Meghan Becerril '20
Next stop: Applying to grad school to become a clinical speech language pathologist
Sometimes a student’s college journey takes a different path than they expected. That was the case for Meghan Becerril, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and a minor in Communication. Meghan’s original plan was to become a pre-pharmacy major. However, during her time at UHart she learned that pharmacy wasn’t the right fit for her. After taking a gap year, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in communication science disorders and become a clinical speech language pathologist.
“UHart prepared me for life after college by finding out my real passion for helping people and being able to see the impact I’m making,” she said. During her time at UHart, Meghan had several internships that helped her explore careers in health care. She participated in the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) at Howard University, EBS Children’s Therapy, and Bloomfield Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.
When campus shut down in March, Meghan returned to her home in the Philadelphia area and went back to her part-time job as a certified nurse’s aide working with dementia patients in a nursing home. Her department was hit hard by COVID-19 and she became one of the main aides working directly with COVID patients. “I left that job after my patients were COVID free and accepted two new ones, one as a healthcare administrator and another as a part-time manager for a new nursing home working with memory care patients,” she said.
Meghan decided that a gap year was a good chance to take a mental break after being a full-time student. She is currently applying to graduate schools in the Philadelphia area.
Her advice for other students who may be thinking about changing their career path is “Be open and realize not everything is set in stone. Don’t let pressure from your family, peers, friends or even faculty force you into anything. At the end of the day, you should be doing what makes you happy.”
Meghan Becerril, '20
“UHart prepared me for life after college by finding out my real passion for helping people and being able to see the impact I’m making."
Meghan was involved in multiple organizations during her time at UHart, taking leadership positions and joining clubs that interested her. “My experiences at UHart helped me grow into a more well-rounded and confident person,” she says. “I learned a lot about myself and other people.” She participated in the Women’s Advancement Initiative LEAD program, the Residence Hall Association, Student Government Association, and ENHP Ambassadors. She was a Dorothy Goodwin Scholar for two years and was part of the President's Select Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She joined the Newman Club, Yoga Club, and the Asian Student Association, and volunteered with a food pantry in Hartford and at Give Kids the World. Despite her busy schedule, she completed honors classes and was on the Dean’s List.
Her favorite UHart memory is the Justice for Jazzy rally, to support a student who had been bullied by her roommate in a case that drew widespread attention. “Given the circumstance it was really cool to see a community come together and support one another, from alumni, faculty, staff, students, to outside members,” she said.
Meghan said the support of multiple faculty and staff at UHart had a big impact on her, including her advisor Dr. Claudia Oakes, Dr. Doug Dix, Dr. Lynne Kelly, Dr. Amy Barzach, Dina Morris, Shannon Mumley, and Linda Schultz, just to name a few.
Her advice to incoming UHart students is to “to take advantage of opportunities; get involved and put yourself out there and reach out if you need help, but don't forget to be gentle and kind to yourself.”