Wendy Vargo Named to Class of 2019 by Women’s Center


Wendy Vargo, a nursing major at Kent State Salem, was selected to the Kent State University’s Women’s Center SAGE Project, class of 2018.

The Sage Project recognizes female-identifying students from across the Kent State system who overcame adversity to shape their lives and their college experience. This initiative spotlights students with diverse experiences and backgrounds and who demonstrate innovation, creativity, risk-taking and leadership skills in their academic and personal lives. 

Vargo is seeking a bachelor’s degree in nursing and is scheduled to graduate in 2020. A 2003 graduate of Jefferson Area Local High School, Vargo grew up in Ashtabula and now lives near Steubenville.

Active in the Student Professional Nursing club at Kent State Salem, Vargo was among a group of nursing students that traveled to Greece and Ghana earlier this year to study cultural humility and experience health care situations from other parts of the world. Highlights of the trip included a meeting with the International Organization for Migration in Athens to learn more about the Syrian refugee crisis; spending time in an intensive care unit at a military hospital in Ghana; and promoting women’s health care in Accra, Ghana, with members of Willow International. 

Off campus, Vargo volunteers as a mentor for elementary students who are bullied, and is an active booster for the Indian Creek High School football team, for which her teenage son plays. 

Despite an early childhood filled with abuse and neglect, Vargo eventually found support from her extended family and is now fulfilling a dream of a career that allows her to help others. Aside from becoming a nurse, she hopes to one day open a hospice center for children with cancer, as well as create an organization to help victims of sexual abuse and violence. 

Vargo said she does not allow her story to define her, but, rather, uses it as motivation to succeed.

“Our eyes are in the front of our head for a reason,” she said. “Just like a windshield, the rearview mirror should only be used to see what is passed.”

Vargo’s story is posted outside of the Academic Learning Commons area, near the student lounge on the Salem Campus.

The SAGE Project gets its name from the significance of sage, used in the Native American culture for healing: bringing one’s life into balance; and cleansing the body and mind of negativity.

Cutline:  Wendy Vargo

POSTED: Wednesday, May 8, 2019 03:21 PM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 07:31 AM