One hundred and eighty feet above her, a glowing beam of sunlight poured through a tiny window in the dome-shaped ceiling of the Hagia Sophia. The rays illuminated the details of the former Greek Orthodox basilica that is now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Lillian Hussong’s memory of the 1,400-year-old landmark is as clear as yesterday.
Michelle Pietrocola, a senior in the Registered Nurse-Bachelor of Science Nursing (RN-BSN) program, pitches high standards in academics and on the field as the record-breaking student-athlete manages her Stockton career.
Pietrocola is a member of the Stockton Nursing Club, the Stockton Honors Program and the Stockton Softball Team.
As part of her nursing education, she spends 20 hours a week in clinical at regional hospitals. After clinical and classes, Pietrocola has softball practice or a game six days a week.
“Between clinical, softball practice, club meetings, and going to class, it would be an understatement to say that I have kept busy during my Stockton career,” Pietrocola said. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Each of Pietrocola’s extracurricular memberships require dedication, volunteer work and time outside the classroom and off the field. She has volunteered for Relay for Life to raise money for breast cancer awareness, participated in a flu shot drive with fellow nursing students, and collected goods for victims of Hurricane Sandy. She also attends Stockton’s Day of Service in the Fall and Spring, works Stockton’s Women in Sports Day, and plays softball with teammates and with physically and mentally disabled local students at the South Jersey Field of Dreams.
In addition to volunteer service, Pietrocola meets the requirements of Stockton’s Honors Program, including keeping a minimum GPA of 3.3, taking five rigorous honors-level classes, and participating in an externship.
On the field, Pietrocola’s love for softball began at age 8. As a senior at Stockton, she is in her 15th and final year as a softball pitcher.