Roy Phipps, Fuld Fellow (ABS Program)

portrait of Roy Phipps.

About Roy

  • Program: ABS Nursing
  • Hometown: Lockport, NY
  • Favorite Self-Care Activity: Being active outdoors
  • Previous Education: Bachelor of Science, Biology, SUNY Geneseo

Why nursing?

My experience as a patient has solidified my decision to pursue a career as a nurse. I had torn my ACL and was being prepared to undergo reconstructive surgery. After two failed IV attempts I was mentally preparing for the third try and was feeling extremely tense. Right before the third attempt the nurse anesthetist, who had just entered into my pre-op room, sensed my anxiety and simply held my hand, not even having the time to introduce herself. I was stunned that such a simple act of compassion, made me feel at ease. In that moment, I knew I wanted to be a nurse and do the same for others.

Through my shadowing experiences I am aware that this profession can at times be unpleasant, thankless, stressful and even heartbreaking. However, I truly want to serve patients and their families when they are vulnerable and helpless in order to make a meaningful impact. I want to contribute to the maintenance of their dignity and well-being by focusing on the whole person, mind, body, heart and spirit.

Why UB?

I chose UB’s nursing program because of its great reputation, especially with local hospitals. The state school cost was also enticing, and the location is great as I will be commuting from Lockport. Additionally, the counselors at the School of Nursing were very helpful and kind, making my decision to attend UB even easier.

Areas of Interest

The nursing field that I am interested in is mental health. I understand that this is a challenging profession, but I feel it can also be highly rewarding. I am intrigued by the human mind and surprised by the limited public knowledge on the subject. I know mental health can be a private and sensitive topic but when holistic care is considered the mind is often stated first in the motto of mind, body, and spirit. Mental health nurses work closely with physicians, utilizing a combination of pharmacological and traditional therapy to help patients be productive members in society and live the most fulfilling life as possible. The joy I receive when I am conversing with patients is what sparked my interest in this nursing field.

Activities and Accolades

This past May I graduated from SUNY Geneseo Magna Cum Laude with a Biology degree. I was on the Dean’s list seven out of the eight semesters. I was also a Beta Beta Beta Biological National Honor Society member and a Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society Member. In my last semester I volunteered at a respite center for local senior citizens who were suffering from mental impairments. The last three summers I was a New York State lifeguard and was promoted to assistant chief. I was also collegiate swimmer – so much of my high school and college years were spent swimming. Now that I have graduated I have realized I need to find a new hobby. I do know that I enjoy being outdoors and doing anything that makes me move.

What's Next

My future plan at this moment is to become a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner. I have the desire to attend UB’s mental health program and to stay in Western New York. I am from a rural area and would like to one day serve communities that are like my own by providing this type of health care to areas in need. I would love to incorporate the skills I have learned such as large-scale gardening, athletics, and knowledge of the outdoors to my therapeutic treatment plan. I do not know if this idea is feasible in today’s healthcare world and economy. That is why one of my major objectives while in nursing school is to gather more information and develop the proper connections to make an educated decision regarding my future goals.


From a financial standpoint, this scholarship will have a significant impact on my education. Mainly this impact is allowing me to truly focus on my pursuit of becoming the best nurse I can be. This means having the necessary time I need to study and focus on developing the skills required to become a nurse because the need for full time employment is diminished. The Helene Fuld Health Trust scholarship is giving me the opportunity to maintain a reasonable workload while also pursuing my degree. This scholarship also allows me to keep my school loans to a minimum, easing my transition to my professional goals.