As the University counts down to Commencement, UConn Today is featuring some of this year’s outstanding graduating students, nominated by their academic school or college or another University program in which they participated. For additional profiles of students in the Class of 2011, click here.
Craig Folcik was a junior in high school when both his grandfather and his uncle were hospitalized. Although it was a devastating time, his family was comforted by the compassion of the nurses whose kindness toward them would not soon be forgotten.
“My family visited the hospital a lot during that time,” he says. “I was inspired by how caring and dedicated the nurses were, and decided I would follow in their footsteps.”
True to his word, Folcik applied to several nursing schools and was accepted into UConn’s School of Nursing.
During his time at UConn, Folcik, a Southington native, found ways to give back to the community. For the past three years, he has been a member of the Urban Service Track and organizer in the Christian Appalachian Project, helping rebuild and restore dilapidated housing for people living in poverty. He was recognized as an Urban Service Track Scholar for his commitment to serving underserved populations.
Folcik is also a member of the Rolling Tones, an a cappella singing group on campus, and a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the nursing honor society, and the National Student Nurses Association. Despite his heavy class schedule and extracurricular activities, he maintained a 3.6 GPA.
“I love how I can be so in depth with my major and at the same time, I can experience other things at UConn and enjoy campus life,” he says. “It’s easy to follow my passion when there are so many opportunities to do so here.”
Earlier this year, he spent a semester in the School of Nursing’s Study Abroad Program, studying medical surgical nursing and psychiatric nursing at the Caribbean Veteran’s Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Folcik is interested in both pediatrics and hospice nursing, and is not yet sure which branch of nursing he will pursue.
He hopes to one day work in the emergency department at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and also to attend graduate school. But for now, he will work at Waterbury Hospital upon graduation.
“I enjoy life when it’s really fast paced and I get to learn new things every day,” Folcik says. “I feel like I got the most out of my college experience.”