Cari Gavin, Fuld Fellow (ABS Program)

portrait of Cari Gavin.

About Cari

  • Program: ABS Nursing
  • Hometown: Buffalo, NY
  • Favorite Self-Care Activity: Swimming
  • Previous Education: Bachelor of Science, Comprehensive Science, Roberts Wesleyan College (Biology minor)

Why nursing?

I planned originally to be an electrical engineer who designed artificial appendages, but someone convinced me that I would not get to interact with the patients, so I decided to become a nurse. My aunt, a nurse at ECMC, convinced me to go for physician assistant. I was on track with that – applications, 2000 hours of patient care experience and even was going for my interviews. Instead, I got married, had four children and became a homeschooling stay-at-home mom. Now that my children are grown, I am going back to do what I started out to do and couldn’t be more excited.

Why UB?

I came back to Buffalo after being away for 20 years. I started going to the area schools to research the programs. The University of Buffalo program was well respected and many of my previous credits would transfer.

Areas of Interest

I am really hoping to get a well rounded education with many experiences in all the areas of nursing. I eventually want to be a travel nurse that will go to the most needed areas, whether it be inner city, rural underserved communities, military zones, disaster areas or in the mountains. I believe I will need to be well rounded for this task so I can tackle all kinds of situations.

As I child I was convinved that a nuclear houlcaust would be happening, understandably so, since this was the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. I wanted to learn how to help people medically since I knew that was the one thing that people would really need in a situation like that. Now as a grown-up in a very different world, medical needs are still essential. My son is serving in the Marines and I think about all the situations he will face and how I would like to have the knowledge and skills to help in any situation I might face.  

Activities and Accolades

In college I was very involved -- student government, youth ministry team, cross country team, swimming teacher, mentorship programs. Then I was a doula, WIC peer counselor, church musical director, home school coop teacher, piano and voice teacher, Elk Club Lady, Kiwanis Club member and Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors member.

What's Next

I plan to join a traveling nurse organization where I can be utililized in an underserved or needy area, maybe disaster relief or military hospital. 


I am already midlife and will not have as many years to pay back all the loans that I am having to take out. I hope to help my children through college also. Receiving this scholarship will make helping the children with college more of a possibility sooner.