Donor scholarships made education possible for alumna Megan Falk
Interview with Megan Falk
Class of 2017
At a young age, Bellin College alumna Megan Falk was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, making the hospital a familiar place. She loved how the nurses took care of her, and she was always so grateful for their help. She knew she wanted to help others in this way and be a part of the healthcare field.
“Bellin College was an appealing choice for me because it offered the fast-track, 15-month program,” said Falk. “After interviewing, I knew it was where I wanted to be. It had a small, comfortable feel and the staff was so
inviting and friendly.”
While she was a Bellin College student, Falk encountered some heartbreaking challenges. Her brother was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, which devastated her and her family. She was learning how to be a nurse during the day and all of her free time after class and on the weekends was spent at his bedside in the hospital or working. She saw care up close and personal, via the nurses who cared for her brother. At the same time, she was gaining empathy and understanding for how difficult these situations can be—something that would help her care for her future patients and their families.
“The staff at Bellin College was amazing during this time,” said Falk. “I found several staff members with whom I became very close and comfortable with, and they were always there to talk. The faculty were also very understanding of my situation and helped me along the way.”
Another source of assistance was very helpful to Megan throughout her time at Bellin College: our very generous donors. Bellin College is thankful to have donors, past and present, who have stepped forward to assist students like Megan with the cost of their education. Bonnie and Fergus Hughes are a great example of these donors.
“Bonnie and I have been involved in higher education for many years,” said Fergus. “I had the privilege to have many Bellin College students in the classroom and was continually impressed with the caliber of these students. In recent years, I was involved with Bellin College as a member of the Board of Trustees. It is because of this experience Bonnie and I decided to invest in the education of future Bellin College students by establishing an endowed scholarship for generations to come.” Megan’s financial situation was so dire that she stated she would not have completed her education, if not for our donors. She is immensely grateful for them.
“My family was not only emotionally exhausted, but also financially exhausted,” said Falk. “At one point, I felt school was no longer an option because of the financial strain. Again, the Bellin College staff showed me how amazing they were. They connected me with scholarships and helped me to find ways to manage the cost.”
With the help of donors, Megan was able to focus on the important things, rather than feeling overwhelmed about how she would pay for her education. Alumnus and current Bellin College Board of Trustees President Brannon Guyette echoes her sentiment.
“I know first-hand how impactful scholarships are to helping students realize their dream of becoming a healthcare professional,” said Guyette. “It is for this very reason my wife Chris, a Bellin College alumna, and I established an endowed scholarship. We wanted future Bellin College students to know how proud we are to be alumni of this esteemed institution and that fellow alumni are invested in them. I encourage all alumni to consider supporting current students through the Bellin College Alumni Scholarship. Regardless of the size of your contribution, know that you are making a difference in someone’s life.”
Megan currently works at William S. Middleton VA Hospital in Madison, Wis. on an inpatient medical/surgical unit. After graduating from Bellin College, she had several interviews for different positions and specialties. She interviewed for a NICU position, a step-down ICU and was very close to accepting a position in obstetrics.
The opportunities seemed endless with her new title RN, BSN. There were several reasons she chose to start her career at the VA hospital, but the main reason was because she did not want to specialize too early in her nursing career. She wanted to continue learning about general medical diagnoses, procedures, skills and patients. She is extremely happy with her job at the VA and is learning and seeing new things every day.
Her favorite part of working with veterans is the complexity of their health. According to Falk, almost all of her patients have comorbidities. “It feels like a puzzle trying to put things together and figure out what is going on inside their bodies,” said Falk. “I see so many different illnesses, it’s fast-paced and it’s a great place to learn.”
Falk sincerely thanks everyone who helped her through her most challenging times, especially our generous donors, who made her dream possible.