New Nursing Scholarship Honors Gwen Mathews

September 05, 2018

A new scholarship for a second year nursing student at Mendocino College has been created to honor and thank Gwen Mathews, President and CEO Adventist Health Ukiah Valley.

Dr. Scott Gherini and Holly Enzler created the $2500 scholarship in recognition of Mathews’ dedication, leadership, and high moral standards in delivering the finest medical care to our community.

The criteria for this annual scholarship for a Mendocino College Nursing Student include being a second year student with a 3.5 grade point average or above; an individual who shows great potential in the nursing field; a desire to obtain advanced education; Mendocino County resident who intends to live and work in the area; someone who demonstrates good citizenship and an individual who truly wants to make a difference in the lives of patients, families, and our community.

The Mendocino College Foundation is honored to announce that the first recipient is Monica Lopez-Rangel. Monica is currently a second year nursing program student with a 3.96 grade point average who has always known that she wanted to be in the medical field. Lopez-Rangel spent six years working as a medical assistant in a local physician’s office.

In addition to carrying a full class load at Mendocino College, Lopez-Rangel is a wife and mother to Javier age 8 and Caesar age 3. She came to the United States from Mexico at the age of 17 and has been working towards her goal of building a career in the nursing field ever since.

According to Fran Laughton, Nursing Program Director, “Monica is a no-nonsense person who has excellent clinical skills and study habits. She is driven to succeed and most importantly she possesses the traits and characteristics that we want to see in our nurses.”

Recently, Mathews and Lopez-Rangel had the opportunity to meet. They shared their experiences, and Mathews “described how her career began as a nurse and how she never intended to enter into the leadership and administrative side of the medical profession. But here I am over 40 years later.”

Lopez-Rangel shared that by starting out as a medical assistant she believes it will better prepare her for a career that is sure to have many twists and turns as Mathews so eloquently shared. “I want to understand what happens at every level of patient care so that I can become an outstanding nurse,” Monica said.

Mathews confirmed Lopez-Rangel’s belief and shared stories from her own career along with presenting her with a copy of Jendi Coursey’s book “Perseverance and Passion,” the beautiful chronology of who shaped health care in Ukiah, California.

Holly Enzler was present to meet Monica and shared that someone gave her a scholarship while attending radiology school and what a difference that scholarship made to her career and life. She and Dr. Gherini decided to provide that same opportunity and honor Mathews at the same time.

For more information about the Mendocino College Foundation or to donate towards any of their programs, call 707-467-1018.

Photo: Jerry Chaney, Mendocino College Foundation Director; Gwen Matthews, CEO and President Adventist Health Ukiah Valley; Monica Lopez-Rangle, Scholarship Recipient; Fran Laughton, Nursing Program Director

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