunderson says she always wanted to go to graduate school and looked at the University of Pennsylvania. Her anxiety was eased by her Honors advisor and academic advisor, Michele August-Brady, who inspired her to press forward and reach beyond her fears.
“She helped me become an actual contributor to nursing … to look at the University of Pennsylvania and know that I could go there and would succeed,” she says. Once she earns her master’s degree next summer, she will be an adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner.
“University of Pennsylvania is the top nursing school in the nation. And it was the level of classes at Moravian that prepared me to go there. I was prepared, and went to Penn with confidence.”
"I am always proud to let people know that I graduated from Moravian College. I have found that people are aware of the caliber of students who come from Moravian, and I want them to know they can expect that same level of dedication and caring from me."