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Meet today's Nursing valedictorian

May 22, 2019

 ​Source: McMaster Daily News

Micah Zagala

May 22, 2019

If you could have any superpower what would it be? What is your definition of success? Meet Micah Zagala, the valedictorian at the May 22 convocation for the School of Nursing.

1. Name:
Micah Zagala

2. Hometown:
Hamilton, Ontario.

3. What is the degree and subject you pursued?
Bachelor of Sciences in Nursing.

4. What made you choose McMaster for your higher education career?
I grew up in Hamilton, so naturally I was drawn towards McMaster for its close proximity to home. But overall, McMaster has always been reputable for its high quality education, resources available for achieving academic excellence, and the very supportive community – all of this made it an easy decision to pursue a post-secondary education here.

5. What will you be doing/see yourself doing after graduation?
I’ll be writing the NCLEX licensing exam to practice as a Registered Nurse and then applying to jobs in various hospital or clinic settings – there are so many areas of nursing to explore, the options are really endless. To be continued!

6. What would you say to your first-year self?
Always take the time to properly self-care. University is a marathon, not a sprint, so pace yourself. Take a step away from the books every now and again, don’t take everything too seriously, and just live each moment to the fullest because it’ll be over before you know it!

7. Do you have any advice for current and future students?
Get involved in the university community right away! Join a club, a committee, or an intramural sports team. These are amazing opportunities to meet new people, cultivate relationships, and make memories that will last a lifetime. It’s also experiences like these that foster personal growth and challenge you to step out of your comfort zone.

8. How has McMaster shaped the person you are today?
Through the countless experiences and opportunities I have been afforded while attending McMaster, I’ve seen tremendous growth both in my own personal and professional development. I’ve learned to develop perseverance and diligence in the face of trials and hardship. I’ve also come to view each moment as a part of an overarching journey of lifelong learning – you will always be discovering new ways to problem-solve through situations, adapt to new environments, and learn how to care for others as you walk alongside them through their own journey.

9. What events did you enjoy the most at McMaster/Hamilton?
I was involved with the McMaster University Nursing Students’ Society, so I would say all of the nursing events held by this group throughout the years have really been a highlight for me both socially and academically (shoutout to my MUNSS fam).

10. What is your definition of success?
I believe that success is finding joy and contentment in any circumstance that life may throw at you – to grow in wisdom and character, learn from every season, and live to serve others before yourself.

11. How has McMaster helped you create a Brighter World?
While being in the nursing program and placed in various clinical settings throughout the past four years, I’ve learned the importance of providing compassionate, non-judgmental, empathetic care for those who find themselves going through the most vulnerable situations. Honestly, there is so much power in taking the time to just be present with someone and listen to their lived experiences. It’s the small, simple actions that can shine the brightest light into a person’s world.

12. What motivates you to work hard?
I am motivated to work hard by my interests and passions – I think it just comes organically to give your best to the things that you are most passionate about.

13. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
The ability to fly – would definitely save me a lot of time and money skipping traffic and not having to pay for flights to travel around the world.

14. Who is your favourite professor?
I honestly can’t pick just one! There are so many faculty members who have played a role in supporting and mentoring me during my time within the nursing program. I’ll give a special shout-out to Joanna Pierazzo and Tracey Jewiss who go above and beyond in helping students thrive and succeed in reaching their fullest potential as the next generation of nurses/world changers.

15. What book are you currently reading?
The Four Loves by C.S Lewis.

16. 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 was fortunate to receive the McMaster’s President’s Award, the Dr. Harry Lyman Hooker Scholarship, and a few bursaries throughout undergrad. I believe that  scholarships and awards go a long way to reward the hard work and dedication students put towards pursuing academic excellence. If you have the means to give back to McMaster and help financially support the next generation, you definitely should! You would be investing into the future engineers, CEOs, and health care providers who will be shaping tomorrow’s world.


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