Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Meet Kathlyn Cease, our 2014 Commencement Student Speaker

Commencement is not just about receiving a degree; it’s also about celebrating the unique journey of each Peirce student. Kathlyn Cease, who is graduating in June with her bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration, will share her story as the College’s 2014 Commencement Student Speaker.

To get to know Kathlyn a little better before the big event, we sat down and asked her a couple of questions:

STUDENT SPEAKER: Kathlyn Cease is our
2014 Commencement Student Speaker.

What inspired you to pursue a degree in Healthcare Administration?
When I graduated high school 11 years ago, I was living in New Jersey and entered the Community College of Camden as a nursing major. Soon after, I started working at Northeast Hospital.  I knew right away that being directly on the hospital floor wasn’t for me, but I was still interested in a healthcare career. I also knew that I liked business. After spending some time trying to figure out where I fit in, I decided to attend the Community College of Philadelphia for Healthcare Administration. I was disappointed when I actually laid out all of the classes and looked at the scheduling. I saw that it would take almost six years to earn my degree if I worked and went to school at the same time.  I needed to earn my degree more quickly than that.  During my research to find a new school, I remembered seeing advertisements for Peirce – and that Peirce makes education obtainable for working adults. In particular, the option to take accelerated classes was what stood out the most to me. I was able to take four classes in a matter of 15 weeks at Peirce, where I would only have been able to take maybe two at another school.

You’re currently the Human Resources Coordinator for Youth Consultation Services. Tell us about your job and how you plan to use your degree in the future.
We are the largest behavioral health agency in New Jersey. My job consists of recruiting new hires and then training them, so one of the most important aspects of my job is taking things like HIPAA into account. I’ve always wanted to use my degree to help make policies versus just seeing them through, and to be in a management role and not just a regular line worker. I knew I needed my degree to get to that point.

What are you looking forward to about speaking at Commencement and what would you like to tell your fellow students on that day?
I’m really looking forward to being the student voice and representing the school and our class. I’ve actually spent some time looking over past speeches and I know that I really want to make this about the graduates and not about the ceremony alone. The theme of my speech is going to be time – time is of the essence, but at the same time, you can’t let it rule you. Take your time with the journey.

What have been some of your proudest moments during your time at Peirce?
Last year, I won the WW Smith Award for the 2012-2013 academic year, and then made it to the Dean’s and President’s List at the same time during one semester. Last summer, I achieved a 4.0. It felt surreal when I received the letter letting me know I had earned that. I’m very proud of those things.

What advice do you have for Peirce students that are still in classes working towards earning their degree?

I want to let them know that it will get hard, and there will be moments where you want to give up – especially for students who are working adults. It’s hard to balance the working life, the school life, family life, and your personal life. But it is definitely worth the wait and the work. Just hang tight and be confident that there is a finish line!

Congratulations to Kathlyn! We can’t wait to hear your speech at Commencement!