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Outstate students serve ‘second home’ at clinic

COVID-Clinic studentsThe COVID-19 community vaccine clinic at Creighton University’s Rasmussen Center will be closed this Saturday, April 3, for Easter weekend. Hundreds of Creighton students, faculty, staff and alumni have volunteered at the clinic, preparing and administering the vaccine and assisting guests through the process. Meet four undergraduate students from outside Nebraska who are grateful for the opportunity to give back to their “second home.”

(Pictured, clockwise from left, Creighton students Alaina Beaver, Jessica Jagelski, Kolby Au and Kahiau Cockett-Nagamine open packages of syringes at the COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Creighton on Saturday, March 27.)

Alaina Beaver
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Alaina Beaver, a sophomore from Grand Rapids, Michigan, studying biology and medical anthropology, has volunteered at two clinics at Creighton thus far, and is looking forward to doing more. This particular Saturday, she is joining a small group of other undergraduate students opening packages of syringes for the vaccine preparers.

“I’m just really excited to give back to the community that’s become one of my homes,” Beaver said.

For Beaver, like many students, volunteering is part of her Creighton experience. During the fall semester, she volunteered regularly at the Siena Francis House homeless shelter, providing meals to guests.

“I’m grateful for everything that I have, and if my time is something that I can give, then I want to be able to do that,” she said.

Jessica Jagelski
Ontario, Oregon

For Jessica Jagelski, a junior from Ontario, Oregon, who is studying biology and applied ethics on the pre-med track, Creighton’s Jesuit, Catholic mission of serving others, especially those on the margins of society, is one of the reasons she chose to come to the University.

“I love how service-oriented Creighton is,” she said. “I really like that aspect of it. It’s opened my eyes to a lot of things.”

Jagelski has participated in Creighton’s popular Service and Justice Trip program, traveling to New Orleans to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. She’s also volunteered at CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center – Bergan Mercy, the Siena Francis House and Completely Kids, which works with children and families to break the cycle of poverty. She also serves as a catechist, teaching religious education to first-graders.

So where does she find the time to study?

“Believe it or not, I find the time,” she said with a laugh. “I enjoy being involved, and it means a lot to me to be able to help the community. I believe in strength in numbers, and everyone can do their part. That’s why I like doing it, because I want the community to be at its best.”

After graduation, Jagelski looks to go on to medical school and become a surgeon. Her goal is to eventually work in a rural area, so she can give back to a community like her small hometown in Oregon. She is glad Creighton is hosting the COVID-19 vaccine clinic.

“COVID has had a drastic impact on all of our lives, and I want to kind of help us get back on our feet as a community,” she said. “Creighton and Omaha have become a second home to me, and I would like to see us getting back to normal.”

Kolby Au
Honolulu, Hawaii

Kolby Au, a junior exercise science major from Honolulu, Hawaii, has volunteered at all eight Creighton clinics in February and March.

“I’ve been all over – registration, navigator, traffic direction, recovery,” Au said. “I like being able to talk to people. They are so happy to get their vaccine.”

Au has volunteered with Project Homeless Connect Omaha, has been active in weekly service efforts through Creighton’s Schlegel Center for Service and Justice (SCSJ), and is a member of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity. He also has participated in a local service immersion through Creighton’s Service and Justice Trip program – staying at the Siena Francis House over spring break to assist with its Miracles Addiction Treatment and Recovery Program.

After graduation, Au plans to follow in his mother’s footsteps and attend dental school. His mother, Ann Hashitate-Au, BS’88, DDS’92, is a Creighton alumna and a dentist in Honolulu.

Kahiau Cockett-Nagamine
Pearl City, Hawaii

Kahiau Cockett-Nagamine, a junior from Pearl City, Hawaii, who is majoring in biology with a minor in sociology, has volunteered at every clinic except for one.

“I think the most important aspect of having vaccine clinics is being able to motivate the community to return to a sense of normalcy,” said Cockett-Nagamine, who plans to attend medical school after graduation. “And try to regain confidence in that we’re heading in the right direction in trying to get over this pandemic, and to trust the science.”

Cockett-Nagamine, like Au, is a member of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity at Creighton. He also has volunteered as a patient ambassador at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and looks to continue his service at Creighton’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic.

“I’ve loved it here, not only meeting the people who are receiving the vaccine, but also our peers and co-workers who are working alongside us,” he said. “It’s not just your classmates. It’s faculty and staff, and different departments. It’s really cool. It’s been a great experience.”

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