Impact: How Your Gift Helps

Samantha Mushak '24

Samantha Mushak '24

Samantha Mushak ’24 knew from the moment she stepped foot on Marywood’s campus - this was the place for her. Mushak had similar first impressions to the generations of Marywoodians who came before her. She noticed the beautiful campus and the genuine care people showed to someone they were meeting for the first time.

As a Marywood legacy student, Marywood had been high up on Mushak’s list partly because Marywood runs in her family, but witnessing the Marywood community in action sealed the deal for her.

My father and maternal aunt encouraged me to pursue an education at Marywood as they are alumni and both praise Marywood for the time they spent here. I had my eyes set on Marywood for quite some time, but getting to know the faculty and the campus itself solidified my choice,” said Mushak.

While on campus, Mushak also noticed that the feeling shared by her father and aunt was a community-wide expression.

“The people made me feel right at home. From food service workers to orientation leaders, everyone really showed how deeply they cared for (Marywood.)”

Mushak was also impressed by Marywood’s academic prowess.

“Having been named among the Top 15 Physician Assistant Schools in Pennsylvania, meeting highly regarded professors, and seeing the outstanding passing rates in the PA program I knew I would have the best opportunity to thrive here.”

Samantha hasn’t looked back since making her decision to attend Marywood. She is already taking advantage of several opportunities on campus. You may even have seen her at an event hosted by University Advancement.

“Since attending Marywood, I am very proud to say that I have a work-study position as a Student Office Assistant in the Office of University Advancement. Working in this position, I often speak with Marywood alumni and friends who graciously donate to Marywood. I was even given the chance to meet and interact with some of the donors as a Student Ambassador at the 8th Annual Community Leadership Celebration. I also take part in the Marywood University Dance Team (and am a member of SAA.)”

These opportunities all offer valuable experiences to Mushak, but perhaps the greatest value lies in the connections she has made because of them.

“I have grown close with many of my teammates and we all enjoy each other’s company,” said Mushak.

Samantha said balancing her impressive involvement on campus with her coursework has taught her how to better manage her time and has led her to more new friends through study groups. This mindset sets her up for success in achieving her goals at Marywood.

“My goals include being accepted into the Marywood Physician Assistant Program and eventually graduating from the program to work in healthcare. It is still early in my college career but some specialties that interest me are pediatrics and cardiology. Perhaps I will have job opportunities in both!”

Ever-grateful, it isn’t lost on Mushak that several of the opportunities she has been afforded are a result of donor generosity.

“Marywood donors have given me the gift of opportunities, and I hope to do the same for others. I can learn in a comfortable environment, spend time with valuable people, and make unforgettable memories. Although I can not actually shake the hand of every single Marywood donor, I can say thank you with a smile on my face to everyone I write to, speak with, and interact with.”

The idea of giving back is one close to Mushak’s heart. No matter where her career takes her, she knows her roots will always be a big part of her life. Samantha wants future students to feel empowered just as she did, so she intends to give back in several ways.

“In the future, I hope to maintain valuable relationships with my family and my community. I am very grateful for my hometown so I would like to pay it forward including staying involved as a Marywood Alumna.”

Isn’t that what being a Pacer is all about?