Faculty Reflections

Carolyn Jarvis

May 7, 2017

Carolyn Jarvis

Professor, School of Nursing

2017 Student Senate Professor of the Year


Thank you for this wonderful honor and recognition. I love teaching you, watching you grow through college years and now being launched into life.

I am honored to represent the faculty in welcoming your loved ones.

We the faculty each have topics about which we are passionate and have been eager to share. Ask your graduate to come and meet us after the ceremonies.

To the graduates, we are so proud of you. You have persevered in pursuing your college degree. Now you can persevere in pursuing your career.  

What about that career?

One, Take the long view. Consider that you have 45 years to work in your career.

Your first job will be important and exciting but it will not be your last. You will learn from it and move on. So relax -- it will not matter if you take out a couple of years to work in the Peace Corps, teach English in another country, travel the world, or stay home with children. And your first job may not be in your career.

My career has been in nursing and I had a job lined up at Northwestern Hospital in the fall after graduation. Then a recruiter from Lake Tahoe Nevada came through my college and I signed up to learn to deal blackjack in a casino. That summer job taught me a number of valuable things.

One, that I loved nature while camping in Yosemite National Park and I loved art while sightseeing in San Francisco and exploring a completely new part of the country.

Two, I could travel alone and make new friends. Three, that the odds were with the house and as a result I have never gambled as a customer.

So, relax, Beyonce said, I'm a human being and I fall in love and sometimes I don't have control of every situation

Two. Opportunity. Your career is founded in your education here at IWU and your work experiences once you leave, but you never can control for opportunity.

I have spent my career as a nurse practitioner and nurse educator. But I also have spent most of my career writing textbooks and articles. I owe that first article to an office mate who got a phone call. I heard her say, no I don’t know anything about physical examination but I have a colleague here who does. And she handed me the phone.

And my writing career was off and running. So when opportunities come up, take the risk and grab them. You may worry you are not good enough but you are.

You are good enough.

So, enjoy the rest of your commencement. Remember you have 45 years in your career – relax and enjoy each one. Thank you.