Working Dietetic Technician Earns Healthcare Admin Degree During Pandemic

Bobbi McVay is the dietary director in a long-term care facility. She is also a student in Seton Hill's Healthcare Administration Program, a wife, and a mother to three (one of whom also attends Seton Hill). And she’s juggling all of these roles during a global pandemic.

“On one side I’m bursting with pride that I can help people during this crisis,” she says, “but on the other hand you worry constantly that you may be exposing the people you provide care for, or your family, to this virus.”

Going Back to School

Bobbi holds an associate's degree in applied science in dietetics, and is a registered dietetic technician.

“While I enjoy working in the dietetics field,” she says, “I feel my strength in management is the direction I wanted to take in the healthcare setting.”

 She had started to toy with the idea of earning a bachelor’s degree a few years ago. 

 “Seton Hill has been on my radar for a long time,” she says. “I decided to finally take the leap the fall of 2019 after my daughter had enrolled there. The flexibility of the Adult Degree Program gave me the final nudge to take this step. I have heard wonderful stories from friends and family members that have completed degrees programs through Seton Hill. I had visited the campus a handful of times and felt it had so much charm and character. The class sizes were perfect for someone reentering the college experience.”

"I recommend Seton Hill to others when they are looking to further their careers."

Even with the extra challenges of working and living with COVID-19 restrictions, Bobbi has not regretted her decision to further her education.

 “I have been honored to become a Setonian,” Bobbi says. “From day one when I met with [Adult Degree Program Advisor] Deb Fredo, I had the best impression of the school. The faculty has been professional and knowledgeable. I recommend Seton Hill to others when they are looking to further their careers. One thing that really sticks out as a student of Seton Hill is the University’s commitment to making a difference in people’s lives.”

When One of Your College Friends is Your Daughter

Alison McVay, Bobbi’s daughter, is a junior art education major at Seton Hill. 

 “I think after I witnessed my daughter's experience with Seton Hill, I was very eager to follow in her footsteps,” Bobbi says. “The roles are a bit reversed for us here because I have become the one that has needed her to guide me along the way. She has been so helpful from assisting me with finding the registration portal on Griffin Gate to reminding me of important deadlines.”

Bobbi and Alison are both studying at home now, as Seton Hill’s campus is closed due to the coronavirus outbreak in Westmoreland County. 

“She enjoys the fact that she has someone at home to share her experience,” Bobbi says. “I think it has been a beneficial experience for the both of us. In fact, I have had the pleasure of attending some courses with a few of her friends. They are a wonderful group of young adults and I appreciate the intergenerational class mix.” 

A Future in Healthcare

Bobbi hasn’t stopped worrying about the personal risks of being on the frontlines of care during a global health crisis. But she isn’t ready to stop moving forward on the path she’s chosen.

"I have witnessed humanity at its best."

“Every day seems to present a new challenge,” Bobbi says. “However, I have witnessed humanity at its best during this time. My heart explodes with the love I have seen from the community, the response to our staff alone has been enormous. I just pray these acts of kindness continue after the virus is gone. I’ve seen the poor, sick, and weak take the front stage and receive the much-needed attention they had once lacked. I think it has made me more passionate about obtaining a degree in healthcare because I’m proud of the professionals working hard to help save the lives of others.”