Melissa Gámez ’23
“Nursing requires responsibility and compassion,” states Melissa Gámez ’23.
The eldest daughter of Salvadoran parents, Gámez has a daily schedule that would make most adults quiver. Mondays begin at 7 a.m. with a Clinical that lasts until 1 p.m., followed by a staff meeting for Hands to Help from 1-2 p.m., and then back to class from 2-4 p.m. for “Care Considerations for the Older Adult with Chronic Conditions.” Most of her days are similarly packed, just with different classes, work and activities.
What sets her apart is her conscientiousness, her ability to reach out to others – whether in English or Spanish – and her infectious warmth. These talents – along with her degree from Merrimack – will make her a much sought-after and beloved nurse to the patients she treats one day.
As Gámez puts it, “I’m challenged all the time, but I’ve been fortunate to have professors who understand me and work with me. One in particular, Dr. Janet Ierardi, reminded me during freshman year when I struggled that I had the ability to succeed. She always showed faith in me.” When Gámez thinks about fellow classmates, she says that the Merrimack nursing community is cooperative, not competitive. One student in particular, Logan Lattime ’23, has gone out of her way to help Gámez from sharing notes and tips for learning as well as including her in study group sessions.
Like many Merrimack students, Gámez lives at home and commutes. In addition to her studies, her activities with clubs like Hands to Help and The Association of Latinos Moving Ahead (A.L.M.A.), and her part-time job, Gámez helps out at home. In particular, she has been helping her younger sister and parents navigate the college search process, especially tackling all the financial aid forms. In return, her sisters let her “practice” on them as Gámez prepared for her Competency oral presentation and exam. And though she is a serious person and student, she knows how to learn and have fun.
Melissa Gámez chose Merrimack because it is beautiful and reflects the values she learned at her Catholic high school. She loves the community feeling and is proud to be a pioneer in the new nursing program. She makes the most of every day and says she will probably go into pediatrics, where she will undoubtedly change young lives.
Melissa Gámez has embraced every aspect of her Merrimack experience. The opportunities provided to her and her peers are the result of generous investments in the College by alums, parents and friends. You, too, can support remarkable student opportunities with a gift to The Merrimack Fund.
Hometown: Methuen, Mass.
High School: Pope John XXIII
Activities: A.L.M.A. & Hands to Help