We’re proud of the ambitions and accomplishments of our students and alumni – learn some of their stories in our monthly feature:
Student, Radiography Program
Eager to follow her passion for helping others with a career in health care, Allyson McDaniel was encouraged to enroll in PA College by her older sister, Emily (McDaniel) Bechtel, a 2017 graduate of our Associate of Science in Nursing program. Now in her final semester of our Radiography program, Allyson appreciates how she has been able to learn in the classroom, hone her skills in our Center for Excellence in Practice and then perform in the clinical setting. She has also participated in interdisciplinary experiences at the college, and shares: “By performing simulated scenarios with students from other healthcare programs, I have learned that everyone has a role to play in caring for our patients and the importance of collaboration and communication.” Allyson most values the people in her program, adding: “I know my instructors are always willing to do what they can to help me succeed. Because the radiography program class sizes are small, I have had opportunities to build lasting relationships with my classmates.”
Aspiring to work in a hospital setting, Allyson looks forward to interacting with a variety of patients, offering them the care they need by performing x-ray exams and procedures in the hospital’s operating room, emergency department, unit floors, and radiography department. This past summer, she volunteered in the radiography departments in two hospitals in Kenya. “I loved conversing with and learning from the Kenyan radiographers. I enjoyed the challenge of learning to use older equipment and different protocols and methods to perform x-ray exams and procedures in the hospitals. It was such an amazing opportunity to care for and interact with patients who spoke a different language and who were from a different culture. Through this experience I had opportunities to learn and try new things, experience a new culture, and gain perspective,” explains Allyson.
Allyson lives with her family in the Lititz/Manheim Township area. During her time as a PA College student, she has enjoyed being a part of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship affinity club on campus. In her free time, Allyson loves dancing and teaching Irish dance at Hooley School of Irish Dance, staying involved at her church, and spending time with friends and family. She also loves a good cup of coffee and a great conversation with friends.
Jennifer Steco M.Ed., MSN ’19, RN
Manager, Ambulatory Collaborative Care Team, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health
A dedication to both learning and teaching has guided the career of alumna Jennifer Stecco, M.Ed., MSN ’19, RN. Her first nursing role was in a Med-Surg unit, but realizing her passion was for cardiac nursing, Jen later took a position at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital caring for cardio-thoracic surgery patients. Later, she worked in home health as well as in office nursing for a local cardiology group. Following her interest in teaching, in 2007 Jen became a Health Careers instructor as part of J.P. McCaskey High School’s Career and Technical Education program. During her nine years in this role, she also earned a Master’s degree in Education from Penn State University. While Jen enjoyed her teaching experience, she chose to leave McCaskey to advance her nursing career. In 2016, she began working as the Supervisor of the Support Center at LGH, and the following year, started taking classes at PA College.
“I enjoyed interacting with healthcare professionals from other health systems and disciplines. I was able to learn as much from them as I did from the classes,” Jen shares of her PA College experience. She earned her Master’s degree in Nursing Administration in August 2019 and is proud of her decision to leave teaching and return to LGH. This change allowed Jen to follow her dream of earning her MSN and take her nursing career to the next level. Thanks to her degree from PA College, Jen was promoted to her current role of Manager of the Ambulatory Collaborative Care Team (ACCT). The team works collaboratively with LGH Physicians family physicians to assist patients who have health or social barriers. They provide disease management and connect patients to community resources.
Jen lives in East Lampeter Township with her husband and their black goldendoodle, Nero. Her son lives in Delaware and is married with three children and one on the way. Her daughter lives in Bellfonte and works in State College. “My great joys in life right now are my grandchildren. I love to visit often and spoil them. When I am not with my grandchildren, I love cooking and taking long walks with my dog,” adds Jen.
Seeking People of PA College
Do you know an exceptional current student or alumnus whose experiences and accomplishments would help tell the PA College story? Or someone who has overcome an obstacle or reached a challenging milestone during their PA College experience? Please email your suggested names (and identify them in one of these categories) to Karen Jenkins. Self-nominations are also welcome!