Best of Both Worlds

Community Leadership Graduate Melissa Podaski

By Current Community Leadership Student: AnneMarie Graffeo

 

Community Leadership grad Melissa PodaskiMelissa Podaski, class of 2006, is currently attending Three Rivers Community College where she is in the professional nursing program. She will have her RN (registered nurse) degree in May 2012. Melissa is taking a microbiology course, a nursing course and doing two clinical shifts per week at Day Kimball Hospital in Putnam, CT, a nonprofit hospital.

Melissa says that Kate Hanson and Tim Barretto instilled confidence in her that she didn’t know she had. They taught her how to work hard, how to make a difference, and how to believe that anything is truly possible. In the Community Leadership program Melissa developed the organizational skills and study habits that have enabled her to continue being successful as she studies to become an RN. Another thing she learned from the CoLead program was how to delegate tasks and supervise others, a skill that she now uses every day in the hospital as a student nurse. Nurses are part of a much larger healthcare team, and knowing how to supervise others effectively has proven to be extremely beneficial.

When she reflects on her time at the Thompson School, one of the things she liked best was the advantage of having small classes while still being a part of a large university. "It’s the best of both worlds," she explains, adding that for her the Community Leadership program was "so active in the community at UNH that it was wonderful to be with such a small group of people that made big things happen on campus."

Directly after graduation from the Thompson School Melissa went to Arizona State University to complete her nursing prerequisite classes. After a year of completing those classes, she came back to UNH for two years to get a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication. She focused on communication involving healthcare by taking Psychology of Communication and Communication and Healthcare courses with UNH professor Sheila MacNamee. In May 2009 she graduated from UNH, and started nursing school in September 2010 in Connecticut.

Melissa’s goals for the future are to graduate from nursing school and then work for a nonprofit children’s hospital—first as an RN, and eventually as a director of nursing.