Armstrong was always the answer when Rhonda Ruesch sought advice regarding nursing school.
“After working in the medical field for top physicians for many years, the general consensus was always that the Armstrong Nursing students were held in the highest regard,” she explains.
Ruesch, a certified firefighter and first responder for seven years, was able to put herself first and return to the collegiate life after a cross-country move and children interrupted her education.
“Being both a transfer and a non-traditional student, I was worried about finding my place,” she admits. “I am proud to say, since day one, I felt like I was not only accepted but genuinely welcomed in every way.”
Ruesch was certainly welcomed, as she brought with her a thirst to make the most of her college experience.
“After having four children and waiting over a decade to go to college, I knew, once I was given the chance, I would not simply attend class and go home,” she says. “I had to genuinely experience it and live it.”
A member of the Student Integrity Board and an Office of Admissions student ambassador, she has upheld the promise she made to herself while still maintaining a level of academic work deserving of the Dean’s and President’s Lists and the designation of Presidential Scholar.
However, it was not her excellent grades that earned her the Porter G. Pierpont Scholarship. It was her embodiment of the commitment to volunteerism and community activism associated with the scholarship’s sponsor: the Rotary Club of Savannah.
Community service is “a family affair” in the Ruesch household. Each year, Ruesch and her four children volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association, American Cancer Society, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Susan G. Komen and the YMCA.
Ruesch’s goal is to be a positive role model for her children, but she has also served as a role model to many others, especially first-year students.
As a Navigate Orientation captain she welcomes these students to campus, mentors them throughout their First-Year Seminar and welcomes those inducted into Armstrong’s chapter of Phi Eta Sigma as the president of the first-year student honor society.
Taking on the role of Armstrong student has led Ruesch to great friendships and stronger relationships with each of her children.
“We have become even closer, as we study together and share the stress of upcoming exams,” she explains.
Driven to finish what she started, Ruesch has her sights set on a May 2019 graduation date and is already planning to enroll in Armstrong’s Master of Science in Nursing program upon completion of her bachelor’s degree.