In the course of her liberal arts education at Centre College, Caroline Pellegrino ’18 learned that, far from preparing her for precisely one career path, she was given the opportunity and encouragement to pursue coursework in a variety of fields. Such training ensures that liberally educated students, like those who graduate from Centre, are prepared for careers in any field, equipped with knowledge of theory and principles and armed with the ability to organize and construct solutions to complex problems.
Pellegrino, who graduated from Centre with a B.S. in biology, is now in the accelerated nursing dual degree program at Vanderbilt University, pursuing a master’s degree in pediatric medicine.
“This program is a great option for graduating Centre students who wish to pursue a career in advanced practice nursing without attending a traditional four-year nursing program first,” Pellegrino says.
And yet, so much more than her science courses went into her pursuit of a career in medicine. First, there was a certain history professor who helped bring her future career into focus.
“Amos Tubb, Gordon B. Davidson Associate Professor of History, hugely impacted my time at Centre,” Pellegrino continues. “He was one of my first professors during my freshman year when I took his world history course. I later spent a semester abroad in Strasbourg, France, with Dr. Tubb and his family. While abroad, I took a ‘break’ from the sciences to engage in history, and I was able to take an independent study course with Dr. Tubb where I had the opportunity to lecture one of his world history class sessions.
“His passion for teaching and his ability to engage and motivate students was extremely inspiring to me,” Pellegrino says. “Dr. Tubb’s ability to communicate with others and explain complex concepts in a compassionate and engaging way is something that I hope to carry on in my career when educating my patients and their children. He also encouraged me to continue pursuing higher education in order to teach, and I now plan to pursue a doctorate in nursing practice at Vanderbilt following the completion of my masters.”
This diversification of education extends far beyond the classroom at Centre. The many opportunities for social, athletic, leadership and service engagement on campus help to form not only well-educated graduates but well-rounded ones as well.
“My work with Centre’s sorority philanthropies was extremely influential in my decision to pursue a career in pediatric medicine,” Pellegrino explains. “As a Delta Delta Delta, I always had a passion for our work with St. Jude Children’s Research hospital and always dreamed of impacting the lives of ill children.
“I also spent three summers working with Kappa Kappa Gamma’s regional philanthropy, the Center for Courageous Kids (CCK), a medical camp for terminally and chronically ill children. At CCK, I was exposed to a vast variety of pediatric illnesses and gained experience providing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and quality medical care. From my first summer, I knew that I wanted to spend my career as a pediatric advocate, ensuring that every child receives quality care and is able to experience life to the fullest. I also knew that I wanted to be able to practice medicine and impact lives as soon as possible, so a two-year degree at Vanderbilt was a perfect option for me.”
And, with 98 percent of Centre students living on campus, the feeling of community is often the highlight of the college experience.
“I was notified of my admission to Vanderbilt last Valentine’s Day, which was a Wednesday night. I was out to dinner at Danville’s Pizza Pub restaurant with a friend when I found out, and then I attended a sorority/fraternity mixer that night. So many of my friends had solidified post-graduate plans by that point, and we all had such a fun night celebrating our futures. The love and support from all of my friends, and even students that didn’t know me well, was so overwhelming and extremely special. The support that Centre students provide for one another is unlike any support system I’ve ever experienced.”
by Cindy Long
March 6, 2019