Family and friends of Theresa Catherine DiResta '76, gathered via Zoom on October 13 - ‘Terry’s’ birthday - to celebrate a life well lived and congratulate the first recipient of the Theresa C. DiResta '76 Scholarship in Nursing, Arielle Halevi ‘21; a student in Wagner’s second bachelor’s degree in Nursing program. The presentation was also attended by President Joel W. Martin and Patricia Tooker, Dean, Evelyn L. Spiro School of Nursing.
Terry enjoyed an exciting life after she completed her nursing degree at Wagner in 1976. She worked in critical care units in the New York area and was then commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. In her twenty years with the Air Force, she traveled the world and advanced to the rank of Lt. Colonel. During her career with the Air Force she took on diverse titles such as staff nurse, nurse manager, nurse recruiter, nurse instructor, as well as assignments involving flight nursing. After Terry retired from the Air Force, she obtained a masters degree in Education and continued to mentor young nurses. Even after her retirement she continued to work; first as a school nurse in England and finally as a civilian nurse for the Department of the Army in Italy. Terry eventually settled in California, but unfortunately was diagnosed with cancer shortly thereafter. True to Terry’s selfless nature, she reached out to Wagner to establish a nursing scholarship to benefit students in need of financial support. After all of those years, she never forgot the generous financial aid offered from her alma mater, which enabled her to achieve her education and the life of her dreams. Sadly, Terry passed away in 2018, but her legacy will live on in future nurses like Arielle.
After learning more about Terry, Arielle remarked that she found a lot of similarities between them, especially a desire to help those in need. Arielle, a Staten Island resident, received her bachelor's of science degree in psychology from the City College of New York in Harlem. “After graduation,” said Arielle, “I realized I wanted a career that can impact people directly and positively. I know that nursing is my calling as it embodies my passion for helping and caring for people. I also knew that I would get an excellent education at Wagner College.”
Despite the demanding workload of the nursing program, Arielle also works as an assistant in a primary care medical office. In the future Arielle hopes to become an Emergency Room nurse, and eventually get her Nurse Practitioner license. Said Arielle, “It was an honor and privilege to be on the Zoom with Terry’s family and friends. Being able to learn about Terry’s impact on the world was such a special experience and I carry it with me every day. She was a true inspiration and I will work hard to carry on her legacy.”