Belonging to a Revolution

Nathnael “Nate” Feleke ’20, winner of the Barbara Johnson Stearns Award and Commencement Speaker Medal, recently gave the student address at the 2020 virtual Commencement ceremony. His speech, titled “Belonging to a Revolution,” touched on the trials and tribulations to the Class of 2020 has endured. He told his classmates that they should be proud of the way “they challenged their professors, represented their school with pride and turned their creative outlets into employable skills.” He commended and reminded them that they were sending 159 leaders and revolutionaries into the world.

Feleke leads by example and has all of the qualities of an outstanding leader. He has spent the last four years taking advantage of the many opportunities offered to him at Colby-Sawyer. While he was a student, he was involved in the Student Government Association, Student Nurses’ Association, Feed the Freezer, Partners for World Health, International Friendship Club, Campus Activities Board, African Student Association, Hispanic-Latino Club and Sociology Club. Feleke was also a member of the track and field and cross country teams. He also held several jobs while holding the hectic schedule of a nursing student at the college. Finally, he was also involved in many honorable societies, including the Wesson Honors Program, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Alpha Chi National College Honor Society and the Presidential Blue Key Society.

“During my four years at CSC, I tried to not limit myself to my major or stay within a comfortable bubble,” Feleke said. “I think having a healthy balance between purpose, the need to achieve something, curiosity and the motivation to learn something new, has allowed me to be successful in life so far.”

His hard work during the past four years has paid off – Feleke was offered a position immediately after graduation as a registered nurse in the cardiovascular surgical intensive care unit at The John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md.

Feleke became interested in pursuing a career in healthcare at a young age. He said choosing the path to become a nurse through the Colby-Sawyer nursing program has been life-changing.

“After receiving information about my first patient sophomore year, I was fascinated by the connections between the patient’s complications and the effects of psychosocial factors on healing,” Feleke said. “The continuous search for nuances and comprehending the vital role nurses play in providing holistic care made this multifaceted profession stimulating and rewarding.”

Feleke hopes to continue to work in healthcare and advance his career in cardiology. Eventually, he hopes to travel to underserved countries around the world to provide medical services. He also said he plans to continue to enjoy the day-to-day mysteries in life and not lose his curiosity.

“Being curious has allowed me to always explore new perspectives and build on my knowledge,” he said. “I believe learning never stops and this drives me to be the best version of myself.”