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Meisha Bray: Class of 2010 Valedictorian
From the spring 2010 issue of the Bridge
Finlandia University Class of 2010 valedictorian Meisha Bray knew nursing was the right career choice following her first clinical experience in a hospital emergency room. "It was exciting and always changing. I didn't want to leave after my clinical day was done," she explains.
She is also following a family tradition. Meisha was encouraged by her grandmother, mother, two maternal aunts, and a sister, all of them nurses.
Meisha graduates this spring with a perfect 4.0 GPA and a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). She also has a B.A. in history from University of Tampa, Florida, and a B.S. in anthropology from Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Mich.
"Finlandia's small school feeling makes you feel like your professors and other faculty members know you,"Meisha notes. "What I liked best here was that my professors wanted to see me succeed, and that the support was there to help me succeed." Meisha identifies the biggest strength of Finlandia's Nursing program as the three years of clinical experiences that BSN students complete.
"Clinical experiences helped prepare me the most for the work I will do," she says. "Classes teach, but the hands-on approach that clinicals provide reinforces that and makes you think about the situation as a whole."
Meisha's career plans include working in an ER and travel nursing.Within the next five years, she plans to attend graduate school to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) or complete a master's degree in Forensic Nursing.
Meisha has been active in Finlandia's Student Nurses' Organization. She also tutors high school students in math and science for Finlandia's Upward Bound program, and for two years she has worked part-time at the Omega House hospice in Houghton.
Originally from Haslett, Mich., Meisha now lives in Hancock. She is the daughter of Meta and Michael Bray. Her mother, Meta, is an assistant professor of nursing at Finlandia. Meisha has two sisters, Mara and Micah. Mara received a BSN from Finlandia in 2008.