Standout Seniors: Meet Grant Oishi (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 Grant Oishi: 

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Major: Nursing

Minor: Biology

Hometown: State College, Pennsylvania

Scholarships: The Clark Family Scholarship and the Class of 1922 Memorial Scholarship, as well as several grants to aid in my undergraduate research.

Why did you choose Behrend? Initially I did not. I applied to the nursing program and the Schreyer Honors College at University Park but was not accepted. So, I did some research and found Behrend, which had a BSN nursing program and campus honors program. Erie also had a few major hospitals, which was a key factor, as I wanted the best clinical experiences. I applied and was accepted to the nursing and Behrend Honors Program.

Serendipity: It turns out that not being able to attend the campus I thought I wanted to attend was one of the best things to happen to me. At Behrend, I immediately made connections with my peers and faculty, was able to easily get involved in clubs, and being so far from home, I was forced to grow as an individual.

On choosing nursing: I chose nursing for the reason most people do – I like helping people. It’s incredibly rewarding to care for someone and watch them improve, knowing that you played a role in their recovery. It’s also very humbling to have the responsibility of caring for individuals on some of the worst days of their lives. Nursing also involves a great deal of critical thinking, especially in the ICU. However, I have always enjoyed my science classes the most, which is why I have also pursued research and a minor in Biology.

Proudest accomplishments: I am proud of a lot of what I have done at Behrend, especially since so many things were new for me. I held executive board positions in multiple clubs, became a Schreyer scholar and completed a thesis, became a tutor, and won scholarships. But the thing I’ll carry with me are the relationships I made with students, staff, and faculty that have shaped my time at Behrend and the trajectory of my future.

Involvement: I am the treasurer of Scrubs Club, a pre-health club that exposes students to different disciplines within the field of healthcare through guest speakers, advising, and volunteer opportunities. I joined Cultural Cooking Club (CCC) my first year and have served as everything from secretary to president of the club. CCC’s mission is to explore the world and its many cultures through the lens of regional and national dishes.

Awards: In 2019, I received the Evan Pugh Scholar Award, which is given to the top five juniors and seniors.

Don’t give up: I eventually joined the Schreyer Honors College during my junior year, which proves that just because one path to your goal is blocked, doesn’t mean another one won’t open up.

The good life, defined: A good life involves happiness, fulfillment, and purpose in whatever forms those come in. Material possessions, recognition, and even your GPA often steal the spotlight, but at the end of the day, our close personal relationships are our greatest legacy and what I believe matter the most.

He’s a music man: Beyond science and medicine, I love music. I think it’s amazing that combinations of sound can have such a profound an effect on us and be so evocative. I’d like to learn how to play a few instruments now that I’ll have more free time.

Advice for new students: Get organized before the semester starts. Email your professor before the semester starts to ask if you actually need to buy the textbook for the class (most will be honest). Use Google Calendar (or something similar) to keep your schedule organized – it’s free, easy to use, and synchs across devices.

Following his graduation in May, Grant plans to take time for a cross-country solo trip to explore more of the country and scout locations where he might want to live. He’ll then look for a nursing position in a critical care specialty, preferably trauma medicine. He plans to return to school in the future to work on a graduate degree in the sciences or as a nurse anesthetist.

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.

Standout Seniors: Meet Brianna Scanga (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 couple of months, 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 Brianna Scanga: 

Briana Scanga

Major: Nursing

Hometown: Vandergrift, Pennsylvania

Scholarships: Dr. and Mrs. Arthur W. Phillips Scholarship for Schreyer Scholars; Council of Fellows Leadership Scholarship; Audrey Herbert Sweny Scholarship for Nursing; Behrend Academic Excellence Award; and Irvin Kochel Lion Ambassador Fund.

On choosing Behrend: It was one of the most beautiful campuses I have ever seen. Also, it was far enough, but not too far from home and I liked the professor–to-student ratio. I got to know my professors well and they got to know me, too. I felt like I was part of a family here.

On choosing her major: From personal experience, I’ve seen the impact that nurses have in people’s lives. It inspired me to want to be like them. I have always enjoyed taking care of children, and I believe being a pediatric nurse is what I was destined to do.

Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: Maintaining a GPA above 3.9 while also taking on multiple leadership positions, participating in a variety of clubs, and working on and off campus.

Campus involvement: I was a member of Behrend Benefitting THON for 2 years and traveled to THON at University Park. I have been a Lion Ambassador since my first year and serve as Treasurer for the group. I’m a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority, the Behrend Honors Program and Schreyers Honors College, and the Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania. I have been a tutor with the Learning Resource Center and a Resident Assistant for three years. This year, I was finally able to participate in Welcome Week as a guide. It was so much fun!

Awards and recognitions: President’s Freshman Award for maintaining a 4.0 GPA my first year at Behrend and the Irvin H. Kochel Award for outstanding involvement, and I’ve been on the Dean’s List every semester.

What makes her unique: I was adopted from China when I was nine months old and brought to the United States. I am forever grateful for my parents, family, and friends who I have loved growing up, and I wouldn’t change my life for anything. I was given such a great life, and I have learned to never take what I have for granted. I have not been back to China since, but I do wish to visit my hometown when the pandemic is over.

Sunny side up: I am pretty good at staying positive and keeping morale up when things go bad. I always try to see the good in people and in situations.

Her definition of the good life: Living a life without regret. Try new things. Do things that scare you and do not let fear get in the way of your dreams.

Advice for first-year students: Join as many clubs as you can and attend lots of social events on campus. I loved attending the Lion Entertainment Board (LEB) events and the Lion Ambassador’s Midnight Bingo. I made some of my best friends in college this way.

Brianna has accepted a position at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in the Pediatric ICU (PICU) after her graduation in May. She also plans to go back to graduate school to become a pediatric nurse practitioner.

Eye on Medical Careers: Behrend’s Pre-Health Program Seniors Stand Out

By Heather Cass

Publications Manager, Penn State Behrend

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Ashley Price

You may have heard that the eyes are the window to your soul, but did you know they also offer a pretty clear view of your overall health?

“The eye is really interesting because it can reveal a lot of health problems,” said Ashley Price, a senior Biology major and Chemistry minor in the Pre-Optometry program at Penn State Behrend. “Many people learn they have diabetes from their eye doctor because the disease affects the small capillaries in the retina.”

Other health issues that can be spotted in the eyes include hypertension, autoimmune disorders, high cholesterol, thyroid disease and even some types of cancer and tumors.

Price had planned to be a family physician but switched to optometry after shadowing an eye doctor in high school. “I just thought it was so cool,” Price said. “You’re always looking at something different. And I like the personal aspect of optometry. You see the same patients year after year and can form relationships with them.”

Like her career choice, Price’s college plan changed course after a first-hand experience.

“I was totally set on going to Pitt, but then a friend talked me into touring Behrend, and as soon as I set foot on campus, it felt like home,” she said.

For the last four years, Behrend has been her home. Price, who will graduate in May, has been a Resident Assistant for three years. She’s currently an R.A. in Ohio Hall, but this fall, she’ll move to another Ohio—Ohio State University—where she will attend optometry school.

She had a lot of options. She applied to and was accepted at six different schools that offered four scholarships, with two at the highest amount the schools offered.

Price is well prepared for the next step in her career, something she credits, in part, to several School of Science faculty members who kept her on the right path and moving forward.

“The professors at Behrend make sure you get to where you want to go,” she said. “They are always behind you and, at the same time, offering to show you the way.”

Price had one recognized adviser, Dr. Beth Potter, associate professor of microbiology. But, she also gathered several more unofficial advisers related to her course of study—Dr. Todd Cook, assistant professor of biology and chair of Pre-Health Programs, and Dr. Jason Bennett, associate professor of chemistry. “I could, and did, go to any of them with any questions I had or if I just wanted advice.”  

Behrend’s Pre-Health Professions Programs in dentistry, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, physician assistant, physical or occupational therapy, and veterinary medicine, require more precise planning than most other majors.  

 “In my first year at Behrend, I went to a pre-health program in which Dr. Mike Campbell (distinguished professor of biology) talked about how to put together the ‘perfect package’ for medical school, and basically gave us a list of things we could do and accomplish during our undergraduate years that would make us attractive to medical schools later.”

Price, who is also a Scheyer Honors College scholar, took Campbell’s suggestions as a to-do list, assuming leadership opportunities, gaining experience in her field through internships and job shadowing, and working on research projects with her professors.

It’s turned out to be a formula for success, not only for Price, but for several pre-health program participants who will be graduating in May and starting the next chapter in their careers, including: Jessie Kibbe and Taylor Hibbard, who have been accepted into physician assistant programs; Dillon Patel, who was offered admission to four dentistry schools; Aldyn Poston, who will attend optometry school, and Zainab Kareen, who was accepted to osteopathic medical school but has decided to attend graduate studies at Penn State College of Medicine.”

Price, who is also the vice president of the college’s Scrubs Club and a Lion Ambassador, said she will miss Behrend, but she’s looking forward to taking the next step toward her career goal.

“Optometrists are literally improving people’s outlooks,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to being able to do that for patients.”  

About Behrend’s Pre-Health Programs

As they navigate the application process for admission into health professional schools, students enrolled in Behrend’s Pre-Health Programs are guided by the Pre-Health Advisory Committee, comprising of faculty members from the School of Science and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, This includes continuous advising and the composition of a committee letter that highlights the student’s academic and extracurricular accomplishments and readiness for the rigors of health professional school. Over the last three application cycles, more than forty Penn State Behrend students have successfully been to various health professional schools and medical-related graduate programs.

To learn more about Behrend’s pre-health programs, visit behrend.psu.edu/prehealth.  

Standout Seniors: Meet Samantha Stauffer

By Heather Cass
Publications Manager, Office of Strategic Communications,  Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend’s class of 2018 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 couple months, 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 Samantha Stauffer:

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Major: Nursing

Hometown: Bradford, Pennsylvania

On choosing Penn State Behrend: It was the first college I visited and I simply fell in love and knew that I was meant to attend Behrend. The campus was gorgeous, everyone I met was helpful and friendly, and I was given a plethora of information about expectations for the first year. I also have many family members in Erie, so it was practical for me to attend Behrend.

On choosing nursing: My grandma was a nurse at our local hospital for forty-two years. I grew up hearing endless stories from her. She was extremely influential in my life so I wanted to be like her and dedicate my life to helping others.

Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: Completing the nursing program! Earning a nursing degree is incredibly challenging and extremely time consuming, so it is definitely a huge accomplishment for me to finally finish.

Campus involvement: I was involved in Lion Ambassadors, the Joys of Nursing Club, the National Society of Leadership and Success, the Random Acts of Kindness club, and the Spring Concert Committee. I also served as a Welcome Week guide.

What you’d be surprised to know about her: I love to golf. Most of my family has invested a lot of time in golfing so it was only natural for me to follow in their footsteps.

Advice for new students: Get organized! One of my biggest mistakes in college was being disorganized. Take time to prioritize your classes, clubs, and organizations and be prepared for upcoming events and assignments. Staying organized is key to success in college!

Samantha has accepted a position as an emergency room nurse at Saint Vincent Hospital in Erie.

Curiosity leads to opportunity for nursing student

By Heather Cass
Publications Manager, Office of Strategic Communications,  Penn State Behrend

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Efua Crentsil, senior nursing major

Has your curiosity ever led you down a rabbit hole? It starts with reading something online and then you have a question, so you open another browser window and Google it. Next thing you know, you’ve lost forty-five minutes of your life researching how almonds grow (on trees!) or how spiders survive winter in northern states (in eggs!).

An inquisitive mind is an asset for students when it’s channeled toward topics in their field of study. A need to know more can lead to opportunity.

It did for Efua Crentsil, a senior nursing major, whose interest in a class project spilled into independent summer research work, which led to an invitation to present her work at two different industry events.

Crentsil, a native of Ghana, began researching whether nurses preferred to work with nurse practitioners or with physicians and what impact that had on their job satisfaction for her NURS 200W Principles of Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice class. The project piqued her interest and she continued working on it after the class was over.

“I wanted to know more and look deeper at the subject,” she said. “Dr. Alison Walsh (assistant teaching professor of nursing) had been asking if any nursing students wanted to develop a research project, so I told her I’d be interested.”

Walsh says Crentsil exceeded expectations. “She took her evidence-based class project and continued to develop it into a systematic review—Job Satisfaction in Registered Nurses: The Effect of Working with Nurse Practitioners Compared to Physicians.”

While Crentsil did not receive academic credit for her research work, she was rewarded with an invitation to present her work at the Annual Scientific Sessions of the Eastern Nursing Research Society in New Jersey.

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That invitation, in turn, led to a second opportunity to speak at UPMC Hamot Hospital’s Research Symposium in Erie where Crentsil won the Student Award for her work, which came with a $250 education scholarship.

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Crentsil said she used existing data from four online databases to do her research work, but that next she would like to collect her own research data.

“I did informal polling and observation while I did an internship at The Cleveland Clinic this summer, but I primarily relied on existing data,” she said.

Crentsil said her research showed an 80/20 percent split with the majority of nurses reporting higher job satisfaction working with nurse practitioners than with physicians.

“This was mostly due to communication,” she said. “Nurses felt that nurse practitioners listened to them more and gave them more independence and respect. Those who reported higher satisfaction in working with physicians said they preferred doctors because they tended to be straight to the point, more confident, and more knowledgeable than nurse practitioners.”

Crentsil has reason to be interested in nurse practitioners and research: She sees both as potential career paths.

“I wanted to be a nurse practitioner, but now I’m considering being a nursing researcher because if institutions can see why they should make changes, they’re more likely to do so,” she said. “The research has to be done first.”

Crentsil, who graduates on Friday with a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing and a minor in women’s studies, is currently considering several job offers. She plans to stay in the United States for a few years and return to graduate school after she gains nursing experience.

Crentsil is a recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation scholarship, the Penn State Behrend Chancellor Scholarship, and a Special International Grant-in-Aid (SIGIA). “I am so thankful,” she said. “I truly would not be here if not for this financial support.”

Standout Seniors: Meet Lauren Myers

By Heather Cass
Publications Manager, Office of Strategic Communications,  Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend’s class of 2018 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 couple months, 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 Lauren Myers:

Lauren Myers cropped

 

Major: Nursing

Hometown: Kane, Pennsylvania

Scholarships: I received the Council of Fellows Leadership Scholarship

On choosing Behrend: I enjoyed the campus scenery and size. Growing up, I always wanted to go to Penn State, but after visiting University Park, I realized it was way too big for me. I also chose Behrend because students in its nursing program had high pass rates for the National Council Licensure Examination.

On choosing her major: My best friend’s mom battled cancer for years. Unfortunately, she passed away during our senior year of high school. When she was dying, my mom and I were at the hospital as a support system for my friend and her family. The last two days were very tough and being there with them really opened my eyes to the role of the nurse. The nurses were the people who were there for the family twenty-four hours a day, making sure every need was tended to, and providing the best care possible to my friend’s mother even during the final hours of her life. It was a very inspirational moment as I realized I wanted to become that person who is there to help others during difficult times.

Campus involvement: I have been a Welcome Week Team Leader for two years, a member of the Joys of Nursing club, a Lion Ambassador, a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, Circle K, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, and the National Student Nurses Association.

Secret talent: I guess I am good at organizing/planning. I’ve always been the planner in my circle of friends.

Who inspires her: My mom. She was a young, single parent and provided me with a great life. I’m also inspired by the nursing staff that I have had the opportunity to work with.

After her graduation in May, Lauren plans to work as an ICU nurse.

 

 

 

 

 

Secret Lives of Faculty: Inspired by patients, nursing instructor runs long-distance race in all 50 states

By Heather Cass

Publications & Design Coordinator, Penn State Behrend

There’s much more to Penn State Behrend’s faculty and staff members than what you see on campus. In this occasional series, we’ll take a look at some of the interesting, unconventional, and inspiring things that members of our Behrend community do in their free time.

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Inspired to start running to help her patients suffering from cancer, Alison Walsh, 34, lecturer in nursing, recently finished a 50-state running challenge—completing a marathon (26.2 miles) or half marathon (13.1 miles) in each state from Alabama to Wyoming.

We recently got Walsh to stop moving for a few minutes (no easy task, we’ll have you know) and tell us about her all-American feat:

How long have you been at Penn State Behrend? I was an adjunct instructor in 2010 and became full-time instructor in 2011.

Do you still work as a nurse? I work per diem at Saint Vincent Hospital in the float pool, which means I work in whatever unit needs me that day.

When did you start running? I have been terribly un-athletic my whole life! I really did not run seriously until 2009.

Why did you start running? In 2008, I was working on an oncology unit and I was quite connected to my cancer patients. A fellow nurse on that unit asked if I wanted to run a half marathon with her to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and I agreed. I severely underestimated how hard it would be to run 13.1 miles! That first race was rough. During the race, I remember thinking that I was quite sure I would never put myself through it again!

And, yet, you ended up deciding to do a distance race in all 50 states. How did that happen? There was just no feeling like crossing that finish line. Runner’s high is a real thing and I became an addict. I did my first full marathon in 2010.

How long did it take you to accomplish a race in all 50 states? It took about seven years. Last year, I ran the most races—thirteen half marathons.

What was your last state and when did you finish? I checked the last state off my list on October 9 in Wichita, Kansas. I know what you’re thinking: Why wasn’t it Hawaii or someplace more amazing? Poor planning on my part. But Kansas was actually a great race which is part of the fun of doing a 50-state challenge. You never know what nook-or-cranny in this country will surprise you with an awesome experience.

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Which was your favorite race/state? Surprisingly, one of my favorite races was the Pittsburgh Marathon in 2010. It’s a hilly course and it poured rain the entire time, and I remember halfway through the 26.2 miles that maybe I needed to reevaluate my life choices. But the crowd support was phenomenal. Despite the rain, every inch of that course was covered with people cheering and screaming no matter how fast or slow anyone was running. Their energy, as well as a beautiful course, made that race unforgettable.

What was your most unique race? In July, I went on an Alaskan running cruise! Instead of excursions and the usual activities you do on a cruise, every place we docked, there was a race. The scenery was phenomenal, the locals at each port were very supportive of our races, and it was really cool to hang out with a couple hundred people that were just like me and would sign up for something like that!

Were there any races that you thought were overrated? I have to say the Disney World races. I’d suggest anyone try it once because there’s nothing quite running through the parks and having Disney characters cheer you on! But, when I ran it a second time, I was annoyed by the insanely steep registration price, the early start (you have to be at the start line at 3:30 a.m. because of road closures), and the large number of participants. This is definitely not a race you run to get a good finish time because there are just too many people.

Were there any you didn’t think you’d finish? Why? I injured my knee at Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minn., around mile 15. The pain was terrible. I called my sister mid-race, bawling because it was going to be my first DNF (did not finish). I was inconsolable. I kept saying to myself: ‘OK, just get to the next medical tent and then you can stop.’ But when I got there, I realized I could go a little further, and that happened at each opportunity to stop. When I got to mile 21, I knew I was going to finish. It was my worst time ever, but I finished, despite running on a bad knee for 11.2 miles.

How do you get through a tough race? Are there any mantras you repeat or mind-games you play with yourself? During Grandma’s Marathon someone was holding a sign that said ‘Pain is Temporary, Pride is Forever.’ I think that random stranger holding that sign was the thing that inspired me to finish that race.

Why do you like distance racing? The coolest thing about a marathon is seeing so many different people of all ages, fitness levels, sizes, and ethnicities coming together and sharing an experience. In those few hours, we are all one big family, supporting each other.

Have you had to deal with any injuries? Thankfully, that knee injury resolved quickly and was never an issue again. My first major injury happened in March, when I got bursitis in my hip. It was terrible. I had to stop running for a few months to let it heal, and that was when I really saw how much running meant to me and how much I rely on it as a stress reliever.

What is your training schedule like? I run about four days a week, anywhere from four to eight miles, depending on what race I’m training for and when it is.

What do you enjoy most about running? Why do you do it? It took me years to actually enjoy running. For quite a while, I hated training and only did it for the medal at the finish line. It was only in the past few years, that I realized how much I enjoy running just for the sake of it. It’s a great stress reliever. It also helps me stay in shape and has given me a great excuse to travel to places I never would have otherwise.

What’s your next big goal? I’m not quite sure! I have not run a full marathon in a few years, so I would like to do that in 2017. In January, I’m running the Louisiana half marathon in Baton Rouge. Running and traveling have become a huge part of my life, and I’m not planning to stop anytime soon.

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At the Las Vegas Rock ‘N Roll 1/2 marathon, Alison, left, stopped for a photo with “Elvis.”

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Alison’s 50 States jacket. States are colored in as they are completed. Alison’s is fully colored now!

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Another by-product of distance racing—lots of “bling,” I.e. finisher’s medals.