Major: Associate in Science
Marianne Duran’s role model has always been her mother, who was integral to her choice of a career.
“When my family first moved to the U.S., my mother worked the night shift at a nursing home while my father juggled three jobs in order to take care of my older sister and me,” she said. “She has exhibited leadership and immense selflessness as an experienced nurse for the past 25 years. She never grows tired of helping others, and even after all this time, the passion she has for nursing only continues to grow, especially when patients and their families thank her for the care she has provided. I knew that I wanted to follow in her footsteps and make a difference in people’s lives.”
To start her pursuit of a nursing career, Duran chose College of DuPage because of its affordability and flexibility. She also was named a Presidential Scholar, which included full tuition and enrollment in COD’s Honors program and Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. She then received the COD Foundation's Achiever Scholarship, which helped to cover textbooks and supplies.
Because of the scholarships, Duran was able to work toward saving money for her future education and truly focus on her studies.
“The courses I took at COD challenged me to really learn and understand the material rather than simply memorizing what I was taught and regurgitating it on an exam,” she said. “Taking Anatomy & Physiology and Microbiology greatly increased my passion for science and pursuing a career in health care. Even though I would stay up to study almost every night, I simply loved what I learned and was excited to come to class.”
For the Presidential Scholar award and one of her honors courses, Duran was required to complete 20 hours of volunteer service. She took this opportunity to volunteer at Loaves & Fishes, where she realized the value in helping others in the community.
“I also found out about the Endowment for Future Generations club through my psychology professor, Naheed Rouf,” she said. “The club strives to help the community, and our involvement included creating blankets for newborns, organizing packing events at Feed My Starving Children and bake sales for fundraisers, and planning forest preserve cleanups.”
Duran completed her Associate in Science degree and earned highest honors by maintaining a 4.0 GPA. She also was named one of the Outstanding Graduate finalists and received the Aurora University Transfer Scholarship.
She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at AU, where she is involved in the Student Nurses Association as the treasurer. Her goal is to return to school and earn a Master of Science in Nursing and a Doctor of Nurse Practice to become a nurse practitioner. She also wants her education to continue after finishing school.
“I don’t want to stop with nursing. I want to keep learning more,” she said. “I want to travel to Japan, for example, and explore other parts of the world. I don’t want my job to confine me to just one place.”
Duran said people should not underestimate the quality of education at COD.
“It’s easy to be swayed by others’ perceptions of attending a community college, but choosing College of DuPage as a stepping stone in my educational journey proved to be the right decision,” she said. “The school offers many courses where you can find what best fits your interest, especially if you are unsure of what career path you want to take. The quality of the education is unmatched, paired with professors and staff who truly want to guide you toward success. Take advantage of the scholarships you can receive to save money and join extracurricular activities to meet others who share similar interests as you.”
Duran sees her own success as a symbol of gratitude to her parents for their determination in securing the best future for their family and to her mother’s dedication toward health care
“Seeing her love and innate talent for nursing has inspired me to forge my own path as a nurse.”