Kelly Evangelista, Student Nursing Association of PA

This week’s campus celebrity is a bubbly and bright, Nursing major, Kelly Evangelista. Kelly is a sophomore, and when she isn’t busy studying for her nursing classes she is doing something for one of her extra-curricular activities. Being involved with IUP Ambassadors, Student Nursing Association of Pennsylvania, and Alpha Tau Delta Professional Nursing Fraternity. She is definitely developing her nursing connections while at IUP!

Kelly says she always knew she wanted to go into a field where she could help people, which is part of the reason that she chose Nursing. Being the overachiever that she is, Kelly started researching colleges her freshman year of high school. She fell in love with Nursing in her junior year of high school while job shadowing her aunt, who is a nurse in the operating room. After taking her Anatomy and Physiology class during her senior year of high school and realizing her interest in the body and how it works, she knew that nursing would be the perfect combination of her interests and passions.

After Kelly graduates from IUP she hopes to become a travelling nurse. Basically, she would be placed at a hospital anywhere in the country, for usually a matter of months, and then be placed at a different hospital in the country. It encompasses two passions of hers: nursing and travelling! Also, her living and food would be provided so it would be a great way for her to save money and gain valuable real world experience. Eventually she plans on moving back to Pittsburgh and getting her graduate degree. At the moment, she is thinking of possibly becoming a nurse anesthetist or a nurse practitioner (neonatal or women’s health) but she is still open to all the possibilities that may come up between now and then.

She has so many good memories at IUP it was hard for her to pick just one! Kelly’s favorite memories involve joining all of her activities, and especially IUP Ambassadors and being a part of the buddy system they have. She said “one of my favorites would have to be the Buddy Olympics for Ambassadors. Similar to a Big/Little system, the Ambassadors give a ‘buddy’ to their new members to help orient them to the group. After the buddies get to know each other, they have the annual ‘Buddy Olympics’ where buddy pairs compete in different physical activities against other pairs. It was so fun and such a great way to get to know the other ambassadors. It was also fun to bond with my amazing buddy!”

Near the end of our discussion, I asked Kelly what her advice to freshman would be. She had several things to say, all of them where really good! Definitely don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. In high school, she was one of the more shy kids so coming to college really scared her. However, she decided to just step outside of her comfort zone and take a chance. She can honestly say that she has changed as a person. She has had so many opportunities and made so many amazing friends because of her decision to do so. Her last piece of advice: Don’t feel alone if you feel a little nervous coming to college. Many students feel the same way! Just approach it with the best attitude you can and before you know it you’ll be calling IUP your home!

Like many students when they first come to college, Kelly was a little unsure, but she has blossomed and realized that she loves it and this is where she wants to be! If you ever see her on campus be sure to say hello, Kelly is one of the friendliest people you will meet on this campus and she is a great person. She will make a wonderful nurse wherever in the country she goes, who knows, someday she may even be your nurse!