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Current Position: Director of Nursing Education, Research, and Professional Development at Partners in Health
"My favorite part about GMercyU was having a sense of community with the people around me within the School of Nursing and beyond helping to keep me grounded but also motivated and determined to meet my goals."
Melissa Ojemeni graduated from Cardinal Dougherty High School in 2002 and attended then-Gwynedd Mercy College. She earned her Associate in Nursing in 2004 and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2006.
"I appreciated the practicality of the Associates Degree in Nursing and the possibility to continue with my Bachelors and work concurrently," Melissa said.
She first heard about GMercyU when she was an Upward Bound student. Upward Bound was a college preparatory program for first generation college bound students. At the time, GMercyU was a partner institution with her high school, and students had the opportunity to spend summers on campus. Melissa spent two summers on GMercyU's campus and took several college-level courses prior to entering.
"The Upward Bound staff also had their offices in Mercy Hall so it was great to have that previous exposure and familiarity with the campus, but also familiar faces in Upward Bound's staff on campus," Melissa said.
During her time on campus, Melissa completed work with Father John and Sister Beth in Campus Ministry. She assisted by reading during mass and organizing student retreats. She was also a member of the Sigma Theta Tau's-Iota Kappa chapter.
"The nursing program was demanding and intense, but it was an 18-month program that prepared us to be competent healthcare professionals in a short period of time," Melissa said.
Melissa named several faculty members that stood out and made a difference in her time at GMercyU.
"Dr. Barbara Jones could always put a smile on my face even when I was having the toughest of days," Melissa said.
Velia McCabe served as Melissa's first advisor and guided her through the process of choosing a schedule. Dr. Lisa McGarry proved to be a helpful ally and confidant to Melissa. She would ways seek advice from Dr. McGarry when on campus.
"Dr. Mary Herman was a great ally and mentor to me during my time and always supported my ambitions for global health," Melissa said.
Melissa completed her clinical cycles at a number of hospitals, including Grand View Hospital, Doylestwon Hospital, Lansdale Hospital, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
"It was pretty intimidating at first being 17 years old and taking care of patients and being thrusted into the hospital setting six weeks into the program. But I adjsuted and adapted and never looked back," Melissa said.
After graduating from GMercyU, Melissa returned to school to earn her Master in Arts, International Peace, and Conflict Resolution from Arcadia University in 2010. Several years later she returned to school once again to earn her PhD in Nursing from New York University in 2018.
Melissa is currently working as Director of Nursing Education, Research, and Professional Development at Partners in Health. Partners in Health is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that partners with local governments to deliver health care to the world's poorest places.
Despite the chalenges that the nursing field has faced, Melissa still finds enjoyment in her occupation. When asked what her favorite part about going into the nursing field is, she couldn't just give one answer.
"I love the versatility to be able to change positions within the same field. It's a stable career choice with job security. It's a tangible skillset that can be practiced anywhere in the world and lastly, having a positive impact on someone's life."