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WKCTC Graduate Selected 2010 Coca-Cola National Finalist

Kristen Wisler, a December 2009 West Kentucky Community amp; Technical College graduate, has been selected as a 2010 Coca-Cola National Finalist. She will receive $1,000 stipend.

Kristen WislerWisler, who moved to Dublin, Ohio after graduation, hadnt wanted to fill out the paperwork when her WKCTC professor suggested she might make the national cut. An excellent student, Wisler had already been named to the 2010 All-Kentucky Community amp; Technical College System Academic Team and as a nominee for the 2010 ALL-USA Academic Team, sponsored by USA Today and Phi Theta Kappa. Her professor said her chances were good.

Still Wisler, 36, said she thought someone was pulling her leg when she got an e-mail saying she was a national finalist. I actually thought it was some sort of e-mail spam, she said laughing. It wasnt until a couple of people from the college, like Dr. (Kevin) Gericke, e-mailed to congratulate me that I realized this must be the real deal.

A talented musician, Wisler taught music lessons for five years before deciding she wanted to venture into the allied health field. Both of her parents have masters degrees, said Wisler who has three siblings.

A former paramedic, Wisler said she has always wanted to help people. Im drawn to critical care patients. I think being able to intervene, make a noticeable difference, and to help people in the most difficult points in their lives is really rewarding, she said.

Years after attending a four-year institution for a short time, Wisler was full of self-doubts about returning to college. I was really afraid of failing again. As you get older you think youve only got one chance to make it. You dont have a lot of time to waste like you did when you were younger, Wisler said. It was terrifying. But the first meeting I had with the admissions counselor and (Nursing Coordinator) Shari Gholson, I kept hearing them say, you can do this. This is doable. That along with support I received from my family gave me confidence and I knew it was doable.

Not only did she complete the two-year nursing program in December 2009, she was able to secure a job with the OhioHealth Corporations Riverside Methodist Hospital and Grant Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. Now a critical care nurse, Wisler is part of an educational program in Ohio that is providing her with further training in critical care. She plans to continue her education by seeking a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.

Im a strong Christian. My faith tells me that God puts people in your life to help you do what you need to do, Wisler said. If I had gone to a larger school, I dont think I would have been as successful because WKCTC gave me the tools as well as the personal encouragement from staff that I needed to do what I wanted to do.