As I look at where I am today, I realize that Gannon has played a major role in defining where I ended up – not just career wise, but also personally. Today my days are filled wearing a variety of hats: mommy, wife, occupational therapist (OT) and friend. And I know that I would not be able to juggle all of these if it was not for my time at Gannon. Gannon helped me find out who I was and what I wanted out of life.

While on campus, I spent my time as an occupational therapy student busy with classes such as human anatomy and neuroscience. I also learned to be a critical thinker and problem solver, and to be opened minded to ideas and people within the liberal studies curriculum that Gannon offered. I would have never believed how much those classes would impact my life in the way that they have and how it is this knowledge base that I use on a daily basis.

In addition, I took advantage of Gannon’s smaller size, participating in many of the organizations on campus such as Phi Eta Sigma, Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) and the university ambassador program. I also held the role as student government president. Being a heavily involved student, I had to master the skills of time management, organization, communication and working with people of different backgrounds.

I made Gannon my home for five years and became part of the “family.” Because of its strong Catholic tradition, I was able to reconnect with my Catholic upbringing, learning the values of acceptance, community and understanding.  Gannon was “the right place” for me – a slogan from my time there! – and I continue to stay connected as a National Alumni Board regional coordinator for the Cleveland area.

Today, although I spend only a small fraction of my time working as an OT, which Gannon trained me to be, I know I am who I am because of Gannon. I am the mother of three beautiful children who keep me busy. I am always seeking knowledge to help teach them and answer the many questions of their inquiring minds. I am proud to spend my days nourishing them with what is important in life: God, family and being a well-rounded individual, finding fun in the journey of life. And I thank Gannon for instilling this in me.

Deanna (Leskovec) Macioce graduated from Gannon in 2000  with a degree in occupational therapy.

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