"All the stuff I've done that I'm involved with, I just love it all. I love helping out and being part of everything and knowing everyone."
To say that Lindsey Pare is "involved" in campus life is somewhat of an understatement.
She is vice president of the Student Senate (and former secretary), a New Student Orientation leader, a founding member of the HCC COMMitted Club, former secretary of the Military Club, an Admissions ambassador and tour guide, a peer advisor, and a member of both the Phi Theta Kappa national honor society and HCC's Green Key Honor Society.
"All the stuff I've done that I'm involved with, I just love it all. I love helping out and being part of everything and knowing everyone," says the 21-year-old Ludlow resident.
Her efforts have not gone unnoticed. In October, she received the Dean Sullivan leadership award from the Community College Student Leadership Association.
Here's a little more about her:
Ludlow. Attended Ludlow High School.
Foundations of Health (earned a certificate in Medical Assisting from HCC in May 2017)
Activities and Awards:
Student Senate (vice president); New Student Orientation leader; founding member, Committed Club; former secretary, Military Club; Admissions ambassador and tour guide; peer advisor; Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society; Green Key Honor Society; HCC Foundation Scholarship (2016-2017 and 2017-2018); 2016 Rising Star Award (Student Activities); 2016 Commitment Award (Student Activities); 2017 HCC awards for Service and Scholarship; works weekends at Willimansett West Nursing Home in Chicopee and during the summer as a nutrition teacher for the YMCA Power Scholars.
Why did you decide to come to HCC?
"Originally I didn't want to come here. I was looking at Salter College, cause I wanted to study medical assisting and I liked what they were telling me, but it was $27,000 and I'm paying for school on my own. My mom actually went to HCC and my uncle and my aunt. And one day my mom said, why don't we take a look at HCC, so we met with Harold Santiago in Admissions and talked to him about the Medical Assisting program at HCC, and I'm like, this sounds good."
Sounds like you knew what you wanted to study before you got here.
"I've always known. Since growing up, I've always wanted to be in the medical field, helping people."
What appeals to you about that kind of work?
"I have a bunch of medical issues myself — food allergies, fybromyalgia, nerve damage — and I've been through having good doctors and terrible doctors and people not being there, so I want to be the person that is there for their patients and be able to say, I know what you're going through because I went through it myself. That way you kind of connect on a deeper level. I want to be able to help people. And the medical field just fascinates me. On the first day of A&P II lab this semester we dissected and held a sheep's heart. I thought, oh, this is so cool."
How have your medical issues affected your studies?
"It impacts a lot. I will get really bad flareups where I won't be able to move or sit up or get out of bed. Anything can set it off, like clothing or the cold. I have OSDDS and STRIVE to help out."
Do you have a favorite class or teacher?
"I have a lot of them. Laura Christoph (Nutrition) is one of them. Elizabeth Trobaugh (English). My favorite classes have been my labs, in general I love all the hands-on stuff. I've had microbiology lab, cellular biology 107, Anatomy and Physiology. I love the lab portions. My favorite was phlebotomy class for Medical Assisting. That's another thing I love."
I guess the sight of blood doesn't make you queasy.
"No it doesn't."
What's your favorite thing about HCC?
"The people. Everyone is amazing. HCC is like my second home and family. Everyone is amazing. I have my little Senate family. If anyone's having an issue or if I'm having an issue, I can reach out to any one of them. We're all just like a big family. The people make a difference."
What's been your most memorable or meaningful experience at HCC?
"All the stuff I've done that I'm involved with, I just love all of it. I love helping out and being a part of everyting and knowing everyone."
Why is education important to you?
"For me, in my field, you need your registered nursing degree and they want nurses to have their BSN now. Depending on what of nursing field you want, you might need a degree in that field."
So you plan to go to nursing school after you get your associate degree from HCC?
"I would love to be an RN with my BSN (bachelor of science in nursing) degree. I'm not sure what type of nurse cause there's a few different paths that I love and I'm not sure which one yet to pursue. There's three areas I'm thinking about. I love the OR, the emergency room and pediatrics."
PHOTO by CHRIS YURKO: Lindsey Pare holds two plaques recognizing her as the recipient of the 2017 Dean Sullivan Award from the Community College Student Leadership Association.