At Mount Royal, we foster a community of scholarly excellence and experiential learning. Through volunteer work and extracurricular activities, our students set themselves apart as collaborative, experienced and innovative professionals. As a third-year nursing student in the Faculty of Health, Community and Education, Roisin Dillon, embodies the true essence of student engagement and showcases the profound impact volunteering can have on an undergraduate education.
After entering her second year of the Nursing program at MRU, Dillon began volunteering on campus as a Peer Diversity Educator; facilitating anti-bullying initiatives such as Genderbread, Safe Space and the Jones Soda refugee awareness booth on campus.
“Everything is so connected,” said Dillon. “Our education is multi-dimensional. Everything we learn in nursing is interconnected.”
Through extending her learning beyond the Nursing program, Dillon has forged her own path to success, capitalizing on the opportunities made available to her as a student at MRU.
During the third year of her undergrad at MRU, Dillon was presented with the challenge to compete for a grant from the Institute for Community Prosperity by developing a report on social media campaigns and their influence on non-profit donations. Dillon’s report, Success Variables of Social Media Campaigns as Donation Elicitation Strategies in the Nonprofit Sector, led her to speak at a conference in New York in May 2016, and at the U of C at the Federation for Humanities and Social Science Congress conference on June 2, 2016. A presentation by a third-year nursing student at an international research conference is a tremendous accomplishment and an inspiration to seasoned researchers. Since then, she has been working diligently to publish her paper in the Global Academic Institute.
“The Nursing program at MRU is competitive, but it fosters lifelong relationships and an environment that encourages both personal and professional development,” said Dillon. “I couldn't possibly be where I am today without those relationships.”
Dillon’s extracurriculars have not been solely focused on academics. Currently, Dillon holds one of three Executive Director positions and the Director of Finance for CalWHO, a non-profit student-run organization focused on post secondary level simulation of the World Health Organization assembly. “I’m not doing anything extraordinary,” said Dillon. “I’m just taking advantage of the opportunities I have been lucky enough to have, and have nothing but gratitude for them. I found many of these opportunities on MRU’s main interface.”
Director of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at MRU, Pam Nordstrom, is inspired by the positive impact volunteering has had on MRU nursing students. “Volunteering propels our students into the workforce through providing them with hands-on, practical experience that broadens their knowledge and expand their view of the world while simultaneously bettering our communities.”
As Dillon continues in her studies, her volunteer work will continue to have a profound effect within her community. In the future, Dillon plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Global Health and System Development. Her dream job – to work for the United Nations or in pediatric policy to give kids who need one, a voice. As she begins to draw the curtains on her academic journey at MRU, she hopes to encourage other students to extend their learning beyond the classroom.
“If I had one piece of advice to give to other Nursing Students or any student,” said Dillon, “I would say always be inherently curious. Foster your drive to grow with curiosity and a thirst for knowledge — because that is what you own. Nursing can sometimes be microscopic and acute. Take advantage of opportunities around you, be curious, be aware, learn as much as you can and don't be afraid to fail, and always be grateful.”
July 2016 — Kelsey MacCuaig