People of PA College: January 2019 Edition

by Karen Jenkins January 8, 2019

People of PA College: January 2019 Edition

We’re proud of the ambitions and accomplishments of our students and alumni – learn some of their stories in our monthly feature:

Student Spotlight

Nashiyah DeJesus ‘21

Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration

Always interested in a career in healthcare, Nashiyah DeJesus earned a diploma in Medication Office Management from Thompson Institute (now Kaplan University) before entering the field in 2008, working for a primary care physician office, a specialist office and in billing and coding. This experience helped prepare her for her current role as an Outpatient Clinical Coder for Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine. Nashiyah enjoys supporting both the hospital and physician sides of the organization and is also taking coding classes online through AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders) to become a Certified Professional Coder.

Nashiyah first became a mother when she was a teenage, and says it was her children who inspired her to go back to school to continue her education. She shares of those earlier days: “It was hard to juggle going to school and raising my daughter. I decided it would be best to give her the best life possible and put my goals on hold until I have a better opportunity to dedicate myself back to my studies.” Nashiyah is now enrolled in our Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration program, on track to earn her degree in 2021.  In 2017, Nashiyah was nominated by her former boss to participate in LGH’s Aspiring Leaders program and she hopes her PA College degree will lead to opportunities for advancement and support her goal of eventually taking on a leadership role. The ability to pursue her degree online is a perfect fit for this busy working mom.

In her spare time, Nashiyah enjoys spending time with family and friends, listening to music and traveling when she can. A native Philadelphian, she is also a loyal fan of each of the city’s sports teams. Her big family of nine includes husband Rafael, her three children Destiny, Andrew and Javis, as well as four step daughters. Four adorable Yorkies also help to keep them busy. Nashiyah is excited about her future, adding: “I am a go-getter and love learning. I look forward to getting my degree so I can continue to give back to the community.”

Alumni Spotlight

Del-Rae Rice

Postpartum Nurse, Pediatric Nurse, and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant  and Certified Clinical Lactationist, UPMC Pinnacle Lititz

Malinda Heisey  ’17

Labor and Delivery Nurse, UPMC Pinnacle Lititz

Fellow alumnae Del-Rae Rice ’10 and Malinda Heisey ’17 are now colleagues following a fortuitous meeting at a recent PA College Career Connections Dinner for Students & Alumni. Del-Rae earned her ASN here in 2010, and is now a postpartum nurse, a pediatric nurse, and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Certified Clinical Lactationist with UPMC Pinnacle Lititz in the Women’s Place. Malinda graduated from the ASN program in 2017 and is now a labor and delivery nurse at UPMC Pinnacle Lititz.

Malinda describes how this opportunity arose in part through her meeting with Del-Rae: “In my forth semester, I saw an advertisement about the Career Connections Dinners and decided to attend, as it sounded like a great opportunity to meet nurses who were already working in the field and ask them about any recommendations that they had re: job applications and interviews. I was a bit intimidated by the amount of experience and leadership positions held by many of the alumni. I heard Del-Rae introduce herself and talk about her desire to simply bless the patients whom she serves by caring for them as a bedside nurse. I came up to her after the dinner and felt that it was an answer to prayer as two worlds collided in our passions to provide genuine nursing care at the bedside.”

Malinda recently attended her first Dinner as a graduate herself, hoping to be a resource to current students as Del-Rae was for her.  She explains: “It is important me to share my experiences now as an alumni, because I know that there are students who were once in my shoes as a new graduate and are hopeful to secure a job that they will enjoy. For alumni, these events provide an opportunity to promote your place of employment and provide encouragement and advice to new graduates. For current students, they provides a place to hear success stories from different nurses, leaders, and managers, who were once new to the new profession. It also provides a way to network with colleagues and get connected in ways that you may have never imagined.”

Del-Rae also shares her perspective on this opportunity: “The College’s Career Connections Dinners are a great way to network in the nursing world and for alumni to share their professional journey with potential graduates ready to take their first professional steps. For students, these gatherings are a phenomenal way to advance your career, from soon-to-be graduate to employee status.”

She continues: Career Connection Dinners are important for me to participate in because this is way that as an alumnus, I can “pay it forward.” As a student, I greatly appreciated those who invested in me and this allows for a reciprocal relationship. When Malinda spoke to me at the end of the event, I encouraged her to move ahead, giving her tips and advising her to keep me updated with her progress. The next day, at work, I shared her name and interest with my director, as well as my first impressions. One invite, one dinner, one conversation has allowed Malinda to fill her dreams. Malinda is valued as an employee and I am blessed to have her as my special coworker. We are grateful for these opportunities and look forward to more Malinda and Del-Rae connections!”


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!