In Human Service

Megan Ober

Megan Ober (HDFS ’99), now a working nurse in California, is shown here in front of the Tower Bridge in Old Sacramento. Photography by Katherine and Nikki Prudhomme-Judge of Essence Photography.

Megan Ober (HDFS ’99) is a self-proclaimed poster child for Purdue’s College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS). Not only was she a part of the alumni board for the former College of Consumer and Family Sciences, but she was also an active participant in the transition team with the HHS alumni board. And in a professional career spanning only 12 years, she has transitioned from work in developmental and family studies (her chosen major) to the business world to what now seems like her true calling in nursing.

After stints at the Pleasant Run Children’s Home in Indianapolis (a residential treatment facility for neglected and abused children) and the state office of College Mentors for Kids, Ober gravitated to the work of employee benefits with a third-party administrator and two different brokerage firms. The common denominator between the varied fields seems to be the strong interpersonal connections she developed at Purdue. But even though she says she loved her employer, Ober felt a void in her professional life.

“I decided I was missing the service aspect I went to school for,” she says. “I always valued my education at Purdue, even in the business world. But I didn’t have the same connection — that sense of serving others beyond helping someone solve a claims issue.”

Her solution? A return to school — this time at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. There she entered a second-degree program, earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2008.

Upon graduation, Ober took a position on the hematology and oncology floor of Riley Hospital for Children. As her new career began, she felt more prepared than her fellow nurses because of a Purdue program that promoted active listening and familial relationship building.

“I like being able to create that therapeutic relationship with patients and families and trying to make things a little better, for even a few minutes, in one of the most difficult times in their lives,” Ober says.

As her own life evolves, Ober is looking to transition from pediatric to adult oncology nursing. Last summer she landed a job in Sacramento, Calif., delivering chemotherapy infusion to adults in an outpatient clinic.

A Middlebury, Ind., native, Ober knows the California move will make her a well-rounded nurse, and she’s become a spokesperson for cross- disciplinary education, as well as a fiercely loyal Boilermaker.

“I love the education I received from Purdue,” Ober says. “It has helped me more than anything else in being as successful as I have been.”

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