As a young girl living in southern Siberia, Russia, Svetlana Calcavecchia dreamed of becoming a nurse one day and travel to the United States, the land of freedom.
Calcavecchia always had a love for learning. Her father was a miner and her mother a nurse, which is most likely where she caught the bug for a career as a health provider. She studied English in secondary school and even took vocational course work focused on nursing. Her mother, though, had other ideas. Knowing how demanding it was to be a nurse, her mother encouraged her in a different direction. “She really did not want me to be a nurse,” says Calcavecchia, “she thought it was much too difficult.”
And so her path went a different direction. After high school, Calcavecchia graduated from a state university in Russia with bachelor and master’s degrees in general science while majoring in foreign languages. This positioned her well for a professional career. Not long after graduation she began teaching at a mining college in Russia, which was her life for four years.
In 2006, Calcavecchia took a position at EVRAZ, an international steel and mining business with operations in the Russian Federation, the United States, and other countries. During this period, while on holiday, she met her husband, and in 2012 moved to the United States. “America was like life on a different planet,” she says. “Some things are the same, but many things are very different.” Now living in Philipsburg, she thoroughly enjoys America and has felt welcomed in this country. According to Calcavecchia, Americans are also very interested in Russian culture and history.
While working as a substitute teacher in Phillipsburg, she decided to return to her true passion – nursing. In 2014 she started as a student in the LHU Clearfield Nursing Program.
She graduated at the May 2017 commencement ceremony with an associate of science in nursing. She already has a job waiting which she will assume as soon as she passes her boards this summer. “I enjoyed the LHU Nursing Program very much,” says Calcavecchia. “The faculty is terrific and the size allows us to build strong relationships, which is good for learning.”
Now, living in the United States with her husband and two children (a boy in 11th grade and girl in 5th grade, both strong students) and soon to be working as a nurse, Calcavecchia has achieved her life-long goal. She shares, “This truly is a dream come true.”
Lock Haven University is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System, the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas of study. Nearly 520,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.
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