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"I love the idea of helping people breathe as a respiratory therapist. I couldn't imagine doing anything else."
(Photo at top: After a Voices of Gwynedd Christmas performance, Noel poses with a "special guest" from the live nativity scene.)
"I knew this was the school for me from the first time I stepped on campus,” said Noel of GMercyU. “It’s just the atmosphere here, it has a very homey feel. People here really care about you.”
Noel feels that everyone on campus, from the professors to the residence life staff to the security officers, is friendly and helpful.
He also enjoys the close-knit community of the Respiratory Care program and appreciates the access he has to his professors. "The other day, I was in [Professor] Randy Solly’s office with a question and he pulled out some equipment and showed me the set-up. If my respiratory care professors have specific office hours, I wouldn't even know. I feel comfortable just stopping by to ask questions, and I know my fellow students have the same mindset, whereas my friends at massive state schools don't even know what their advisors look like."
In January 2022, Noel will begin his first clinical experience at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Here’s more about Noel, in his own words.
I've wanted to work with the lungs since the 7th grade, when my grandfather had a double lung transplant. I remember watching his pulmonologist do her work and I thought, that's what I want to do. Today, I love the idea of helping people breathe as a respiratory therapist. I love the lungs. I couldn't imagine doing anything else.
I’ve been an EMS worker for just about a year. During the pandemic and with virtual school, I wanted something where I could be hands-on with patients, so I became an EMS worker in my hometown in New Jersey. Now I'm what you'd call an 'ambulance junkie.' I love helping people when they need you the most. EMS workers provide the first medical care to patients, before hospital care. It's just as important.
I'm a music minor and currently vice president of Voices of Gwynedd. I started out as an instrumentalist – when I came to GMercyU, I’d been playing the trombone for more than a decade. I wasn’t really a singer, but I wanted to continue with music. Now I love singing in a choir, being one voice together.
In my music therapy class, you learn how music can help heal people. The vibrations of music can help lower stress, can help heal people with depression and a number of health issues. It’s pretty amazing.
In the summer, I’m also on the staff of my hometown’s marching band. And I’m the sitting bass trombone player for the Montgomery County Concert Band.
Everyone is so friendly. It’s the type of environment where someone will bake cookies and randomly hand them all out. And if you ever have a problem, the staff will not just help you resolve it but will follow up with you, they’re extremely accommodating.
It's my home away from home.