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Promoting public health

Patrick Smith, a freshman Presidential Scholar from Massschusetts, seen here on campus with his mother Alice, wants to pursue a career in public health.


As a presidential scholar and an active participant in the University Honors Program, freshman Patrick Smith wasted no time integrating into the Villanova community. Originally from Melrose, Mass., a small city on the North Shore of Boston, this freshman found himself involved in several activities including Service Council, Club Cycling, Special Olympics, Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, and Relay for Life, to name a few.

Patrick chose to study nursing because of the enormous variety of opportunities available. He is interested in social justice and public health. Nursing combines those interests, as well as his desire to work with others.

Why Villanova’s College of Nursing?  Patrick was drawn to the University’s commitment to nursing and its newly constructed Driscoll Hall; the immensely enthusiastic, knowledgeable and adaptable faculty; the connections to large numbers of clinical facilities; and the College’s clear dedication to producing graduates with a comprehensive blend of knowledge and skill. Further, he appreciated the many aspects of the local culture he observed whenever spending time on campus— from the school’s emphasis on the importance of servant leadership to the number of students he witnessed holding doors, wearing Villanova apparel, and simply smiling. In short, Patrick felt that Villanova was a place where he would quickly feel at home. He says, “After seven months here, I think that many aspects of my daily life—interactions with my close new friends, enjoyment of numerous classes and extra-curricular activities, and the hammock under my bed— have shown that my initial assessment wasn’t far off”.

Ultimately, Patrick sees himself working somewhere in the field of public or global health after graduation, though has not planned more specifically than that.  To further explore the field, he’s pursuing a minor in Global Health Studies, and will consider future education as his goals become more fine-tuned. Currently Patrick is interested in the role of nutrition in chronic disease prevention and working towards simple solutions to pressing problems within our health care system. Understanding the current healthcare system’s complexities and evolution, he looks forward to being on the cutting edge of programs that increasingly seek to promote wellness within society. With almost a year under his belt, Patrick looks forward to future courses opening new doors of interest.