Shannon Lally “The first teacher I really adored was Lucy Kluckhohn, in Microbiology. She’s like a ‘mom,’ but she knows her stuff; all the bugs and micro-organisms.”

“Wow! This, I believe, is my sixth year at SMC. I had all these prereqs to do—all the sciences—and I was working full-time, as well,” reports Shannon Lally. “So I had to do my classes one at a time, but I just kept pecking away at it. And I just love this school, because the professors are so amazing that it just makes you want to keep going.” But Shannon’s goal in education and improving her life wasn’t always such a clear picture.

“This is my second time around in college, because I didn’t graduate the first time. So I thought, ‘Okay. I’m going to find something to do with my life and stick to it. No matter what!’ And there’ve been a couple of classes I had to retake,” she admits. “But I’m still hanging in there, and I know that Nursing is the field where I’ll feel challenged and fulfilled. I don’t know yet just what area of medicine I want to be involved with,” she says. “I love the operating room, but you don’t really get a chance to interact with patients in that setting. And interaction is one of my strengths. And pediatrics is wonderful, but it can become too heavy, because you’re dealing with parents and some very frail children. I just feel that the direction I choose will be revealed over time.”

Shannon currently works at a drug and alcohol recovery center where “there’s a lot of newly sober young people wanting to go back to school. And I tell them, ‘Hey! Just go to SMC, and you’ll be in good hands.’ And then I tell them to see a counselor when they get there, because the counselors here will steer you in the right direction—all the way. Honestly,” she adds, “I was quite vulnerable when I got to SMC. But the College did nothing but make me feel that I was welcome and that I, too, would find my place here.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.