Student and Alumni Profiles

Hope Brothers is an inspiration for many reasons but at the University of Evansville, it's that she's a first-time college student going for her dream to become a nurse while in her mid-40's. At a time when some folks are thinking about winding down their careers, Hope is just getting started. At UE she's classified as a nontraditional student because she didn't enroll right after she completed high school. But her age hasn't stopped her from getting connected – in fact, that connection is her secret sauce to having a successful experience.

Her life has been a challenging one. Those challenges would have led most people to a different type of lifestyle, but for Hope, the challenges she faced growing up instilled in her a passion for helping people.

Hope's professional career began in the financial industry where she worked for 16 years. Ultimately, she realized she wanted to be working with patients, giving them the attention and care they deserved. The seed of an idea of becoming a nurse was planted when Hope was caring for her mother during an illness. Hope's own attention to detail and deep understanding about her mother's medication and course of care led to several nurses telling her “You should become a nurse.”

Eventually, she would not be able to ignore the small voice in the back of her mind telling her to go for it. With the enthusiastic support of her husband and son, she dove into life as an undergrad.

“If I can be a part of saving lives and improving patients' quality of life, that's what I want,” she said. “I'll be 50 when I graduate, but that doesn't matter. I know that if I am doing something that fills my spirit, nothing can stand in my way.”

Sense of Belonging

She applied for nursing school at a handful of local institutions, including UE of course. But the only institution that reached out to Hope was UE. “I didn't feel that personal, family-like sense of belonging from any other school I applied to. That helped me realized that I was going to be just as important as any other student coming to the University, even though I was nontraditional.”

Staying Motivated

College is hard. There's no way around it. Especially as an older student, coming back into the rigor of undergraduate studies can be a big adjustment. But with a determination to finish her degree and become a nurse, Hope has learned how to stay motivated when things get rough.

  • Make a friend on campus. When she started feeling lonely early on, Hope said, “I realized I needed to make a friend.” So she reached out to one of the students she sat next to in class, and they went out for coffee. “I was kind of telling her ‘man, I don't really have any friends on campus,' and she said ‘I'm your friend!'” This connection, Hope explains, keeps you connected – to the university, to your work, and to your “why”.
  • Change seats. “Seriously,” Hope said. If you're having trouble in a class, move your seat to the front row. “It helps you concentrate and stay focused while your professor is going over more challenging topics.” You might be surprised.
  • Be prepared. “I know that sounds pretty simple, but doing your homework and reading is the easiest thing you can do to be ready for class.”
  • Schedule your life. From studying to shopping to family time, it can help to have every moment of your day scheduled. It might feel strange to schedule time with your family (and you might not want them to see it), but it's important to insist on a balanced life. A schedule will help with that.

Pursuing a Meaningful Life

For Hope, diving into full-time undergraduate coursework has been a great challenge. She is pursuing a degree in nursing while also taking care of family and earning a paycheck to pay for it all. But for her, it's well worth it to support her passion for caring for those who need it most.

“My goal is to be a psyc nurse because those patients tend to have higher instances of abuse and neglect, and I want to give them care and hope.”

Hope Brothers
Nursing major
Nontraditional Student

“My experience transferring to the University of Evansville was pretty easy and a great experience. After looking at all my options, going on college visits and everything, I just knew that UE was going to be the right fit for me.

My relationship with all the staff and faculty at UE is just amazing. I know if I'm gone for softball or if I'm struggling in a class they're here for me and they will listen to me as a person.”

Watch Brooke's Video

Brooke McCorkle
Finance and Accounting Major
Transfer Student

“After spending 10 years in the Air Force, I was on my way to a medical retirement due to injuries that made me unable to deploy. The reality quickly set in that I had not completed a degree and I knew I had to commit to myself and not let anything get in the way. My last duty station was near St. Louis which had plenty of schools in the area. I also considered moving back to Florida and going to school there, but it wasn't home and I had been away from my family long enough.

Growing up in Newburgh, I always viewed UE as the school you go to if you want a phenomenal education that will set you up for a great career. During my campus visit, I knew without a doubt that UE is where I needed to be. The admission staff, my student guide as well as faculty I met were incredibly welcoming and I was reminded of what I missed the most about being home, the people. I am grateful for my choice and opportunity to attend UE and can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Neal Quick
Accounting Major
Transfer Student
Air Force Veteran

“I had it all figured out. I was going to a big state school that I always dreamed about to major in nursing. My freshman year, everything was going as planned and I was doing well; I had a 3.8 GPA. There was every indication I would be admitted into the nursing program; however, that's not what happened. I was placed on a wait list and encouraged to try again because there weren't enough positions in the program.

It was devastating. It felt like my dream of becoming a nurse would be delayed or maybe not happen at all. So, I started exploring transfer options and discovered the University of Evansville's School of Nursing direct admit program. To my surprise, most of my credits transferred, and I was able to start the nursing program immediately!

But what about the cost? I was sure UE would cost more than the state school, but I was surprised again. With the scholarship and financial aid I received from UE, I'm paying the same that I did to go to the state school.

My time at UE has been awesome. I'm about to begin my senior year and will attend Harlaxton College, UE's study abroad center in Grantham, England, with 14 of my nursing classmates.

I'm happy that I transferred to UE. I feel that professors here want us to succeed. There is comradery and a sense of respect for students.”

Emma Vassy
Nursing Major
Transfer Student

In Summer 2021, Lindsey Ostria made the decision to transfer to UE to pursue the Music Therapy program. It has been a season of many changes, but she is thankful she made the switch and now enjoys being closer to home. In just her first semester at UE, Lindsey has already accomplished a lot. She is not only the principal clarinetist of the wind ensemble but also serves as its president. Lindsey also plays in a woodwind quintet, and she works for the Department of Music. She is also excited to now be part of Sigma Alpha Iota, a women's international music fraternity. "I love that I was able to jump right in," Lindsey says. "The faculty, staff, and students have been very supportive of all my goals. I am so grateful for them and all the opportunities they have provided for me since arriving!"

Lindsey Ostria
Music Therapy Major
Transfer Student

After moving to the Evansville area for his partner’s job, Shane was looking to make a change – and that change included going back to college to earn an undergraduate degree. He started by taking tours of colleges in the area, beginning with the University of Evansville.

“Starting with my first tour, I immediately felt a connection at UE that I didn't feel during tours at other schools,” Shane said. “It was obvious that the people I met here cared about my story and wanted to help me find something that would fit.”

Following his first campus tour, Shane returned to UE for a follow-up visit. Interested in pursuing a history degree, Shane connected with history professor James MacLeod, current students, and even sat in on a history class. This kind of tour customization had not been available at other institutions, and it gave Shane a more clear picture of what it would really feel like to be a UE student.

“It was obvious this was the place for me.” Transferring credits he had earned at his previous institutions was a breeze with the help of UE staff, and before long, Shane was enrolled as a history major and beginning his first classes as a UE student. Coming in as a non-traditional student, Shane was several years older than many of his classmates, but the welcoming community at UE replaced the age gap with meaningful connections between faculty members and fellow students.

In a short time, Shane became deeply involved in the UE community, serving as treasurer and Student Government Association (SGA) representative of UE PRIDE student organization, an Admission Ambassador, and member of the History Club, among other things. Most recently, he was elected president of SGA. Dr. MacLeod has also helped Shane get connected with the Evansville community. These connections have led to involvement with other community groups and a project on the Queer History of Evansville.

Shane’s future plans include going to law school, working in civil law as an advocate for equality, and perhaps pursuing politics. He feels that the academic quality and rigor at UE is preparing him not only for the first step of getting accepted to law school, but also for a fulfilling career of endless possibilities.

Shane Ranschaert
History Major
Transfer Student

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