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Be the Difference

College of Nursing Award Recipients

YOUNG ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR AWARD

VillanuevaDr. Christian Villanueva, Nurs ’15
Chicago

As a student, Christian fostered his passion for service and justice. Now, he channels that passion into his current nursing role and his plans for the future.

The pediatric nurse at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital enjoys working with his patients, but he also has goals to improve health care on a national scale. Using his recently earned Doctorate of Nursing Practice, he plans to address health equity through policies and evaluate systemic practices for effective and quality care delivery.

His commitment to service extends to his volunteering, much of which focuses on helping those with phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare genetic disorder. Christian’s wife has PKU, and in the summers, they both volunteer at a camp that fosters community between people with PKU and their families.

The support Christian received from College of Nursing faculty was instrumental to his undergraduate success. He’s especially grateful to Dr. Terrie Garcia for telling his family about Project BEYOND, a program that encourages students from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue a nursing career. She also took the time to meet with Christian’s parents when they visited campus and assured them their son would have personal and academic support. Christian says that interaction was vital in his decision to attend Marquette.

The first in his family to earn a degree from a four-year university, Christian considers his Marquette graduation one of the proudest moments of his life: “To have my parents there and see their reactions made all the struggles I faced as a student worth it,” he says.

Fun Fact:

While at Marquette, Christian helped initiate immigration awareness week on campus. He also spearheaded an annual Spanish Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. “I wanted to share a part of my Mexican culture with others on campus and foster unity and inclusivity through faith,” he says.