2020 Alumni Stories

WCU Alumni Spotlight: Leslie Jackson, BSN ’20

Leslie Jackson was part of the first West Coast University cohort affected by the coronavirus pandemic. A nursing student at the Dallas campus, she was only... Read more

 2020 WCU Alumni Scholarship December Recipients

Since the beginning of 2018, the WCU Alumni Association has raised more than $160,000 in scholarship funds, distributing nearly $50,000 at the beginning of 2020... Read more

WCU BSN Alumni Couple Tackle Career Goals Together

Even though they started their careers in different areas of healthcare, Charles and Cindy Vergel de Dios are now both nurses, both WCU alumni and also husband and... Read more

WCU MHA Alumni Ziad George Finds His Calling in Healthcare Research and Development

Ziad George has long had a knack for business. After completing his bachelor’s in business administration at the University of Notre Dame, he founded his own... Read more

Years After Graduation, Friends From WCU’s First DPT Cohort Continue to Find Success in the Field

Thomas Swift and Aaron Huie were part of the very first Doctor of Physical Therapy class at West Coast University. Being part of that inaugural group helped form... Read more

WCU-OC BSN Alum Deployed For Six Weeks To One of America’s Busiest Hospitals During COVID-19 Pandemic

Iris Rodriguez had been in the military nearly 20 years when her medical unit was activated to assist with the coronavirus pandemic in New York City. Graduating... Read more

From the Soccer Field to the ICU: Elyse Shelger Shares Her Nursing Story

There was a time when few people could have predicted that West Coast University alumna Elyse Shelger would make a career out of nursing. “My first degree... Read more

WCU Alumni Spotlight: Patrick Castillo, MSOT ’16

After completing his master's of science in occupational therapy (MSOT) in 2016, West Coast University alumni Patrick Castillo began his career working in acute... Read more

WCU Alumni Spotlight: Farnaz Zahiri Araghi, BSN ’18

Farnaz was born and raised in Iran. Farnaz received her bachelor of arts in English language and literature in Iran. Inspired by her aunt, who worked as a registered... Read more

WCU-Miami BSN Alumni Takes Nursing Journey One Day at a Time

As a first-generation college graduate, Manuela Conde says that it was up to her to learn how to navigate the ins-and-outs of higher education — and boy, did... Read more

WCU Alum Channels Passion of Nursing Into Mental Health Mission

Growing up in a Filipino family, Jonathan Llamas said he was exposed early on to the values and beliefs that provided his unique introduction to nursing. After graduating... Read more

Coronavirus Pandemic No Match for WCU Alum’s Goal of Becoming a Nurse

Just as Diana Garcia was about to become a nurse, the world started shutting down due to the coronavirus. First, her preceptorship at Children’s Hospital Los... Read more

WCU Alumni Spotlight: Cynthia Pezeshgian, RN, BSN ’18

Since graduating from West Coast University in 2018 with her bachelor's of science in nursing degree, Cynthia Pezeshgian has acquired a diverse background... Read more

WCU Alumni Spotlight: Aaron Huie, DPT ’17

What brought you to West Coast University as a student? I was brought to WCU to join their inaugural Doctorate of Physical Therapy program. I was drawn to WCU because... Read more

WCU Alumni Spotlight: Thomas Swift, CSCS, DPT ’17

What brought you to West Coast University as a student? Physical Therapy school is highly competitive. I applied to multiple schools and West Coast University was... Read more

WCU Alumni Spotlight: Maria Castillo, RN, BSN ’18

What sets West Coast University apart from other schools? For me what sets apart WCU from any other school is how personal it feels. All the staff, from the administration... Read more

WCU Equips Nursing Grads to Respond to Healthcare Emergencies

With nurses on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19, today's global health pandemic emphasizes the life-altering impact West Coast University nursing graduates... Read more

Army Veteran Returns to OR Roots After Earning BSN Online

Ebony Durham got her start in healthcare as a surgical technician in the U.S. Army. For more than a decade, she worked in hospital operating rooms around the globe... Read more

Successful Healthcare Career Leads To MPH Degree For WCU Alum

Christina Sese always knew she wanted to work in the healthcare field. Initially certified as a medical coder, Sese returned to school in 2014 and earned her bachelor's... Read more

Dallas Alumni Co-President Enjoys Giving Back to WCU Student Community 

As the co-president of the West Coast University Alumni chapter in Dallas/Fort Worth, Erin Choe is proud to be a part of the nursing profession and support nursing’s... Read more

WCU Alumni Sees COVID-19’s Impact in Labor and Delivery

While the amazing work of intensive care and respiratory nurses during the coronavirus pandemic has been well-documented, one West Coast University graduate’s... Read more

WCU Alum Urges Embracing The Bumps in The Road

As a passionate nurse-educator — and proud owner of a 1970 Volkswagen bus named “Sven” — Sheryl Pena will be the first to say it’s... Read more

WCU Alumni Spotlight: Barbara O, MPH ’18

What brought you to WCU as a student? The ability to enroll within weeks. The admission department reviewed my application and helped me to register with ease. How... Read more

WCU Alumni Spotlight: Marie Manio, BSN ’14

What brought you to WCU as a student? One thing I find remarkably special about WCU is that everyone is granted the opportunity to pursue his or her dream of becoming... Read more

WCU Alumni Spotlight: Melanie G, BSN ’20

Melanie Gomez was inspired to become a registered nurse when she obtained her first full-time job straight after high school. She had always been around the healthcare... Read more

WCU Alumni Spotlight: Kyle Schneider, BSDH ’19

What brought you to WCU as a student? My friend Katie Jo was in dental hygiene school and asked me to be her patient. Upon multiple visits for treatments she suggested... Read more

WCU Alumni Spotlight: Kevin Lopez, BSDH ’19

What brought you to WCU as a student? I was intrigued that the school offered so many different programs other than dental hygiene and emphasized interprofessional... Read more

WCU Alumnus' Long Journey To Earn BSN Takes Her Home

Brittany Wiener’s cross-country journey to becoming a nurse was always destined to lead her back home. As a child, Brittany wanted to be a veterinarian. But... Read more

WCU Alumni Shares Day in the Life of a COVID-19 Unit Nurse

While being a frontline health worker during the coronavirus pandemic has been the “most challenging experience” of her nursing career, Brittany Wiener said... Read more

WCU Dental Hygiene Instructor and MPH Alum Matches Love of Learning to Career Goals

At graduation, most people wonder what they will do after school. Jila Torabi was more curious about what she would do next in school. “I love academia and... Read more

WCU Alum Finds Second Career on COVID-19 Front Lines

Inspired by the help and care he received during six months of rehabilitation, Mike Estona decided to change career paths after a devastating motorcycle accident. Working... Read more


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