Nazareth College is a super cool place full of super cool people who go on to do super cool things after they graduate. This January, we’re going to feature some of our alumni talking about what they’re doing out there in the real world as well as reflecting on their time here at Naz. Our next profile features Karisa Langdon.
Minors: Gerontology, Psychology
Sports: Swimming and Diving Team
Hometown: Bergen, NY
Grad Year: 2014 (undergraduate) and 2016 (graduate)
What are you doing now?
Currently I am working at Hill Haven Nursing Home in Webster, NY through a company called PORT rehab care! I work primarily with older adults in a skilled nursing facility, treating both long term care residents and short term rehab patients. I love my job and love working with older adults. We tend to see a lot of complex cardiac, amputee, and just overall medically complex patients at my facility. I’m on the wound care team at Hill Haven as well.
In what ways did your time at Naz prepare you for your life’s work?
There are so many examples of how Nazareth prepared me but I think the biggest thing is the real world experience from the on-campus physical therapy clinics. Letting you learn in a familiar, controlled environment but giving you the opportunity to practice and develop your clinical skills in a way that brought the material you learned in class to life right in front of your eyes on a real patient was fascinating and a great way to learn. I will always be grateful for the opportunity I had at Nazareth to do clinical work throughout the semester instead of just during full time clinicals. It kept me focused and helped me apply what I was learning in the classroom right away instead of having to wait almost a year later when full time clinicals started. Outside of my clinical work, my time on both the admissions and alumni teams as both a student worker and graduate assistant were very beneficial. I met some amazing people who I still keep in contact with and learned a lot of social media, marketing, and event organizing skills that have come in handy time and time again since I have graduated.
What is your fondest memory of your time at Naz?
Some of my fondest memories of my times at Nazareth include the countless memories I made with my roommate of five years, who was also a physical therapy major – singing with the swim team at states to Timber by Pitbull, all the crazy hair-dyeing we did in the Lourdes second floor bathroom sophomore year, working Christmas breaks at admissions, planning the Easter egg hunt for alumni relations, athletic formal with the swim team…oh and I still have a drawer full of Naz t-shirts from all the work in admissions and the free t shirts from various events on campus.
How has your life changed since graduation?
My life has changed in a lot of ways since graduation; I landed my first job right out of school so less than a month after school I started working full time which was a huge adjustment. I went from school where I studied every night when I came home until the wee hours of the night to now having free time after work gets out (trust me as a physical therapy major and a swimmer it is still taking me some time to adjust to what free time really is). It is also a huge adjustment to watch your good friends move away and find new jobs in faraway places; now you don’t see each other every day and phone calls are more the norm. I bought my first vehicle – a soft top jeep wrangler – which I enjoy driving in the summer time! I also got married this fall and have both a wonderful husband and year and a half old golden retriever (I’m still getting used to writing Langdon as my last name). Oh, and the big question everyone always wants to know…YES I did pass my PT board exam in July. So to all of you reading this thinking of starting on the journey to a DPT or are on that path, yes people do pass and they live to tell the tale!!
What’s some advice you have for incoming freshman and current students about making the most of this time in their life?
College is a unique point in your life; you have the opportunity to explore new things and interests while still having less responsibilities compared to life after school. Take the time to enjoy hanging out with your friends because after college you never know where you might end up! Also, remember life is by no means textbook; don’t be afraid to ask questions. One of the biggest things I’ve learned in my new job is that questions don’t make you look stupid; they make you look inquisitive, interested, and forward thinking. You don’t learn anything unless you ask questions so don’t be afraid step outside your comfort zone and ask.