Why did you choose Augusta University?
“I originally chose Augusta University because I have a friend who graduated from here. It’s a good school and very affordable. It’s a good combination, affordable tuition and great education, and the professors are very welcoming.”
What was your favorite thing about attending Augusta University?
“I think the fact that the professors are always willing to help. You can call them at night, during the day – they are very eager to help their students. I’m even thinking of becoming an instructor or a teacher.”
Which professor had the biggest impact on your life?
“Oh, Dr. Murphy. Marguerite Murphy, she is just like a mother. When I was stressed and having a lot of work, on top of having a family to take care of, she was constantly motivating me. “You can do it.” She just tells you to keep moving. Keeps giving you hope. She also just doesn’t mind students calling her up at night. Sometimes I call her at 11 p.m. for help.”
What are your plans after graduation?
“Two things. One, applying to teach maybe part-time. Two, I’m going to work in a congestive heart failure unit in my hospital here in Atlanta and try to open an outpatient clinic. I’m currently talking to the managers about it.”
What drove you to pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree?
“I was a nurse back home in Ethiopia. I had my own business, three different clinics. I came to the United States in 1991 as a political refugee, as the revolution was coming to an end. Before that, I was arrested in Ethiopia. I spent six months in jail before coming here. Afterward, coming to live here was very difficult. In Ethiopia, I was considered upper-middle class, but when I came to the U.S., my first job was as a dishwasher.
I worked to put myself through college. While I was studying to take my board exams, I worked as a gas station attendant and went to school in my off hours. I stayed in Georgia to become a family nurse practitioner.”
How does it feel knowing that all of your hard work paid off?
“It feels good. I feel good. You know, if you have a plan in your life, anyone can do it. Believe in yourself. You’re able to do it, too. This is the land of opportunity. I don’t know why people complain. There’s something good here, and you can take part in it. You just have to try.”