University Community

Mapping out her future, Melissa Huff prepares for the local workforce

With graduation approaching, Ohio University students like Melissa Huff are already planning their next steps.

“I have accepted and will begin a position as a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department at Southern Ohio Medical Center,” said Huff. Being a Portsmouth resident, her associate degree in nursing has allowed her to find employment close to home – but her educational journey won’t end there.

“I have already started the RN-BSN with Ohio University through the eCampus,” said Huff, who chose Ohio University Southern for the reputation of its challenging and innovative nursing program. “I knew I was entering college to pursue nursing… If I was going to school, I wanted the best.”

Huff credits the anatomy and physiology courses taught by Professor Kathy Kwiatkowski with helping her realize she could accomplish her academic goals.

“Those two courses taught me how to study and be prepared for class, and they also helped give me confidence in my ability to be a college student,” she said.

Being a non-traditional student, Huff started her journey at OHIO Southern as “one of the older, if not oldest, students in the class,” which can be intimidating. But the relationships that grew through the course of her degree program are her favorite memories.

“The emotional and physical struggles that come along with this incredibly difficult, but rewarding, program are never ending. However, you experience that with your entire cohort,” she said. “Many of us have developed lifelong bonds and will treasure these last four semesters for the rest of our lives.”

The bonds she formed at OHIO Southern weren’t just with her fellow students.

“All the professors have been incredible,” she said. Huff has a particular affinity for Associate Professor of Instruction in Nursing Dr. Maranda Clement.

“The way she teaches and her passion for nursing, all while staying so down to earth, I can only hope that I can make that kind of difference with my future patients that she is able to with her students,” Huff said.

As for advice for those just beginning their OHIO journey, Huff had this to share: “Get involved with school activities, join clubs, play cornhole, participate in events, and most importantly, talk to everyone you can, because your next lifelong best friend may be sitting right beside you.”

Huff is Ohio University Southern’s 2023 Associate in Applied Science – Nursing Outstanding Graduate. Outstanding Graduates are nominated by faculty for their scholarly or professional accomplishments, participation in university activities, community service and more.

April 26, 2023
Staff reports