This week we are highlighting some of the members of the Class of 2020 as part of our #HumansOfLongwood series. While formal commencement exercises won’t take place until October 9 and 10 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our graduating seniors officially earn their degrees May 16. Wherever life after Longwood takes them—a new job, graduate studies or an internship—these students reflect the goals and achievements made possible in a close-knit community that promotes student involvement, values inclusion and nurtures citizen leadership in whatever form it takes.

Helen Chhay ’20
Hometown: Richmond
Major: Nursing
Next step: Working as a registered nurse on the Mother-Baby Unit at HCA, Las Palmas Hospital in El Paso, Texas

One of the best things about Longwood is its size. The smaller the university, the better the relationships you form with your professors and other students. That’s certainly been true for me—I feel a deep connection to so many people here. 

I can’t say enough about the nursing faculty at Longwood. Professor Brooke Russo and Dr. Cindy Crews made me feel comfortable to be myself and both are like another mother to me. My relationships with my professors are really genuine. They take the time to check on me and see how I’m doing during stressful times. That is something very special and it means the world to me, especially as a first-generation college student.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to study abroad in Ireland in the summer of 2018. It was an unforgettable experience. We learned about the differences in nursing requirements, and we learned about midwifery, hospice and psychiatric nursing. It was truly eye-opening and taught me that health care has a different meaning everywhere in the world.

During my time at Longwood, I am thankful that I have been given the tools and support to really develop myself, not only as a nurse but as a person. I became more independent and confident here. That’s what’s helping me take the next step in my career—moving to El Paso, Texas, to work as a registered nurse on the Mother-Baby Unit at HCA, Las Palmas Hospital. The nursing program taught me the importance of empathy, leadership and professionalism. Our program takes pride in our success and that flows through to the students. I know it has influenced me to reach for success as far as setting my future goals

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