Hida Jessie Piersma ’08
Mount Sinai Medical Center
Author, The Gnawing Thoughts
"UC offers the tools, classes, and guidance I needed to succeed."
What was your major and are you working in that field now? (What do you do you?)
My major was nursing. I graduated in May 2008 with a Bachelor in Science. I am currently working as a clinical nurse at a very fast pace unit at Mount Sinai Medical Center, department of medicine.
What attracted you to that course of study?
I am attracted to my field of study because every life is meaningful and I felt I must make a difference in people’s life. I hate to see people suffer when they are really in need and I can help them. I was also told by my late dad that I have a heart of a nurse and I believed in him as I grew up. I found myself physically helping the people in need, and this is exactly what I am doing now taking care of sick people in the hospital.
Do you have any advice for students?
Yes, my advice to the students is - if you don’t understand the material, please do not blame your professor that he or she does not know how to teach. Just work hard at it, especially in this country you can always achieve your goal, practice also makes perfect, or simply take that class with another professor who may have another way of explaining what you do not understand. I believe in the saying “No Pain No Gain” because nothing comes easy. I was not a genius at school, but I studied very hard, and I have a profession now; I am a nurse!
What are some of your hobbies and interests?
I founded a not for profit organization, “Lanekatuk Memorial Incorporated” with the mission to build schools and Medical Clinics in the war zone of Northern Uganda to eradicate diseases and ignorance. I also authored the book The Gnawing Thoughts, a memoir of my life in Uganda, Italy, and America.
What professor or staff member made a difference in your College experience?
Dr. Mary Kay Maroney taught me how to be organized in order to succeed. I am very proud of her - she is currently working with me as a board member of Lanekatuk Memorial Inc. Dr. Brownell convinced me to get a bachelor’s degree other than an associate degree.
(Hida proceeded to name nearly 20 more faculty/staff members who made a positive difference in her education at UC).
When you think of UC today, what comes to mind?
What stood (stands) out the most? My job title, not just a registered nurse, but a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree, which I earned from Utica College.
If you could sum up what UC offers in two or three sentences, what would you say?
UC offers the tools, classes, and guidance I needed to succeed.