Elan Caruso recently wrapped up her senior year at the Kent State University College of Nursing in Kent, Ohio. Recently working in KSU’s Academic Success Center as the Study Skills Tutoring Program Student Coordinator and as a mentor within the Supplemental Instruction (SI) Program, Elan’s own commitment to nursing is fortified by helping pre-nursing students discover what the field can offer them. “Besides my love for science, my favorite aspect of this job is working with pre-nursing majors, getting them excited for their wonderful career choice, and serving as an informal mentor, providing them with support as they strive to become accepted into the nursing program,” she says.
It's ironic because Elan almost missed out on the opportunity for tremendous mentorship herself. She embarrassingly admits that, when she first received her invitation emails to join Sigma Theta Tau International, she deleted them shortly after opening. She just didn’t understand the privilege of membership.
“During a two-week study abroad course in Geneva, Switzerland to attend the World Health Assembly, I was fortunate enough to meet STTI’s CEO Dr. Pat Thompson, who would later dine with our class,” says Caruso. “After dinner, she talked to us about the honor and prestige of becoming a member of STTI; the benefits of membership; and her own passion and enthusiasm for the honor society … I knew I had to join.”
Elan was inducted into Kent State University’s Delta Xi Chapter of STTI in May 2015. She served her chapter as a Student Leadership Intern, and recently began service on STTI President Cathy Catrambone’s Next Generation Leaders Task Force for the 2015-17 biennium.
“Overall the biggest benefit I have experienced from becoming an active member and taking on a leadership position within my chapter has been the networking,” says Elan. “Moving forward into my nursing career, my membership within STTI has helped with my leadership and communication skills. Membership also gives me access to various career resources and helps to set me aside from other applicants for jobs.”
STTI is “a wonderful and humbling experience filled with opportunities to learn from great nurse leaders and mentors in an incredibly supportive environment,” Elan says. “Now I have made it my personal mission to spread the word about STTI so no students repeat my mistake of overlooking this amazing honor.”