When asked about her college experience, Danielle Berry, ‘07 said, “I was raised Lutheran, I didn’t know what to expect from a Catholic University.” But after graduating with a BS in Nursing, she found it was the Jesuit classes that she enjoyed the most. Before attending Seattle U, Danielle received her BA in Comparative History of Ideas from University of Washington. Because she has attended both UW and SU, she can really appreciate the differences between both learning environments.
“I’m a strong supporter of Seattle U and the required service learning. It’s focused on building the character of its students. It makes students well-rounded and allows them to see people in a different light.” As part of Danielle’s classes, she and her classmates worked as tutors and in partnership with the local Boys and Girls club of King County. “By working with this community, I can better connect with my patients that live there now.”
According to Danielle, the values that Seattle U instilled in her shaped what she looked for in a place of employment. Danielle currently works at Harborview Medical Center in the Neurology Intensive Care Unit. “Harborview has a service mentality,” Danielle says. “We give away nearly $200 million in services to our lower income patients, including those who are homeless.”
The values of her employer are important to her, but Danielle’s favorite part of her job, are the direct connections she has with her patients. “We see people who come in with trauma and spinal cord injuries. We work with them a lot, develop relationships and prepare them for rehabilitation. These are people who end up in wheelchairs, and need to look to someone else for all their basic needs. It can be pretty intense. However, there’s nothing more rewarding then when patients come back to visit you, and you see how they’ve continued to engage in life, and you know that you helped empower them to live their life and be a member of society.”
Since being at Harborview, Danielle has continued her relationship with Seattle University by returning to speak with graduating classes and recent alumni. “I share with them the lessons of my experience, and give them advice about getting over the transitionary hump of entering the working world, in order to help them be successful. I’ve realized that by being a mentor, giving back has just become a part of my life.”
Danielle says that when it comes to big career decisions, she still finds herself thinking about the values that Seattle University taught her. When people ask me what University I recommend, I always say Seattle University, because it’s those values and those service learning opportunities that really prepared me for my career.”
If you are interested in being a mentor to Seattle University students, visit the Redhawk Network.
If you would like to submit suggestions for our next Recent Alumni Spotlight, email Caitlin Joyce.