Summer 2024 Commencement Grand Marshal Takes Pride in Building Solid Nursing Foundations

With over a decade of experience at West Coast University, Professor and Science Department Chair Dr. Tashea Hilliard has found both fulfillment and impact in her role as an educator. 

“I love being in a classroom,” she shared. “I love the atmosphere, being with students, and engaging. I always want to keep that piece of student engagement.” 

Dr. Hilliard currently teaches pathophysiology to WCU-Ontario nursing students taking general education courses. She transitioned from teaching basic biological sciences to delving into the complexities of disease processes. 

“Pathophysiology is a course that I always wanted to teach. It’s more of an upper-level course where I can focus on disease topics and get students prepared for their nursing core classes,” she said. 

Dr. Hilliard’s teaching methods aim to simplify the complex content of pathophysiology, making it memorable for her students. 

“Patho is a very tough course, there’s a lot of content,” she emphasized. “It’s the foundation for their nursing core courses, and I feel like I am making an impact because I’m giving them the foundation they need.” 

Due to her commitment to education, service to the university, and student-centric values, Dr. Hillard has been announced as the faculty grand marshal for the Summer 2024 West Coast University California Commencement ceremony. 

“The values that are instilled from the beginning at WCU is to make sure that we are student-centric and always focusing on what our students need,” she said. “So that has always been one of my foundational pieces from the beginning.” 

The faculty grand marshal has the honor of leading the university platform party into the ceremony. 

“Being recognized as the faculty grand marshal is truly an honor,” Dr. Hillard expressed. “Myself and my colleagues, we love what we do. We love education, and we love coming to work and just making a difference.” 

Dr. Hilliard’s advice to the graduates who will be crossing the stage at the Honda Center in Anaheim on July 12, is to find that same passion as future healthcare professionals. 

“Make sure whatever you do, you do it from your heart. If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life,” she shared. 

WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.