Angela Mumford – Portland State University
Angela is from Salem, OR and is a Health Sciences major on the Pre-Nursing track at PSU. She enjoys helping others and making connections with her patients.
Portland State University, Class of 2021
Degree: Health Sciences, Pre-Nursing
Why did you pick your area of study?
I am a Health Science major on the Pre-Nursing track. I picked this major because from a young age I’ve always wanted to help people. After working many summers in the Emergency Department and interacting with the nurses, I knew that nursing is what I wanted to do in my future. I love the satisfaction of helping people to get better or to stay comfortable, as well as the personable connections that I will get to make with patients and their families.
What did you think about college before you attended?
I was excited and nervous all at the same time. Being that I am a first-generation student, I had no idea what to expect but I knew that it would be beneficial to my future. Having a degree in the 21st century is crucial. Knowing that I would be the first one in my immediate family to go to college was easy motivation; I wanted to make my parents proud.
How do you think being a first-generation student has affected your college experience?
I knew that my journey may have more obstacles than those students who weren’t first generation. A positive of being a first-generation student is how many connections I am able to make. From simply asking questions, I was able to make genuine connections with people that will help me in my future college studies and in my career as well. Being first generation means that I have to step out of my comfort zone to be informed of all of the resources and access to aid that are able to help me in my future that others may already know about. The road has been bumpy and full of obstacles, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. It has shaped me into the individual I am today.
What do you love about Portland State University?
I love the diversity amongst students, educators, and staff. Everyone seems to beat to their own drum on campus, and it’s so pleasing to see how differences can also bring people together in other ways. I also enjoy how readily available resources for me are on campus. Portland is a great place to build connections and gain experience; there is something for everyone in this area.
How was the experience of starting somewhere new?
It was such an easy transition! Everyone was so welcoming and willing to take me under their wing and show me the ropes. Going to a college that was in the middle of downtown was definitely different than the university I was at previously. Being a transfer student, it can be challenging to find friends. However, at Portland State, I was able to easily find friends within and outside of my major that had similar interests. Downtown Portland also gives me the opportunity to go out and explore when I’m not busy with my studies.
What is your favorite subject or class you’ve taken?
My favorite class that I’ve taken thus far has been Race, Class, and Gender in the US. I enjoyed being able to have open discussions with my peers about how our intersections shape our daily interactions and experiences. It really opened my eyes to realize what others are going through that may not be visible at first glance. It also made me conscious of how I go about my life and what I can do to make our society a better place. I’ve always said that silence supports the oppressor, so with me making small changes with my actions, it helps those around me who may not have a voice in our society.
What has been the most impactful experience during your time in college?
After transferring, I finally felt like I was at an institution that had my back and had my best interest at heart. That’s impactful to me because I feel comfortable voicing my concerns and people taking the correct steps to fix the issue. I’ve never felt more comfortable asking for help when I need it, I cannot imagine how different my college experience would be if I didn’t feel like the university was not on my side.
If you have ever attended our scholarship brunches, how did those go for you?
I attended my first scholarship brunch this fall, and I absolutely loved it. I enjoyed sitting with other scholars and hearing their stories and what they wanted to do with their future. Being able to meet with the majority of the staff and volunteers was an amazing experience. They all were incredibly nice and were thoroughly interested in what every single one of the scholars had to say.
What does it mean to you to have been chosen as a Renaissance Scholar?
I am so honored to be a Renaissance Scholar. When I got the call that I was receiving a scholarship, I was elated. It was a tremendous weight lifted off of my shoulders. Just that morning, I was talking to my parents about where all of next year’s tuition was going to come from. Knowing that I was hand-picked and that my application was read word for word was heartwarming. I was no longer seen as just a student ID number, people knew my name, knew my story.
Any advice for students applying for the Renaissance Scholars program?
Don’t be afraid to share your story and be personable! Work hard and stay motivated. Anything is possible as long as your mind and heart are in the right spot.