For Anthony, coming to Penn was a bit intimidating at first, but his peers and faculty are teaching him that he can handle the hard stuff and fulfill his dreams. It didn’t take long for Anthony to begin to explore the many dimensions of his interest in nursing. Penn is uniquely situated in a city filled with world-class healthcare institutions, some of which are only steps away from campus. But for Anthony there’s no need to leave campus to get a clinical experience. Penn’s School of Nursing has an entire simulated patient floor. On the floor, which includes patient beds, computers, and all the other elements of a real hospital setting, he and his colleagues wear scrubs, carry stethoscopes, and partner with each other to practice the skills they will need when they begin their clinical rotations with real patients.
Outside the classroom, Anthony works as an administrative assistant in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s Epilepsy Center. This position is an example of the exceptional opportunities Penn offers students to explore their professional interests early in their college experience. It’s also shown Anthony more than just the clinical side of nursing. At Penn, Anthony is learning that he can take his career anywhere he imagines, from nursing administration and policy to medical research, or even healthcare law.
Before Penn, Anthony had no idea that he would find mentors among his professors. He recently attended a small group dinner with Professor Julie Sochalski, the United States’ former chief nurse. Hearing about her work for the Obama administration was inspiring. And because Professor Sochalski is also the faculty director for Hill College House, next door to New College House where Anthony lives, she has even hosted small gatherings featuring her own baked cookies.
Residential dining is also a source of community for Anthony, who often grabs lunch with friends for a break during the day. He loves eating in the dining hall and plans to continue to have a dining plan next year. He enjoys the many dining options at Penn and, because he is from an Italian family, food and the social connections that come with eating together have been an important part of his college experience.
You may recognize Anthony. As a child he appeared in two Broadway productions, and as a senior in high school, when he posted his video reaction to receiving his Penn acceptance letter on Youtube, the video went viral. Millions of people across the world have now seen Anthony’s video and have shared in his sheer delight at being accepted to Penn. As excited as he was to be admitted, he feels Penn has exceeded his expectations. Today he loves sharing his Quaker pride as a Penn ambassador in the Admissions Office. If you call with a question, you may speak to Anthony, who works as a client care specialist in the Office of Admissions. He might also lead your campus tour. Anthony, a first generation college student also contributed to the IvyG Conference at Penn this year. IvyG is an inter-Ivy League first-generation college student network that was launched in 2015.
Anthony also spends time on the Undergraduate Assembly (UA), an elected, representative student government organization that advocates for positive change for students. The UA lobbies for tangible change at Penn based on student needs, represents students to administrators and outsiders, brings different student groups together, provides services to improve student quality of life, and funds other branches of student government. To him, UA is a symbol of the pride and care that students feel about their role in helping Penn continue to improve.