Congratulations to Masuma Baset, DNP ’24, Cordelia Cochran, DNP ’23, and Brigette Gardea, BSN ’22, Hannah Morrison, DNP ’24, Amber Rodriguez-Munoz, BSN ’22, Jessica Schuster, DNP ’23 for receiving scholarships from the King County Nurses Association (KCNA). Students selected by KCNA demonstrate an understanding of equity and social justice through creative ideas to improve health disparities in our community. They embody the values of collaboration, compassion, innovation, and community wellness.
Masuma Baset is a doctoral student in the Family Nurse Practitioner track at Seattle U.
Baset said she is most passionate about serving the underprivileged. As a child while visiting family in Bangladesh, she said she “experienced the underprivileged and gender minorities being excluded from society and access to health care. A spark of social justice rose in me and thus began my initial interest in health care and desire to uncover and eradicate inequalities that exist in society.”
Baset said she chose to pursue her DNP at Seattle U, because it aligns with her passions and core values. Parallel to her interest in health care, she became aware that young girls in Bangladesh have little chance at an education and are left with very few options for success. After graduation, she said she plans to use her experiences throughout life by advocating for girls in Bangladesh and help raise funds for their education.
One day, Baset said, she would like to see every woman have an opportunity to be empowered by education and to those marginalized by society. “I am determined to make my dream of becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner into reality,” she said. “To be part of an individual’s health care journey is a blessing…it would not just be a career, it is an essential part of my life that would bring me eternal happiness."
Cordelia Cochran, MS, LMHC, RN, a doctoral student in the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track at Seattle U, wrote:
“I was drawn to Seattle University's program due to their reputation and after hearing about the positive experience one of the nurse practitioners at my old job had when she got her degree at SU. I chose nursing because I have seen the gaps in access to care those with severe mental illnesses face, and I wanted to support closing that gap by being part of the solution. Prior to SU, I was a supervisor at a Community Mental Health Agency, and I continue to work part time as a Licensed Mental Health Therapist at a group practice.
I have found that having a holistic approach is important when working with others in my practice, and nursing does just that! I have such a passion for building community and that is what I have been focused on since becoming part of the College of Nursing. After I graduate, I plan on working with populations who are underserved and one day open a Chemical Dependency and Mental Health Clinic.
What I like to do for fun is plan events, connect with others and pre-COVID I loved volunteering for my Goddaughter's Cheer Team. I also love to cosplay during Comic-Con and talk your ear off about Star Trek!”
Bridgette Gardea is a student in the BSN program at Seattle U.
Gardea moved to Washington two years ago, from San Diego, and she states “I have loved every minute of it. Hiking is one of my favorite past-times and the views Washington offers makes it all the better! I am extremely passionate about Orcas and being able to see them in their natural habitat is one of my biggest hopes. I am also involved in the conservation efforts for the Southern Resident Killer Whales, which are native to the Sound, and Chinook Salmon.”
Gardea said she chose to pursue her BSN at Seattle U for many reasons. “I loved that the school was smaller, which meant I would be able to be a part of a tight-knit community. Being able to build a community with my cohort is important to me and my cohort has shown to be so incredibly supportive. Being virtual due to COVID has made it harder to connect with my classmates, but the connections I have made helped me to make the most of this class format.” She went on to say, “Seattle U is also a reputable college, and I knew I would be able to receive an education that would prepare me properly for taking on nursing after graduating. After touring the campus and having my interview with the College of Nursing faculty, I knew Seattle U was somewhere I would enjoy spending my last two years of school!”
After graduating with her BSN in August 2022, Gardea said she is “excited to see where my nursing career takes me and excited for the opportunity to work with many different patient populations.”
Hannah Morrison is a doctoral student in the Family Nurse Practitioner track at Seattle U.
Morrison says she is “thrilled to be at SU pursuing my DNP…I grew up in Redmond, WA, and attended the University of Washington, where I received my B.S. in forest science. I used my undergraduate degree to work as a forester for five years in various locations–including Forks, WA, and northern California, but eventually, I left that career to pursue nursing (people-focused instead of tree-focused). Since moving back to Seattle in 2018, I’ve spent most of my time outreaching to and providing intensive case management with youth experiencing homelessness and addiction in Seattle/King County. There are so many amazing young people in our area with whom I am very excited to work as a nurse practitioner!”
Morrison said she chose to attend Seattle U, “because my values align with the school and faculty’s strong commitment to social justice and service. After graduating in 2024, I plan to work in the Seattle area within a community clinic or public health setting, hopefully figuring out better ways to bring primary care to people for whom the Western medical model doesn’t work.”
About how she enjoys spending her free time Morrison added, “When not in clinical or Zoom classes, I like jogging, playing soccer with my lesbian/queer team, jumping in Lake Washington in warm weather, and reading.”
Amber Rodriguez-Munoz is a student in the BSN program at Seattle U.
Rodriguez-Munoz said she became interested in Seattle U, “As I was scouting out nursing schools…my best friend was in the SU BSN program and told me in detail how fantastic the faculty and school are. She told me of how supportive SU is. As nursing school is well-known for being a challenging endeavor to take up, I deeply respected the sustainability the SU CON would provide. As a current student, I continue to feel this way about the BSN program.” She went on to say, “As someone who is environmentally conscious, I also fell in love with the accountability for Climate Change that SU prioritizes.”
Rodriguez-Munoz said she currently holds a position “working in an Emergency Room as an ED Tech and found that Emergency and SANE Nursing is a front-line field of health care that I want to contribute to once I graduate my bachelors' program…I plan to be an Emergency Room RN and complete my certificate in SANE.” After a few years working as an RN, she said she “intends to re-enter SU as a student in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program with the end goal to practice natural medicine as a Family Nurse Practitioner.”
In her free time, Rodriguez-Munoz said she loves to hike and “be out in nature or in the mountains…I try to watch the sunset as often as I can and practice gratitude daily. I try to explore the world and take advantage of life as much as possible. I have one cat named Goon [pictured], who is the apple of my eye.”
Rodriguez-Munoz and her sister are both looking forward to graduating from Seattle U in 2022 and are planning to celebrate by doing “the typical college graduate thing and backpack Europe for a few months.”
Jessica Schuster is a doctoral student in the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track at Seattle U.
Schuster says she is passionate about “destigmatizing mental illness, patient empowerment, and changing systems to better patient outcomes, particularly for under-resourced populations,” and chose to attend Seattle U because of the “emphasis on social justice and mission to create a more humane world is what really attracted me to the DNP program.”
After she graduates, Schuster plans to begin her career working in a community mental health setting “to gain experience with a diverse group of patients. Within that experience I hope to find my niche,” she said. “Lately, I have been particularly drawn to working with adolescents, as I feel I could make meaningful change within this population.”