‘Tri-C is one of the best choices I ever made’
Lindsey Vonalt is proud to teach at the College that taught her
Lindsey Vonalt describes herself like this:
“Not to toot my own horn, but I am a good student. I like school. I’m a nerd,” she said.
Nonetheless, her nursing coursework at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) tested her.
“I had to study, and I never had to really do that before,” she said. “When I got into the nursing program, it was an eye-opener. The program is hard. It really is.”
But you get out what you put in. At 21 years old, Vonalt graduated from the program and immediately started working as a full-time nurse at Fairview Hospital. She spent the next nine years earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees before she got a job back at the place where her future began. Circling back to Tri-C, she started as a lab teacher and, since July 2022, has served as a tenure-track faculty member. Vonalt, who lives in Brook Park, still works as an RN at Fairview, too.
“I had a professor at Tri-C (assistant professor Diana Kovacic, who still teaches at the College) who really pushed me as a student, and I liked that,” Vonalt said. “She challenged me, and I love a challenge. I remember thinking, ‘Wow, I need to be you for another student.’ I remember how scared I was as a new nurse, and she made me feel comfortable.
“Being at Tri-C was my dream job. I wanted to help students. I’m here to let them know I was in their shoes. It’s scary being a new nurse. I want them to know they are not alone.”
Tri-C excels at preparing students for the transition from the classroom to the bedside. Vonalt said students who go through the Tri-C program are markedly better prepared than peers from other schools.
“That’s why I went to Tri-C. I got the best degree, and I have no student loans,” she said. “I am the type of person who doesn’t want to waste my time and my money. I’m here to get stuff done. That’s the kind of person who comes to Tri-C.”
Critical thinking, prioritizing skills and, perhaps most importantly, empathy are the qualities that make a good nurse. Vonalt brought these raw qualities to the College as a student, and its nursing program honed them for professional success.“Tri-C is one of the best choices I ever made,” she said. “I am so happy to have come full circle.”