Nursing senior Robyn Acob: “The support of donors makes the Creighton experience possible — for me and for thousands of other students, from Hawaii and elsewhere. You’ve made our lives better. You’ve made our families and communities proud.”
By Micah Mertes
Creighton nursing senior Robyn Acob is accustomed to a certain kind of community — smaller, close-knit, everyone looking out for everyone else. It’s just how she grew up, on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
Kauai might lack much in the way of big city life, but, as a nice tradeoff, it boasts unbeatably beautiful beaches, mountains and rainforests. In fact, the island is so picturesque that it’s served as the backdrop for many movies and TV show, including Jurassic Park, Avatar and Gilligan’s Island.
But aside from its agreeable scenery and Hollywood pedigree, Kauai is most defined by the strong bonds of a tightly interwoven community.
So, it will come as no surprise that Creighton has been a great fit for Acob (even with its colder weather and regrettable lack of beaches, mountains and rainforests).
“I love it here,” she says. “It’s not a small school, but it’s also not big enough that you get lost in the crowd. Our professors strive for our success and get to know us personally. People care about each other here, and they teach you how to care for others the best way you can.”
Acob has known for a while that she wanted to be a nurse, but what kind? Creighton has given her the opportunity to mull over multiple fields.
“Since I started at Creighton, I’ve learned just how many options we have,” she says. “I could be a hospital nurse or care home nurse. I could work in an emergency department or ICU or in mental health or hospice care. I find it all interesting. I’m open to anything.”
She’s got some time to think about it. And thanks to her scholarship aid, she’s got the financial flexibility to take whatever path suits her.
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Acob’s family works hard to help her however they can, and University scholarships make up the difference.
“Without my scholarship aid, I don’t think I’d be at Creighton,” she says. “It eases the stress on my family and makes this possible. The least I can do, in return, is work hard and do my best.”
Acob’s professors say she’s doing just that.
“Robyn not only shows a strong desire to learn but the ability to be present with the patient in the moment,” says Jacque Williams, assistant professor in the College of Nursing. “She shines in her ability to find the silver lining in even the most difficult clinical situations.”
Nursing assistant professor Sarah Ball, PhD, noted Acob’s “true desire to serve others” and her “calming grace” in caring for patients and peers alike.
This spring, Acob — like millions of other college students — finished her semester in the midst of a pandemic. During this time, with campus and the rest of the world in stasis, Acob reflected on just how much Creighton had come to mean to her.
Creighton hadn’t felt like home right away. She was homesick for Hawaii her freshman year. But slowly, cautiously, she tried new things, she made new friends, she embraced the opportunities Creighton had to offer.
“I tell my friends back home that Creighton is a great school,” she says, “so long as you try as many things and get as many experiences as you can, and so long as you bring the right clothes for the weather. It gets cold here.”