A Passion for N Knowing where you came from can inspire you to get where you plan to go. So say Russian-born nursing students Catherine “Katya” and her brother Boris Golub who moved to America at an early age but have been driven by the work ethic of their parents and grandparents. “It is my parents’ goal to give their children opportunities and options that they did not have access to when they were growing up,” said Boris. Their parents Vera and Leon moved with their six children from Magadan, Russia (close to Siberia) when Katya and Boris were 9- and 6-year-olds. They relocated their family to Lancaster County in 1997 where they already had family and acquaintances. Katya is the first person in her family to attend college and knew she wanted to select a profession in the health care field early on. “As a senior in high school, my father started having some health issues. I made a lot of trips with him to various hospitals and treatment centers,” said Katya. “That gave me the opportunity to see different medical personnel perform their roles…and I realized that I liked the role of the nurse the most.” But money was tight, and finding a program that would help her succeed was important. Katya found that program at Alvernia, where she is currently a senior, on the brink of graduation. Alvernia offers more than 20 endowed scholarships for students. With help from the Financial Aid Office, Katya was able to secure the Dr. Edna B. McKenzie Scholarship and the Helen Makiewick Kubucki Scholarship, both offered exclusively for nursing students. “Alvernia also receives annual support from other individuals and organizations like the Diocese of Allentown, the Bernardine Sisters and the Summer Thomas Memorial Scholarship Fund,” said John Luvisi, director of grants and prospect research. Luvisi works to secure grants, endowed scholarships, and other opportunities that help students focus on their education, instead of how to pay for it, (including Boris’ PA Higher Education Scholarship). And focusing on education is important in difficult nursing classes. “I’ve really enjoyed my nursing classes, especially Nursing and Human Responses I,” Katya said.
The upper-level course focuses on the changing needs of women and the developing child during the reproductive life cycle. As a class requirement, students receive 84 hours of supervised clinical practice experience in a medical setting. Boris is glad that Katya introduced him to the program at Alvernia. “Alvernia’s nursing program is outstanding. It is very challenging, and they really make sure that the students are prepared to enter the medical field before they graduate,” he said. According to the 2008 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses, Boris is part of a growing trend — the percentage of men graduating with nursing degrees has more than doubled since 1990. As a sophomore, he is not concerned about working in a female-dominated profession. After earning his RN license and gaining experience in the field, he plans to continue his education in a specialty area. “Overall the classes associated with nursing are very difficult,” he said. “I really do enjoy Foundations of Professional Nursing with Professor (Anne) Fink. She has a great way of presenting the material in a way that is understandable and also enjoyable to the students.” Assistant Professor Fink has had both Golub students in class. “They have been very focused, attending all classes and paying close attention,” said Professor Fink. “Boris and Katya join a number of students from diverse backgrounds within the Alvernia nursing program. I find it very exciting to see students with differing backgrounds and perspectives become successful in nursing.” Alvernia’s Franciscan values translate well in the field of nursing, where having true respect for human dignity and serving people of all backgrounds is part of everyday life. So it’s only natural that the values should be visible in the university’s academic programs. “The Transcultural Nursing course teaches us that we may all come from different cultures and backgrounds, but we are still people in need of someone to truly care for us and go the extra mile to accommodate our special beliefs and practices without being judged,” said Katya. Very dedicated in reaching her goals, Katya would like to work in the Ephrata, Pa., area where her bilingual abilities can help the large Russian population of that region.
Kindred spirits fuel Russian brother & sister By Dawn Thren
Nursing students Katya and Boris Golub are well on their way to a rewarding future in the medical community.
38 Alvernia University Magazine pp35-41AlverniaWinter2010.indd 4
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