McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Meet the Nursing & Medical Radiation valedictorian

By Allyson Rowley / Daily News
Published: June 14, 2016
Caroline Mueller
Being a nurse is about giving the best of who you are, says Caroline Mueller, valedictorian for the Nursing and Medical Radiation convocation on June 14. — Photo by Cassandra Taylor

If you had a superpower, what would it be? What's the best advice anyone has ever given you? Caroline Mueller, valedictorian at the June 14 convocation for Nursing and Medical Radiation, answers these and other pressing questions in our Daily News questionnaire:

Your home town:

Stratford, Ontario

Your degree & subject area:

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Where are you headed after convocation?

I've been studying for my NCLEX exam, and I'm avidly searching for a RN job. If you know anyone who is hiring, let me know! I'm also very excited to be travelling to Newfoundland this summer with my parents and two sisters.

Your best memory of Mac?

Without a doubt, my best memories of McMaster happened during my three years as a yellow suit. It is difficult to pinpoint a favourite memory from those three years, but Faculty Fusion never disappointed. In 2014 I was super-excited for the Harry Potter theme, and as the Faculty Day Coordinator I worked all summer on making some super-impressive robes for our Superfrosh! During one point, the MC for Faculty Fusion made a reference to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which cued our Superfrosh to run majestically through Ron Joyce field. Watching all the nursing students erupt with faculty spirit was incredible. In that moment, I felt such an immense amount of spirit for my Faculty, and was proud that I helped facilitate that for incoming nursing students.

The best advice anyone ever gave you?

The best advice I have ever received is: “Anything worth doing is worth doing right” and “Being a nurse is about giving the best of who you are.” I believe you should put everything you've got into pursuing your ambitions. That applies whether your ambitions are making a Hallowe'en costume, decorating for Christmas, caring for a patient, or completing an assignment.

Your biggest accomplishment so far?

I would say my biggest accomplishment so far is completing my undergraduate education. However, I am incredibly proud of my contributions as a yellow suit. For the past two years, I have coordinated Faculty Day. In this role, I was responsible for planning the activities to help facilitate friendships and a sense of community among all incoming first-year nursing students.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

I have loved completing my undergraduate degree here at McMaster. However, I always wanted to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. So, I would choose for my superpower to be a witch.

What's the most important lesson you've learned (so far)?

I was expecting that by the time I completed my nursing degree I would know exactly how to care for every possible clinical problem. However, I've realized this is not possible and it's okay to not have the answer on your own. Rather, it's more important to know how to find an answer.

What do you think the future holds for higher education?

I think the future will allow for more student-directed education, increasingly unique approaches to education, and equal opportunities for students regardless of their circumstances.

While at Mac, did you receive donor-funded financial assistance (e.g., a scholarship, award, bursary)? Any thoughts on the importance of giving back to your alma mater to support future generations?

I have been lucky enough to receive the University Prize for Special Achievement, the University Senate Scholarship, and various bursaries.

As a recent graduate, I am incredibly thankful to have had this financial support. They have helped reduce the pressure of now-looming OSAP payments and the costs of Jurisprudence/licensing examinations.

I have been privileged to experience innovative teaching techniques such as problem-based learning. In order to continue providing McMaster students with the best educators and teaching strategies, this too will require financial support.

Being able to see the impact of what financial aid can do for one's undergraduate experience, I would love to provide support to efforts like this in the future. I would find that supporting the development of a student's career is incredibly rewarding and important in furthering future generations.

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