Having left her home of Walpole, Mass., just 13 miles south of Boston, this junior student has established herself as part of the Villanova community. Since freshman year, Kaleigh’s been involved in several activities and organizations including the all-girls cheerleading squad, the Student Athlete Activities Committee (SAAC) and the Villanova chapter of the Student Nurses’ Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP). Kaleigh cheers at football and basketball games. She has been on the nationals team each year which is a competition team made up of members from the coed and all-girls teams who have been selected to compete. Each January, they travel to Disneyworld to compete in the UCA College Cheerleading National Competition.
As a member of SAAC, she informs her cheerleading squad of the different events for athletes and gauges interest in participation. For example, the athletes for athletes program gains support for other teams by having some members of other sports attend games, guaranteeing a crowd for that sport (the track team cheering on the soccer team, for instance). Through this program, the cheerleading team participates in the opening ceremonies at the Special Olympics Fall Festival held at Villanova each November.
With her busy schedule, Kaleigh also finds time to participate in the nursing community through memberships with SNAP and one of Villanova’s newest groups, Nurses Without Borders (NWB), that focuses on addressing social injustices in healthcare. For the past two years, Kaleigh has worked in the nursing labs in Driscoll Hall, helping to set up simulations and also giving tours of the facility.
With an aunt and a mother who are nurses, Kaleigh had been exposed to nursing most of her life. She had always been interested in healthcare, volunteering in the pathology department of a local hospital in Massachusetts which furthered her interest in the health sciences. Ultimately, Kaleigh felt (and reaffirms today) that nursing was the best fit. Once she earns her degree, she hopes to work in labor and delivery (her aunt’s primary nursing focus), neonatal intensive care, or in the operating room. Kaleigh plans to continue her education with a master’s in nursing after working for several years following graduation, once again following in her family’s footsteps.