Remembering Why

Author: Amanda D’Amico

As a staff member at The Penn Fund, I understand the important impact that philanthropy has on Penn’s students.  Penn Fund dollars help to support the 40% of Penn students who receive student aid; they help to support the 574 student organizations at Penn; and they affect each undergraduate at Penn.

But working in an administrative building away from students doesn’t allow me to regularly see what interesting things Penn students are doing because Penn Fund dollars helped to support their lab’s upgrade, or what riveting conversations are taking part in a small lecture hall because Penn Fund dollars helped to pay for more faculty members, or the value added by a student who would be unable to attend Penn without of the support of financial aid.  That’s why I was thrilled to venture with other members of The Penn Fund’s marketing team to Penn’s School of Nursing for a few hours.

A colleague in the School of Nursing set up a wonderful afternoon for us.  Our first stop was five minutes with Dean Afaf I Meleis, PhD, DrPS(hon), FAAN.  The Dean spoke to us about how giving at Penn, through The Penn Fund, the Nursing Annual Fund, and other sources, has impacted the school.  She spoke of her priorities for the school and of her vision for its future.

Next, we sat down with Angela Iorianni-Cimbak, MSN, RN, Director of the Brunner Lab.  Angela gave a wonderful presentation on the upcoming transformation of the simulation labs and the impact it would have on the students.  This was followed by a tour of the existing labs, complete with simulated patients and operating rooms.  We were able to peak at students as they practiced putting IVs in the arms of “patients,” and as they hurried around the simulation rooms which seemed to be almost as busy as a real ER.

At the end of our tour, we were able to meet with two undergraduate students who talked about their experiences at the Nursing School.  Their perspective was particularly interesting, as they were both second-degree students (meaning that they had received a bachelor’s degree from another University in another subject and were now attending Penn Nursing for the bachelor’s in Nursing).  The students talked about their experiences as non-traditional undergraduates and of the opportunities that Penn Nursing afforded them.

Overall, it was a fascinating and fantastic experience, and I can’t thank my colleagues enough in Nursing for taking the time out of their day to speak to us.  This visit really helped to emphasize the impact that philanthropy has on Penn’s students.

To learn more about the Penn’s School of Nursing, visit http://www.nursing.upenn.edu/Pages/default.aspx .

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Filed under Amanda D., Student Perspective, The Penn Fund

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