The opportunity to help people when they are at their worst is what makes Cori Kopecky the University of Houston-Victoria School of Nursing outstanding graduate.
Kopecky will receive her degree during the university’s fall commencement ceremony at 11 a.m. today at the Leonard E. Merrell Center, 6301 S. Stadium Lane in Katy.
She will also participate in a 2 p.m. pinning ceremony today at the Merrell Center.
Each semester, professors from UHV’s four schools select at least one outstanding student from both their graduate and undergraduate programs to be honored during commencement.
There are 91 nursing students graduating this fall.
Kopecky was chosen as an outstanding nursing student because she represents the intelligence, dedication to leading and caring nature needed to be a successful nurse.
Kopecky works in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. As a nurse in the unit, she helps acute care patients recovering from surgery or those in transition during short-term treatment. She moved into that position in June to get more clinical experience while she was in school.
Kopecky is a former Wharton resident who now lives in Pearland. She decided to get her graduate degree so she could become a clinical educator.
She will graduate with a master of science degree in nursing with a concentration in nursing education.
“I want to help new nurses with their transition from school into their role as a caregiver,” she said. “I was a new nurse once and remember those who influenced me. I want to do the same for others.”
In the Practicum in Teaching in Nursing class, Kopecky shadowed Lisette Barton, assistant professor in the school’s Second Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
Kopecky saw a different side of education from the faculty’s point of view when she prepared lectures and assisted with two different classes.
“I never realized how many hats faculty members have to wear,” she said. “If I can be half the educator that Dr. Barton and the UHV faculty members are, I will consider myself a success.”
She credits her success to the support of her husband, the nurse manager at MD Anderson and the UHV faculty members.
Kopecky was able to handle a full-time job, school work and commuting to Sugar Land.
Now that she’s graduating, she says her life won’t be as hectic. But she will soon have a new kind of busy schedule.
She and her husband are expecting their first child in June.