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Transfer Mom Spearheads Nursing Club

Sarah “Beth” MorenoSarah “Beth” Moreno, quickly became a leader at the University of St. Thomas in her first semester as a pre-nursing student. Moreno, who transferred from Lone Star College-CyFair, found a home at UST, and as a junior, she is working toward helping other students find success on campus.

Moreno founded, and is president, of the Nursing Student Association at UST this semester. She said she is enthusiastic about the growth of in the School of Nursing and helps encourage student engagement.

“Being an older student, and having a gap between going to college and now, it’s such a privilege to be able to study at such a good university,” Moreno said. “Everything here is growing too. I have been to three colleges and, here, it feels like home.”

Moreno went to Houston Baptist University at 17 years old. Saddled with two full-time jobs, living alone for the first time and recovering from a car accident, Moreno said her first college experience was overwhelming. Moreno took a break from school, got married and had two boys, now 8 and 10 years old.

To finish her degree, she decided to enroll at Lone Star College-CyFair in 2004. She earned her Emergency Medical Technician certification and later went back to LSC-CyFair to get her Associates Degree in Nursing. She became the president of Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society that recognizes and encourages scholarship among two-year college students. Moreno was nominated to the society’s All-Texas and All-USA Academic Teams.

While at LSC-CyFair, Moreno spotted a University of St. Thomas table in the cafeteria and met Cathy Ruhnke, transfer admissions counselor, who encouraged her to attend a Transfer Open House and apply to UST.

UST has more than 120 new transfer students for fall 2012. Jerricia Hannah, transfer admissions coordinator, welcomes the perspective these students bring to UST.

“Transfer students often bring a wealth of experiences and a variety of insights which enhance the classroom and university community,” Hannah said.

Because of her accomplishments with Phi Theta Kappa, Moreno had 20 full scholarships to universities around the country. However, UST stood out because of its patient-centered nursing, which uses a newly-developed curriculum based on healing and holistic care.

“I believe in not just caring for the person’s physical well-being, but the spiritual as well,” Moreno said. “Holistic care is mind, body and spirit. There are other attributes besides the physical that can make someone sick.”

Moreno will find out if she is accepted into the UST Nursing Program on Dec. 1. She encourages students interested in nursing to attend the upcoming Transfer Open House on Nov. 9.

“Come to the open house,” Moreno said. “You’re more than welcome to come to the Nursing Student Association to meet people. I would love to help transfer students come to UST.”