People of PA College: January 2021 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

Sherry Moore ’21
Three-Year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program

With graduation just a few months away, Sherry Moore will soon be the third-generation nurse in her family. In addition to this source of inspiration, she came to PA College with a beneficial academic background, having previously earned a bachelor’s degree in Biobehavioral Health from Penn State University. Of her choice to enroll, Sherry explains: “I felt PA College could provide me the education to be a successful nurse, and since my journey began in 2018, doors have continued to open for me.”

Sherry has also committed herself to helping her classmates succeed. “I am the type of person who LOVES to help people, and this is also an inspiration for why I pursued a nursing career. Not just helping an individual to regain health, but to be successful in the classroom,” Sherry shares. This fall, Sherry became a peer tutor, an experience she describes as humbling, especially during the difficult times with COVID-19. “Pursuing a nursing degree is NOT easy, and the transition to online learning has been difficult. But being a support system through tutoring and witnessing these students being successful, has been the MOST inspiring thing during my time at PA College. It reveals to me the importance of having a support system through difficult times, and asking for help is the first step,” Sherry explains.

The nursing program has also challenged Sherry to think about ways to advance the nursing profession, specifically at the student level. “I have recently developed a new idea for a simulation experience that focuses on medication errors and how to prepare graduate nursing students to manage distractions. I feel it will help prepare graduate nursing students for their future practice and allow them to be successful. I don’t want to give too much information away, so stay tuned my friends,” she explains. Sherry is also Secretary and Treasurer this year for the PA College chapter of SNAP (Student Nurses’ Association of Pennsylvania), a leadership role which has further enabled her to connect with nursing students from both our associate and bachelor’s degree nursing programs.

After completing her externship in a Labor & Delivery unit, Sherry fell in love with this area of nursing. It was a powerful experience for her to be part of the support systems for mothers during birth (especially during the COVID-19 pandemic), making compassionate and meaningful connections with patients. Sherry hopes to begin her nursing career in an ICU or cardiology unit, before transitioning to labor and delivery. “I feel gaining experience of these units will allow me to challenge myself and develop sound critical thinking skills,” she adds. Eventually, Sherry would like to purse her master’s degree in nursing, focusing on education. “Tutoring this fall has really inspired me and allowed me find a love for teaching,” she notes.

Sherry has lived in Lebanon County for the past 16 years. She loves to play soccer, watch Penn State University football, and workout regularly. In the summer time, Sherry volunteers at the county fair and enjoys kayaking with her friends.

Alumni Spotlight

Gissellie Ortiz ’18, BS, RDMS, RVT
Medical Sonographer, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital

Gissellie OrtizGissellie Ortiz’s academic career started at Alvernia University in her hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania where she earned a bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. After working for three years as a surgical technician at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County, Gissellie decided to pursue new educational opportunities at PA College. “I had to stretch myself fairly thin to reach my educational/professional goals,” she notes – working approximately 36 hours a week as a unit secretary/patient care assistant at Lancaster General Hospital while enrolled full-time in our Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. Yet Gissellie’s hard work paid off; she received both the Academic Excellence and Clinical Excellence Awards at graduation. She was also inducted into the Lambda Nu national honor society for radiologic and imaging services. Gissellie adds: “With the continued support of my parents and now fiancé, managing my time well, maintaining a good study pattern and doing my absolute best to find sleep where I could, I made it through my studies and have achieved my goals.”

Now roughly two and a half years into her new career, Gissellie shares that her work as a medical sonographer at Lancaster General Hospital has been challenging but rewarding. She is certified in abdomen, OB/GYN and vascular registries. She performs general studies as well as specialty exams, assists in biopsies and provides imaging support in surgical procedures. Gisselle shares that working closely with radiologists, co-workers and other medical professionals has given her a new-found respect for the medical field and has allowed her confidence to blossom. She also notes: “My degree from PA college helped me achieve a career, a better life, a promising future and an opportunity to continue growing not only in my profession but in my education as well. It has provided me with opportunities to succeed and to further advance and expand in my knowledge of the medical world. I look forward to possibly returning to PA College in the future to explore new and diverse avenues the healthcare sciences offer.”

When not at work, Gissellie is a part-time dance instructor and choreographer. Latin dance, such as Salsa, is one of her favorite pastimes. She also remains passionate about animals. She has two dogs – Chloe and Bambi – and a cat named Tigger. Gisselle now lives in downtown Lancaster and is looking forward to marrying her fiancé Paul (who she met through the dancing world) next October. She adds: “My parents are probably my favorite people in the world. They have always supported me in all my endeavors, and I hope to be able to support them one day.”

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!

PA College News