Outstanding Graduate Mariah Ramon Scores as First Soccer Player to Graduate from Islander Nursing Program

By Olivia Santos | Published: May 05, 2021

Outstanding Graduate Mariah Ramon Scores as First Soccer Player to Graduate from Islander Nursing Program

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – With hopes to inspire the next class of first-generation college students, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi student-athlete and nursing major Mariah Ramon left nothing on the field when it comes to her dual passions for nursing and soccer. Juggling school, work, and her commitment to Islanders Women’s Soccer, Ramon showcased drive, determination, and balance, which led to her selection as the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Spring 2021 Outstanding Graduate. She will participate in the TAMU-CC Commencement ceremony on May 15, the first to be held in-person in three semesters, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have always been one to step up to a challenge, constantly yearning to learn more and better myself with every opportunity I get,” Ramon said. “I have spent four years representing this school on the field and in the community. I can say with utmost honesty that I believe I have received the best nursing education with the most caring and helpful faculty and built several lifelong relationships along the way.”

Beginning her collegiate journey at the Island University in fall 2017, Ramon committed approximately 40 hours per week to soccer training, meetings, film study, travel, and competition while maintaining a full course load. As a student-athlete, she not only attended regular classes and lab but also attended clinicals at multiple healthcare locations throughout the Coastal Bend including Bay Area Hospital, CHRISTUS Spohn Shoreline, Driscoll Children’s Hospital, The Purple Door Social Services Center, and the Wesley Community Center.

“Nursing requires compassion, empathy, critical thinking, respectfulness, a desire to learn, integrity, and so many other traits that I feel I embody completely,” she said. “Helping people in need and having a positive impact on a person or a family means so much to me and makes the difficulties of both nursing school and eventually working as an RN more than worth it for me.”

Helping achieve her dreams by working to coordinate her schedules and commitments every semester, Clinical Assistant Professor Cathy Harrel says Ramon’s fierce determination to succeed is what makes her an Outstanding Graduate.

“Mariah is a leader in her student groups and clinical groups,” Harrel said. “To be a student-athlete and a nursing student takes tremendous organization, drive, and motivation, and then to excel in both those areas while amid a pandemic – it’s truly a testament to the stellar scholar that she is.”

Ramon said that while her family has provided her with boundless moral, emotional, and financial support towards her college endeavors, tuition costs required her to work while attending classes. To overcome that obstacle, Ramon worked part-time at a local clinic to supplement her partial scholarship.

“I could not have done this without my amazing faculty, friends, teammates, and family,” she said. “It truly takes a village, and I am so thankful for everyone who makes up mine.”

Two cats chow down in Island University’s Cat Alley as part of iCAT’s 365-days-a year feeding program.
Islander Mariah Ramon gives her all during a soccer
game.

Another mentor and leader in Ramon’s collegiate journey, Craig Shaw, Islanders Women’s Soccer Head Coach, says her motivation on the field and in her studies has created an example for future student athletes.

“She will be the student I talk about to every future recruit who is thinking of entering into our program while studying nursing,” Shaw said. “She’s leaving a real legacy here and has set the example for other that success is possible.”

Reflecting on her time at A&M-Corpus Christi, Ramon says she hopes her journey motivates future nursing students and athletes alike to keeping reaching for their goals.

“I am leaving an everlasting impact on the university because I am the first ever student in the soccer program history to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing,” she said. “I hope that other young women who are considering playing soccer for A&M-CC and other first-generation college students can use this as motivation to prove that they are capable of more than they know.”

While Ramon has many fond memories of her time as an Islander, she says her most memorable experience was participating in the White Coat Ceremony, where nursing students take an oath of service in front of their family, friends, and faculty.

“It was such an honor to be part of something so much bigger than myself,” she said. “I think that graduation will be the same – an unforgettable experience. I am filled with so much gratitude and will always have a special place in my heart for this institution and what it has done for me.”While Ramon has many fond memories of her time as an Islander, she says her most memorable experience was participating in the White Coat Ceremony, where nursing students take an oath of service in front of their family, friends, and faculty.

Post-graduation, Ramon plans to work as a registered nurse in critical care and eventually return to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi for her master’s degree in nursing.