Patience Sheppard came to SUNY Broome for the competitive Dental Hygiene program, but found her interests taking her away from oral health into something wider in scope.
So the Moravia native transferred into the flexible Health Studies degree program, which prepares students for transfer into a wide range of health-related degree programs, or for direct entry into allied health professions.
After she completes her degree in the spring, she plans to take the next step toward her dream and apply to SUNY Broome’s highly respected Nursing program. She credits her job at home – as a direct support professional at the Racker Center, aiding individuals with disabilities – as sparking her interest in nursing.
“Nursing offers more variety. You can work in a bunch of different fields and expand – there’s trauma, cardiac, pediatric,” she explained.
Her hometown is about an hour and 10-minute drive from campus, so she decided to live in the Student Village. And more than that, she decided to take the leap and become a resident assistant (RA), helping her fellow residential Hornets.
Becoming an RA was a good way to break out of her shell. Part of an RA’s duties involve organizing residence hall events, and Patience put on a movie night, a game night with food and more.
“I’m quiet. Being an RA, I was focused on meeting new people and talking to new people,” she said.
Favorite professors include Dr. William Hollister in biology, Dr. John Pierog in history, philosophy and social science, and Matthew Papkov in effective speaking. She also enjoyed her American Sign Language course with instructor Nicole Frate, a SUNY Broome alumna who is deaf herself.
She tested her own instructional skills last semester, as a College Success tutor. “I like helping others. I doubt myself a lot, so to see I was able to help others learn was really cool,” she said.
Next semester, she plans to take Western history, pharmacology and microbiology, and move off-campus. She also plans to investigate other avenues for campus involvement, including Toastmasters and the ASL Club. She found that she enjoys hiking the trails in the SUNY Broome Nature Preserve, located in the hills behind campus.
Overall, she has enjoyed her SUNY Broome experience so far – game nights, muddy trails and rigorous academics included.
“I really like the small class sizes, and all of my professors have been great,” she said.