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Graduation year: 2013 | Hometown: Memphis, Tenn. | Major: Nursing

By Kristin Stockheimer

2014_sum_alumni_profile_tiffany_pilliow_300Growing up with chaos around her, Tiffany Pilliow, witnessed at an early age, the passion and love nurses possess.

In her youth, Pilliow’s sister was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and her mom with cancer. Through both experiences, Pilliow observed the compassion of nurses and knew at a young age she wanted to become one, though she had no idea her dream could become a reality.

Pilliow grew up in the inner-city of Memphis, where she overcame substantial trials, such as homelessness, her mother’s drug addiction and being a recipient of government assistance.

“Those life events could have been excuses for me not to succeed, but I took them as things to motivate me to get to where I am today,” Pilliow said.

Pilliow has accomplished a lot. She is a first-generation college student who graduated in December 2013 as a McNair Scholar.

At the University, Pilliow was very involved in the Oshkosh Student Nurses’ Association, Campus Crusade for Christ, African American Film series and numerous other volunteer programs.

But she isn’t doing it for glory; her efforts are directed at helping others. With this humble attitude, Suzanne Marnocha believes Pilliow will become an exquisite nurse.

“Tiffany is very dedicated, focused, highly intelligent and motivated. She will be a very good nurse because her maturity level is so high,” said Marnocha, Pilliow’s McNair mentor and the College of Nursing’s Pre-Licensure Program director.

The week of graduation from UW Oshkosh, Pilliow accepted a full-time position at the VA Zablocki Hospital in Milwaukee.

“I feel like there’s nothing that can stop me from achieving my goals,” Pilliow said.