Six Shepherd University nursing students recently spent an evening with two professional nurses from the community during a Dinner with Strangers hosted at Graycliff, the Jefferson County home of Len and Julia Frenkil.
“Julia and I are enthusiastic cheerleaders for the growth President [Mary J.C.] Hendrix has brought to Shepherd University, and we are committed to her work and the success of the university and its students,” Len Frenkil said. “Our student guests were all interesting and wonderful. They were bright-eyed, committed to their work at Shepherd, and excited about what they are accomplishing there. The students were such a breath of fresh air; so full of intensity and energy. Their strong commitment to the future and the skills and knowledge they are gaining at Shepherd will make our world a better place.”
Nursing majors Bailey Dillow, Shenandoah Junction; Katherine Koller, Charles Town; Samuel Shifflet, Bunker Hill; Donovan Mills, Clear Spring, Maryland; Jillian Kosenski, Frederick, Maryland; and Peyton Lindblad, Fredericksburg, Virginia, were joined at the dinner by Lisa Bivens, a registered nurse and executive director of Panhandle Home Health, Inc., and Lora Crowell, nursing service coordinator for Berkeley County Schools.
“What a delightful evening with an outstanding group of Shepherd nursing students,” Crowell said. “They were amazing, poised, and professional. They represented themselves and their program well. Of course, the home and hosts were amazing, but the best part of my evening was meeting the students.”
“It was fascinating to me that these people who are incredible and have such amazing stories opened their home and hearts to us,” Kosenski said. “We entered their home as strangers, but I honestly feel that we left as friends.”
Kosenski, who is president of Shepherd University Student Nurse Association, said she also enjoyed spending time with other nursing students who she hadn’t previously gotten to know.
“I truly think experiences like this should be valued,” she said. “I am honored to have been selected for the opportunity.”
Shifflett described the evening as fantastic.
“The Frenkils are extraordinary people,” he said. “The dinner was wonderful and the conversations were stimulating. The Frenkils are very gracious people to invite us into their lovely home.”
“They were so kind to host us and tell us about their lives,” Lindblad said. “They loved to listen to stories about our lives and seemed impressed with all our accomplishments. It was refreshing to feel like we’re doing the right thing and heading in the right direction.”