Rebecca Morgenstern

As a junior in high school, Rebecca Morgenstern first discovered the four ideals of Dominican – Study, Reflection, Community and Service – and immediately identified with them.

“I thought, `That’s me!’ If I were to create four ideals of my own, they would be Dominican’s four ideals,” Rebecca says.

Her devotion to Dominican's ideals resulted in special rewards. On May 17 at Commencement, Rebecca was named the recipient of the Veritas Cup, given to a graduating senior who has been a "friend of the class" or especially supportive of the Class of 2014. She also received the Spirit of Alumni Award.

“I then visited the campus and fell in love and knew that this is the place where I belonged. Dominican has proven this true each and every day of my four years here.”

Rebecca majored in Nursing, minored in Psychology and Leadership Studies and -- inspired by Lianni Castro, Dominican’s campus minister -- immersed herself in everything Dominican. Rebecca joined Campus Ministry and the liturgical choir. She attended a leadership institute in Philadelphia, a Dominican preaching in action conference in Chicago, took part in a cultural immersion trip to El Salvador and participated in alternative spring break service trips to Tijuana, Mexico and for Habitat for Humanity in Yakima, Wash.

In addition, Rebecca became a Resident Advisor on campus, was a founding member of the Siena Leadership Team at Dominican, involved herself in fund-raising events such as the American Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life” and completed her senior nursing preceptorship in the Intensive Care Unit at Kaiser in Santa Rosa.

“My preceptorship helped me to become a confident, independent soon-to-be nurse,” Rebecca says. “My preceptor, Vincent Umscheid, was an incredible example of everything nursing stands for and I hope to follow in his footsteps as a nurse leader and mentor. In addition, my time in the ICU further inspired me to seek out nursing opportunities that focus on health promotion and disease prevention.”

On June 16, Rebecca passed her NCLEX-RN exam and on August 18 she is moving to New York City to do a year’s service with Dominican Volunteers USA as a Registered Nurse. She then plans to return to California to find a public health or community health nursing position that will allow her to continue to focus on health promotion, disease prevention, social justice, and human rights. Eventually, she would like to go to graduate school to study either public health or nursing education.

“I have had many incredible experiences that have helped shape me into the leader I am today,” says Rebecca, who treasures all the relationships she formed. “I never expected that to be something I gained from a college education, but I believe that it is one of the things that will be most useful in my life after Dominican. I value the fact that my involvement with Dominican will not end upon my graduation. Dominican has a very special place in my heart and I plan to be an active alumna.”