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Nursing and education grad wins full scholarship for PhD

April 05, 2018

Mary Ann Podlogar, BSN, MAEd, will soon be adding more letters after her name. The double Ursuline grad (she earned a master's in education in 2013 and a bachelor’s in nursing in 2017), learned on March 29 she is one of two students selected to receive a full scholarship from the  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to pursue her PhD at Case Western Reserve University. Her scholarship covers full tuition plus a monthly living stipend. 

“I'm so excited to have the chance to receive a degree from Case, fully funded. I also get to attend a conference at Princeton this summer with the other students from across the country selected for this scholarship. Such an incredible opportunity,” said Podlogar, who is now working full time as a cardiac intensive care nurse at University Hospitals.

Patricia Sharpnack, DNP, dean of Ursuline’s Breen School of Nursing, offered congratulations. “Mary Ann worked hard and seized opportunities for professional growth while at Ursuline. Now her thirst for knowledge and enterprising spirit are opening wonderful opportunities for her. She will be an inspirational leader in our field.”

At Case, Podlogar will be working with professors from a number of colleges – including Ursuline Assistant Professor Kathleen Rogers, DNP – to complete her research.  “I will be focusing on cognition and processing as it relates to hospital readmission rates and self-medical management in heart failure patients,” she explained.

Podlogar thanked Sharpnack and Associate Professor Laura Goliat, DNP, for their support adding, "I am beyond grateful.”

Her academic and career experiences blend two of Ursuline’s strong suits. After earning her master’s in education, she taught high school special education for two years in Idaho. She came back to Ursuline and earned her nursing degree through the one-year Second Degree Accelerated Program (SDAP). While a nursing student, she presented a poster at the Ohio League for Nursing conference in Columbus about a peer-mentoring program she established called PASS, for Promoting Academic Success for Students.

“It was quite an honor to be presenting alongside such distinguished nursing professionals at such an early point in my career. My love for education prompted me to design the program, and it was a wonderful learning experience,” she said.

Reflecting on her time at Ursuline College, she added, “It is a great thing when you can come to a place that allows you to combine your passions to make a true difference. I have always been spiritually close to Ursuline, and attribute much of my success to the sisters, as well as my mother. They have been nothing short of the source of my inspiration and strength over the years.”

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