Beam Signing Marks Next Stage in Construction of New Health Sciences Building

Sep. 27, 2019
Office of Communications
Students and faculty signing the beam

When Bradley Appo ’23 pondered what he would study for the next four years in college, he contemplated long and hard. “I knew I wanted to be able to help others through my profession,” said Appo, whose parents both work in the medical field. “I was inspired to become a person that others can rely on.” 

When Appo discovered Assumption’s new nursing program, he was excited, and knew the College would be the right fit for him.  “I chose Assumption for the high academic standing and the community that accepts faith practices with open arms,” he shared, adding that he knew the College would push him as a student and help him thrive during and after college.  “Amid the construction of the new health sciences building, I hope that I will learn the skills to become a nurse … but most of all, to play a significant role in the lives of others. I am proud to be a part of the first cohort of nursing students.”

On September 26, Appo was among the first of the Assumption College community to sign the last I-beam before it is placed on the frame of the College’s new Health Sciences building, cementing his place in Assumption history.  Appo is one of many Assumption students looking forward to utilizing the new building. The state-of-the-art, 41,000-square-foot building, which will welcome students next fall, will house the College’s new nursing and physician assistant programs

The building features four classrooms of varying sizes, each fully equipped with a recording system for simulations; a nursing floor with a spacious nursing skills lab with seven full-sized hospital beds and four simulation labs with high-fidelity mannequins; and on the physician assistant floor, a practice lab with 11 exam tables, two simulation labs, and four Objective Structured Clinical Examination rooms where live “patient-actors” will help teach students how to take medical history, diagnose a patient, and perform a physical exam.    

“I am very excited about the building [and having] all of the high-tech equipment to help us succeed as students,” said Brayden Wood ’23, a nursing student who is following in the footsteps of his grandmother and cousin. “It is a really good field that has high demand.” 

“As we know, institutions of higher learning throughout the nation, in particular here in the Northeast, are facing many challenges; some are closing, some are merging, and here we are today opening up new doors. Doors through which students will pass to engage in a very distinct type of learning, one that forms individuals to be compassionate caretakers,” said Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D., president of Assumption College. “In this building, we will form future health care practitioners to treat the human person and to do so with compassion and not simply to treat an illness. Empathy will become synonymous with Assumption nursing and physician assistant graduates, and those who graduate from our health sciences program as well. Individuals who respect the dignity of the person and the needs of the family who are also enduring the challenges of illness.”

Echoing the sentiments of President Cesareo, Caitlin Stover, Ph.D., RN, dean of the School of Nursing, shared that Assumption’s nursing program is indeed special because of its liberal arts foundation.  “Just as I reflect on the importance of my liberal arts foundation, I embrace the liberal arts and science education for these students,” she said. “The research states that employers want to hire the nurse with a liberal education background because these nurses exercise appropriate clinical judgment, they understand the reasoning behind policies and standards, and they accept responsibility for continued development of self and the discipline of nursing. These [future] nurses will emerge as leaders within a healthcare team to address issues that are important to the profession of nursing, these [future] nurses question dominant assumptions, and these nurses solve complex problems encountered by individuals, families and populations.” 

Sarah Masciarelli ’23, is excited to be part of the inaugural class of nursing students.  “I chose Assumption’s nursing program because I liked Dean Stover and her ideas for the program,” she shared. “I always knew that I wanted to be a nurse and I loved the environment at Assumption…I know that I will receive individualized help.”

Students aren’t the only ones looking forward to using the new building. Michael Whitehead, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA, dean of the School of Health Professions and founding director of the physician assistant program, shared that he and the program’s faculty take weekly trips to the building site to monitor its progress. “In a little over a year from now, we will welcome a cohort of learners to this building,” he said.  “We have 28 months to help them grow into highly competent and compassionate advanced practice clinicians who hold the dignity of human life in their minds and hearts while providing comfort and serving those who are suffering.”  

“Health care professionals trained at Assumption will be unlike health care professionals trained anywhere else—not necessarily because of the remedies they will administer but because of the people they have become,” said Greg Weiner, Ph.D., provost and academic vice president of Assumption.

In May, members of the College community gathered to break ground on the new building and hundreds of students, faculty, and staff gathered once again for the opportunity to celebrate a construction milestone and the opportunity to sign their names on the beam, which will be placed on the building in early October. 

“I look forward to celebrating with you another milestone in this ambitious project – the ribbon cutting next September,” said President Cesareo.