Partnership Liaison, Project REEP at Rivier University

Birthplace: Manchester

Family: Husband, Eric; three sons, Jacob (11), Ryan (9) and Zachary (6); parents, Keith Karwacki, Donna Karwacki; and sister, Abigail Michaud.

High school: Manchester Memorial High School

College/post grad degrees: B.S., Behavioral Neuroscience, Northeastern University; M.S., Nursing, concentration: Family Nurse Practitioner, Boston College; currently a PhD candidate in Nursing Education at Villanova University

What is the best career advice you ever received?

I have been fortunate enough to have several mentors throughout my life and my career. One of my mentors, Jennifer Torosian, taught me a great deal about how I view myself and my career. Through her words and her example, I learned to work hard, stay positive, and always make sure to have fun doing what you love. My father instilled the concept of having a positive mental attitude and my mother has always taught me to appreciate the little things life has to offer. These pieces of advice have served me well and I can truly say I find passion and joy in the work that I do each day.

Why did you choose your profession?

I chose my profession after having the opportunity of seeing many roles in the healthcare profession. Northeastern University’s cooperative program afforded me the opportunity to explore careers in the medical field and I was continuously drawn back to the role of a nurse practitioner. The holistic, ‘whole-body’ approach at the very core of the nursing philosophy resonated deeply with me. Over time, I also found joy in being able to help develop and educate nurses and transitioned the majority of my career path into teaching and workforce development roles.

What motivates you to give back to your community?

I am motivated to give back to my community because I strive to make an impact and make a difference in the world I live in. The legacy I leave for my family is so important to me and when I see an area I know I can help in, I feel grateful I can make a difference.

What advice would you give your 22-year-old self?

I would tell myself to focus on my own path and my own journey, not what others are doing. Be open to each and every opportunity that comes along and embrace the journey. I would also tell myself to try and slow down a little and enjoy the journey – celebrate the successes and learn from my mistakes at a slower pace – and try to appreciate it all!

What would make New Hampshire more attractive to young professionals?

New Hampshire has been making strides to become more attractive to young professionals, and since I chose to move back to the state in my early 30s, I think they are doing a good job! Vibrant downtown areas in the major cities are definitely key in my opinion, as are organizations that are supportive of mentoring young professionals and are open to the new ideas, energy and mindsets that an enthusiastic, motivated young professional will bring in.

What would you like to be doing when you’re 40?

Since it’s only a few months away, I hope to be relaxing with my amazing husband and incredible kids on a beach somewhere with my toes in the water and sun on my face!

Volunteer activities: Volunteer Coordinator for Peter Woodbury School; Sigma Theta Tau International; Abstract/Grant Peer Reviewer; Rivier University Project Achieve Faculty Mentor.

Last major achievement: The completion of the first draft of a pharmacology NCLEX preparation textbook I have been working on with a colleague and the successful implementation of HRSA grant, Project REEP, over this past month. Our team at Rivier University has been incredible at helping get this program underway, and I could not be more excited and more grateful for the success we have had.