About Ana Lilia Hernandez-Merino
Nursing major and transfer student Ana Lilia Hernandez-Merino got to know Russell Sage College when she attended Hudson Valley Community College, and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for students at two-year colleges.
PTK had named Sage to its list of the most transfer-friendly schools in the nation and that caught Ana’s attention. (Sage has now appeared on PTK’s Transfer Honor Roll for three years in a row.)
“It had the nursing program, it’s close to my home and Sage accepted almost all of my credits from community college,” said Ana.
She was also attracted to Sage’s chapters of the Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program and Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program — both New York State-sponsored programs that offer financial assistance and academic support to underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students.
“I heard it helped a lot of students, that it was a super program,” Ana said of CSTEP.
“They offer tutoring for Nursing courses, for writing, and now they have given me the support I need to work on the summer project which is a really important part of my student life at Sage.”
The project she refers to is an opportunity to work with Assistant Professor of Nursing Trudy Hutchinson and Nursing Chairperson Glenda Kelman, to collect oral histories from Sage Nursing graduates.
The oral histories will inform a book that the professors are writing to mark the centennial of Sage’s Nursing program.
Ana said the project is helping her build communication skills.
“The book is going to be a wonderful thing to have, to celebrate 100 years of nursing,” she added.
Like CSTEP, HEOP offers financial aid, extra academic advising and social and academic activities.
“These programs and the professors, the opportunities and good challenges they give me, are all things that help me grow,” Ana said.
At first, transferring seemed like it would be a big transition, she continued, “but I’ve got all these wonderful people and these programs to help me and now I love it. I love it more as time goes on.”