Alumni Profile - Bishop, Stearly and Dillon '11

November 2011

Each fall, the Educational Foundation for Delaware County Community College hosts its annual Scholarship Dinner which serves two important purposes. First, it is a time to thank our scholarship contributors who have helped many a student meet their educational goals at the College. Also at the event, the Foundation tries to pair the current recipients with their scholarship benefactors so they can hear first-hand how the students are finding their coursework and benefitting from their funding. 

This year, the College is thrilled to play host to three recent non-traditional graduates who have come together to provide opportunities for future generations of nursing students. Linda Bishop, Pat Dillon and Jay Stearly all graduated in May 2011 each with a degree in Nursing. Together, they came up with the Biship Dillon Stearly Bishop Nursing Scholarship and below is a profile of how this trio came together to support their fellow students.

What year did you graduate from Delaware County Community College and with what  degree?  
Linda Bishop, Pat Dillon and Jay Stearly- “We all graduated this past May with Associate of Science degrees in Nursing.”     

Did you pursue further academic goals?  
Bishop- “I am currently finishing pre-requisites so that I can begin the RN-BSN program at West Chester University. I have been accepted in the spring 2012 cohort.”

Dillon-“I am presently enrolled in West Chester University's RN to BSN program and currently studying Spanish for Nurses. “

Stearly- “I expect to pursue further education; I am keeping my options open.”

Where are you now?  
Bishop-“I am currently working full-time in Finance. I have been vigorously applying for nursing positions since I am anxious to begin my new career!”

Dillon- “I was just offered a fulltime RN position with Genesis Healthcare's Lehigh Center. This will be my first nursing job and I am thrilled that Genesis offers training and mentorship.”

Stearly- “I am currently working with seniors, helping them navigate the landscape of Medicare.”

What is next for you professionally?  
Bishop-Initially, I want to obtain a nursing position and finish my BSN. I have much to learn at this point so it is difficult to project further out than a year or two. Who knows what the future holds? Anything is possible.”

Dillon- “It's too early to tell since nursing is a new field for me. However, I do know that I want to learn more and take on more responsibility. There's a part of me that is inclined toward teaching.”

Stearly-“I am still looking for my first nursing position.”

What advice would you give to current students and Alumni to capitalize on the education they received from the College?  
Bishop- “Delaware County Community College made my dream possible. I have long wanted to go into nursing, however, the demands of a full-time job made it seem unattainable. The College's evening/weekend program gave me the flexibility to attend a program that worked with my schedule. Although rigorous and intense, I know I received an education that rivals that of any other Nursing School.”

Dillon- “Never buy into the idea that Community College is just an extension of high school. I have a BA degree and found myself in a dead-end position. Delaware County Community College gave me the opportunity to reinvent myself and do something more meaningful.”

Stearly-“Network, network, network! Don’t overlook (the College) as a networking source.” 

Regarding the Scholarship  
Bishop- “I was the recipient of a scholarship for the Academic year 2010-2011. I was so very surprised and honored to have been selected. It really wasn't so much about the money (although I assure you I put it to good use). It was more the idea that someone(s) recognized how hard I was working. It was the affirmation I needed and I felt great.  When Jay developed the idea for a scholarship for non-traditional students like us, I thought it was a wonderful idea. Pat and I were grateful to be included. It allows us to give back in a small way.” 

Dillon- “I always wanted to support a scholarship but I thought only well-to-do people could fund scholarships. I'm thankful to Jay for coming up with the idea and that Linda jumped onboard as well. Together, we're able to come up with a nice little scholarship that essentially lets a student know that others believe and support what he/she is doing. That's especially important for those of us beyond the traditional college age.”

Stearly- “After receiving a large scholarship, I knew I had to find a way to give back. It was receipt of perhaps one of the smallest scholarships of $100 that gave me the inspiration for what ultimately became Linda’s, Pat’s and my scholarship. 

Our Friendship 
Bishop- “Pat and I first met in an accelerated Anatomy and Physiology course... and boy was that a bonding experience. We have been friends ever since. Jay was also in several of my pre-requisite courses. As I mentioned above, it is an intense program and the three of us formed our forever nursing school bond when we attended the Chester County evening/weekend program. Honestly, I don't think I could have done it without their support and encouragement. Jay and Pat are incredibly kind and compassionate people and I consider myself lucky to have them as friends.”

Stearly- “We shared many of the same academic classes so we knew each other before being accepted into the College’s nursing school. We became friends and study partners, supporting each other through the rigors of a challenging curriculum.”

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