Giselle Tayal ’16

Giselle Tayal

Hometown: Chad, Africa
Major: Nursing

When I was a child, I spent most of my days in and out of the hospital being sick with malaria. My mother received basic training from the Red Cross that taught her how to care for my siblings and me when we were sick. Her care, combined with that of medical personnel, set an example and inspired me to pursue a career in nursing.

Getting from Africa to Seattle was not a short trip. I applied to a number of other schools, because I didn’t think I could afford to attend SPU. One day at work, I was sorting the mail for residents at a senior living home and came across an issue of Response. “Global Health Is Our Health” was written across the cover, and after I read the story I felt a strong pull to apply and join a community of motivated and passionate health professionals. When I was accepted, I knew that SPU was where God wanted me to be.

Even though I was raised in a Christian home, my faith has grown tremendously during my time at SPU. My faith is still like a small plant that is constantly trying to thrive, but my classmates and professors have caused the roots to deepen and strengthen. My time at SPU has given me countless opportunities to have discussions about faith and God with different people, as well as to attend lectures delivered by an array of theologians. In my courses, my professors constantly model the love of Christ by taking time out of their days to guide me in my studies.

The professors in the department continue to be inspiring role models for me. Dr. Morgenroth is able to incorporate her faith into intellectual and academic discussions while simultaneously being respectful to those who hold different beliefs. She models humility and facilitates an encouraging environment during clinical rotations. Instructor of Nursing Carol McFarland’s ability to listen to her students and provide meaningful feedback has been indispensable to me.

The dedication, passion, and care exhibited by my professors have equipped my classmates and me with critical skills, experiences, and knowledge. Because of SPU, I know that I will be able to show the same compassion towards future patients that my mother, childhood physicians, and professors showed toward me.

Andrea Sonk

Andrea Sonk’s Story

“My experience in the HHP program has been amazing, and it has helped me to have a greater appreciation of how incredibly complex and wonderful God’s creation of the human body is.”