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my pace

Rajan

Career Preparation

Getting Ahead

Amy Rajan '09
Nursing
College of Health Professions
Westchester Campus

“Pace University has given me a solid nursing foundation and a diverse range of invaluable experiences, from ICU preceptorships to working at the Henry Street Settlement. These experiences have given me the ability to think with vision and to think outside the box. I am truly grateful and proud to be an alumna of the Lienhard School of Nursing,” says alumna Amy Rajan ’09, who recently came back to Lienhard to address current students. 

While working on Long Island not long after graduating, Rajan observed high incidences of preventable chronic illnesses, especially in underserved communities. She saw teenagers with Type 2 Diabetes, an illness that used to be nonexistent in young people. When a 25-year-old patient tragically died of diabetes complications, she and her colleague Anuli Erike teamed up to do something.

They started a health initiative called Get Ahead (Active Healthy Education Awareness Disease Prevention). Their mission is to prevent and decrease the incidence of Type 2 Diabetes. Through innovative and effective nutrition and lifestyle education, they seek to empower youth and provide them with the tools they need to fight this silent epidemic.

Rajan and Erike started Get Ahead to encourage young people to make healthy decisions, and they’ve taken this message to high schools and church youth groups. They’ve worked with a local mayor who provided support for a talk show segment and PSAs about moderation. 

They’ve expanded their work internationally, taking their passion for preventing illnesses like diabetes to Nigeria, a country where health concerns focus more on TB, malaria, and AIDS. According to Rajan, as Nigeria becomes increasingly urbanized, there are more chronic diseases like diabetes. Patients are not diagnosed and treated early on in the course of the disease, leading to more complications. In June 2012, Rajan presented her ideas on reforming health systems in Nigeria at the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) First Ladies Summit. Rajan began interning with the UNESCO Center for Peace as an MDG (Millennium Development Goals) and Global Health Coordinator. She took a lead role as the World Health Organization Committee Chair facilitating the global health aspect for the UNESCO Center for Peace International Model United Nation's conference for youth last summer in Washington, D.C. Rajan lives now in Washington, D.C., where she is working at George Washington University Hospital and on the Get Ahead initiative that involves Dr. Patience Goodluck Jonathon, the First Lady of Nigeria.

When asked which professors inspired her, Rajan talks about taking pathophysiology with Professor Elizabeth Berro and how the class applied directly to the patients she has seen. She talks about how Professor Berro’s energy and enthusiasm made the class fun. Rajan also says she looked to Professor Karen “Toby” Haghenbeck for inspiration. She also enjoyed the nursing leadership class she took, saying that course inspired her, especially while she was dealing with personal challenges in her life.

When asked what advice she has for current students, she says they should follow their passion and not be afraid to take risks. She also advises students and recent graduates not to feel intimidated by others in the field who have more years of experience. According to Rajan, youth can be an asset because young people have time, energy, and enthusiasm to work towards their goals; young people should not wait for others to lead if they feel passionate about an issue.

Alumni Profile

Amy
Rajan

"Pace University has given me a solid nursing foundation and a diverse range of invaluable experiences, from ICU preceptorships to working at the Henry Street Settlement…. I am truly grateful and proud to be an alumna of the Lienhard School of Nursing."