Kent State Geauga Alum Returns Home to Serve her Community
It all comes back to community.
For Deandra Loza, MSN, RN, CMSRN, CIC, Clinical Educator at University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center in Chardon, her academic and professional careers have taken her many different places, focusing on different aspects of nursing. But one thread that pulls it all together starts with a strong sense of community at Kent State University Geauga Campus.
“One thing that drew me to Kent State Geauga was the community,” she explains. “Going to Kent State Geauga allowed me to live at home while going to college and prevented me from accruing a large amount in student loans. I was able to obtain my bachelor’s degree at a local college, which was huge for me, as well.“
After graduating in 2010 with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Kent State Geauga, she earned a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from the Chamberlain College of Nursing in 2017. Further, she has obtained two related certifications: Certified Infection Control (CIC) and Certified Medical-Surgical Nursing (CMSRN).
When asked if there was a particular professor at Kent State Geauga who inspired or challenged Loza to dig deeper and reach further in her studies, she replied, “Dr. Cole. Do I need to say more?”
“He was an amazing professor and truly pushed, encouraged and motivated his students. He inspired me to do my best and said, ‘If I am ever in the hospital, I hope you are my nurse.’ His passion for Anatomy and Physiology showed in how he taught, which made me want to work harder and truly learn it! He would always smile or smirk when he knew it clicked and his students understood it.”
Loza went on to say that the Kent State Geauga community feels like family. “Everyone on campus knows each other by their first name. I was there recently on campus and still knew people. Even seeing them out and about at the stores, we still chit-chat it up.”
Now that Loza is an educator, she traces some of her most effective teaching strategies to those she first observed as a student in her Kent State Geauga classrooms… especially engaging students with personal experience to capture their attention.
“Dr. Sergi did an amazing job with this,” Loza recalls, referring to Kent State Geauga history professor Molly M. Sergi, Ph.D. “She would bring in pictures of her travels and then connect them to her lectures. To be honest, because of her, I almost changed my major to history because she made her classes so engaging! I took her classes as extra because I enjoyed them so much!”
Loza grew up in Chardon and currently lives in Windsor. Her career started with various nursing roles at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and UH Geauga Medical Center. She then spent a couple of years working in pediatrics and home health care in Colorado. She returned to the region to work as a clinical instructor for Kent State Geauga and the Twinsburg Academic Center (TAC) before taking on her current role as clinical educator at UH Geauga Medical Center.
“My career path has taken me to see new opportunities and experiences. After being out of state, it feels great to be back and serve our local community,” Loza says.
“You never realize how great Northeast Ohio is until you leave it. We have wonderful activities to do and truly do have some of the best hospital systems and resources in the country. We are so lucky where we live!”
Wherever her medical profession takes her, Loza says it’s always about community and making a positive difference at the individual level. “The most rewarding aspect of my current career, as cliché as may sound, is being able to help others!”