If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, University of Houston-Victoria student Joellan Mullen thinks she might have found a close second: her organizer. Between work, school and raising a family, she said organization is important to maintaining order.
“If you plan ahead, you can figure it out,” she said. “That’s something I’ve learned. I’m really big into calendars.”
The Richmond resident works full time as the nursing administration coordinator at Texas Children’s Hospital and is in her last semester of UHV’s Master of Science in Nursing program. She studies at the University of Houston System at Sugar Land, where UHV offers the nursing program, and maintains a high grade-point average.
“For my degree plan, it helps that you can divide up class time,” she said, explaining that half of her courses are in-person, while the other half are online. “It’s family and work friendly. It helps.”
Human medicine wasn’t originally in the cards for 35-year-old Mullen.
She earned her bachelor’s degree from another university and planned to become a veterinarian. After re-evaluating her goals – and determining she’d prefer working on people to four-legged friends – she moved on to another university’s nursing program and then to UHV.
“I just thought it was a better decision for me,” she said.
She admits her schedule today doesn’t allow for much down time. In addition to her other duties, Mullen also teaches courses at the hospital.
“When I have free time, I’m usually playing with my children,” she said of her sons, 8-year-old Ryan and five-year-old Jackson. “They’re really active in school, so I also try to volunteer there any time I can.”
In addition, Mullen’s time is shared with Chris, her husband of 12 years.
She advised other students trying to handle a heavy workload to take a step back and get organized. She takes her course syllabi at the beginning of the semester and lays out a plan early on.
“That way, you know what you’re up against,” she said. “It just helps.”
Although she’s adapted well to her schedule, Mullen admits she looks forward to finishing her courses and moving on. She plans to graduate in May and remain at Texas Children’s Hospital, although she would like to move up to a more formal leadership role in management.
“I’m ready,” she said with a laugh. “I’m excited. It’s time for a break.”
The UHV Outstanding Student is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact UHV Communications Manager Paula Cobler or call 361-570-4350.