Standout Seniors: Meet Marie Tomasula (Nursing)

Penn State Behrend’s class of 2022 is ready to make its mark on the world!  We’re proud of our students and the things they’ve accomplished and learned while here at Behrend. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be introducing you to a few of our remarkable seniors who have overcome challenges, pioneered new technology, participated in important research projects, and left an impression at Penn State Behrend.

Today, we’d like you to meet Marie Tomasula: 

Marie Tomasula

Major: Nursing

Hometown: Buffalo

Why she chose Behrend: I love the small class sizes, which give you a chance to really get to know the faculty and staff. I fell in love with Behrend as soon as I toured it. I knew it would make a great home away from home.

On choosing Nursing: I have always been passionate about caring for others, especially in medicine. I want to give back like the amazing nurses who have cared for loved ones in my family.

Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: Stepping out of my comfort zone in my personal and academic life. I joined several clubs and organizations and did things that I could never have imagined myself doing before. Behrend has allowed me to grow in ways that I never thought I could.

Campus involvement: Member of Alpha Sigma Alpha and the Student Nurses’ Association Pennsylvania (SNAP), where I’ve held several leadership positions. I served as a Welcome Week guide in my sophomore year.

On being kind: I would say my ability to easily empathize and relate to others makes me unique. I love being able to connect with people and to hear their stories. Making others smile is what makes me happy. I enjoy spreading kindness, especially to those who need it most.

What you’d be surprised to know about her: I played the flute for nine years and participated in the New York State Conference All-State Wind Ensemble during my junior year of high school. Playing flute was my “escape” during my high school years.

Her definition of the good life: Living a life that you are proud of. I am a firm believer that our life should consist of things that fulfill us and make us the happiest. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good and do things that feed your soul.

For the kids: I am very passionate about pediatric oncology. I am currently a member of the Coalition Against Childhood Cancer, a collaborative network of nonprofits, corporations, and individuals from 36 states and five countries, supporting and serving the childhood cancer community. We work to help families experience improved outcomes through collaborative projects, optimizing research efforts, and by creating awareness of childhood cancer.

On helping others fight cancer: I’m currently working as a nurse intern on the leukemia unit at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. It has helped me to understand the role of an oncology nurse, and I have loved being able to help patients and their families during a very hard time in their lives.

Advice for first-year students: Step out of your comfort zone. College can be intimidating in your first year, but going to events on campus and getting involved can really transform your entire college experience.

After her graduation in May, Marie plans to work as a Registered Nurse at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo.

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