Bobby Mele '14

Nursing major from Mattituck, NY

Why Hartwick?
There was a connection that I felt when walking around campus on my tour. It's hard to describe, but something felt right. Not to sound corny but it was as if I found my destiny - I was meant to come to Hartwick. I was meant to meet the best friends that I've made, collaborate with outstanding faculty and staff inside and outside of the classroom, and ultimately be challenged to grow into the individual that I'm proud to be today.

What are your classes like?
Challenging - don't take this in a negative way. You should want your education to be challenging - you wouldn't learn if it wasn't. My classes aren't a lecture throwing facts into your face. My classes are discussions, exploring ones personal beliefs and morals, pushing boundaries. My classes also have taken place around the world. I never thought I could say that.

What does "theory into practice" mean to you?
My idea of an education before coming to Hartwick was that an education was concrete. That you have to read, study, and were tested on the content. This is true in many cases, but an education is so much more. Your education at Hartwick will push your ideas, broaden your perspectives, and challenge your inquiry for more. Speak up in a class, explore the unknown - your thoughts matter and aren't considered "wrong" or "incorrect". I struggled with theory content in my classes because it's not concrete, but abstract - I wasn't used to this. "Theory into practice" means exploring ideas and considering concepts either similar or different than yours. After exploring ideas we can take these and physically implement them into "practice." This could be from my area of caring for patients or through studying research in areas ranging from music education to sociology.

How have your professors made an impact on your education?
My professors have gone above and beyond to build my education. My professors don't interact with me while just in class - if you are walking around campus and happen to run into your professor (it's a small school - it will happen to you) they will take the time and energy to stop and ask how you are doing, maybe even spark a conversation about needing assistance with research. I've traveled the world, had e-mail conversations past midnight, and have truly observed the support and guidance that only promotes my personal success with professors from Hartwick. My professors want the best for me - I couldn't ask for anything more.

What do you do outside the classroom?
There is a lot to do on and off Hartwick's campus. I'm employed by Hartwick as a Blue Key tour guide and a tutor for first year nursing students in the UNIT program. Engaging yourself in college, I believe, is a personal key to success. You get to build leadership skills, meet others outside of your major, and challenge yourself. Throughout my career at Hartwick I've explored many opportunities that are available to students. I've been an Orientation Leader, Team Coordinator for Orientation, was a Vice President of a Hall Council as a first year student, a Residential Advisor, a Peer Leader, and have been elected as an At-Large Student Senator for three continuous terms. I've also traveled to Peru and Jamaica during the January Term.

How do you describe Hartwick to your friends back home?
I describe Hartwick to my friends as my home away from home. When I go home on vacations, after three days I'm counting down the days until I can come back.

What comes after Hartwick?
My hopes and current trajectory after Hartwick are to work towards my first master's in nursing within the specialty of Healthcare Leadership. Throughout working on my first master's I hope to work and gain my fundamental RN experience. After a few years as an RN and finding a specialty that I enjoy, I will work towards my second master's to become a Nurse Practitioner. After becoming an NP I will hope to work towards my Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP).

What would you tell future Hartwick students?
I would tell future students to get ready to explore your personal boundaries and challenge everything you have believed in the world. With a Hartwick education, you work in areas outside of your major that at first may make you feel uncomfortable, but ultimately over a semester could change your paradigm and perspectives. You are going to meet people who you are going to want to be at your wedding. You will meet people who will become your best friends and work with professionals who you will consider your life-long mentors. Get ready for a life-changing experience.

Know the Facts.
95The percentage of Hartwick young alumni employed or in grad school within a year of graduation.