Mary Kappes

2011 Ohio University Zanesville graduate Mary Kappes and her daughters (from left) Emily, Rebecca, and Lizzie pose for a photo at Mary's graduation.

Photo courtesy of: Ohio University Zanesville

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Vision in Action

Free class at OHIO's Zanesville campus helps Mary Kappes achieve her dream

Annual “Back to School” mall promotion runs through Aug. 13

Fresh out of high school, Mary Kappes started college like many young adults, with a dream to help others achieve their maximum health – mentally, physically, and spiritually – with a career in the medical field. But life got in the way. Fast forward nearly 30 years.

Kappes, a 2011 Ohio University nursing graduate, is one of more than 1,000 people who have registered for classes during Ohio University Zanesville’s annual “Back to School” promotion at the Colony Square Mall to get back on track with her career.

"Three years ago I was in the Colony Square Mall to pay a phone bill and saw that Ohio University Zanesville had a booth set up there," Kappes said. "Family and friends had been suggesting that I go back to school so the timing was perfect."

Kappes' desire to become a nurse traces back to her youth, when she was diagnosed with Ventricular Septal Defect, a life threatening heart problem.

"The loving care and dedication that the health professionals displayed had me captivated, making me want to be a part of this noble profession," Kappes stated in her nursing entrance essay back in 2008.

Attending college later in life with family obligations posed many challenges. Determination coupled with the help of family, friends and her professors eventually saw Kappes through.

"At one point I was going to quit. I didn’t think that I was going to pass the nursing program, and I had given up. But the support I received from those close to me was amazing," she said.

"Mary has the compassion and desire to help others, critical traits for an outstanding nursing professional," said Pam Sealover, associate director of nursing at Ohio University Zanesville.

Brooke Fogg, fellow nursing student, added, "Mary is the type of person who can sense the needs of her patients and then go above and beyond what is expected of her."  

Being a mother of three girls, her daughters were her biggest motivators throughout her journey, serving as mentors and role models.

Kappes' oldest daughter, Emily, had completed nursing school and was able to provide guidance to her mom throughout the program.

"This was something I could see that she really wanted in her heart, after the divorce," Emily explained. "Going to college again built her confidence and self worth."

Kappes recently passed the state exam to become a registered nurse.

"From childhood illness, to seeing my daughter be a part of the medical profession and encouraging me when I wasn’t sure I could do it, to accomplishing a goal I set for myself more than 30 years ago, wow life is ironic," she said.

Back-to-School mall promotion is underway

Ohio University Zanesville Student Services staff will be at the Colony Square Mall accepting applications to Ohio University Zanesville on Aug. 9-13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Application fees will be waived for all new applicants.

A free class will be offered to any individual who:
•    Graduated from high school before 2008
•    Has less than a four-year degree and has not taken a class at OHIO in the last three years
•    Or is an OHIO alumnus