MCC grad, Hickory native earns Phil Hardin Foundation scholarship

Katilyn Mowdy

One day while shadowing a nurse anesthetist, Meridian Community College sophomore Katilyn Mowdy’s attention was drawn from the anesthetist to the nurse assisting the surgeon.

She was fascinated by the surgical procedure and how the operating room nurse made sure all of the tools were set up beforehand, then assisted the surgeon with instruments during the procedure. Just like that, she knew which area of nursing she wanted to pursue.

“As soon as I saw what she did, I knew I wanted to be a scrub nurse,” said Mowdy, who will be graduating from MCC on Monday. “I feel like working in surgery will keep me on my toes because you are seeing something new every day. You will have different patients each day, and they will have different procedures. I like the aspect of constantly doing something new.”

Mowdy, a University Transfer Program student, received her associate of arts degree during MCC’s spring virtual commencement ceremony, which was streamed live via the community college’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Mowdy watched from home, where she was able to interact with the live event.

She plans to attend the University of Southern Mississippi in the fall and pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Her goal is to work as a scrub nurse to assist in multiple surgical procedures. She hopes to earn her master’s degree in nursing.

A Hickory native, Mowdy is a 2018 graduate of Newton County High School. She was a member of the Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta, Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA)-Future Health club, the NCHS Choir and the prom committee. Mowdy is a member of Grace United Baptist Church in Decatur, where she sings in the choir. She is the daughter of Lourie and Scott Nunley of Hickory and David Mowdy of Brandon.

Participating in high school HOSA activities, especially the clinicals, is what led her into nursing.

“ I love people and I love being able to help people,” she said. “Joining the HOSA club in high school and participating in the clinicals, I guess I just started thinking about nursing as a career.”

At MCC, Mowdy was a member of the Phil Hardin Foundation Honors College at Meridian Community College and Phi Theta Kappa international academic honor society. She served as vice president of scholarship for the officer team this past year. She was a member of both the MCC Concert Choir and Dimensions show group.

“As one of Katilyn’s PTK advisors, I have seen firsthand her dedication and hard work,” said Phyllis Holladay, a math instructor at MCC and PTK advisor. “She has been an asset to our PTK officer team, and it has been a joy to get to know her better over the last two years.

“Her sweet spirit and humble personality are contagious,” Holladay added. “These are only a few of her attributes that are going to make her a wonderful, caring nurse one day. I know she is going to do great things and continue to make MCC proud.”

Mowdy is one of 41 students in this year’s spring graduating class who are being recognized as members of the Circle of Excellence. They were chosen for the honor based on their academic achievement, leadership, community service and spirit.

She is also a recipient of a Phil Hardin Foundation Scholarship, which is awarded to both a male and female University Transfer Program graduate who plans to continue their education at a four-year college.

While going to MCC, Mowdy is working part time at Olive Garden restaurant in Meridian. She is engaged to Zachary Rowzee of Hickory and is planning to get married next spring.

Mowdy said she is glad she decided to attend MCC.

“I decided to come to MCC instead of other area community colleges because I felt like it was going to provide me with more opportunities to get involved and more experiences as a college student,” she said. “I have really enjoyed my time here. It has opened a lot of doors for me that I wasn’t expecting to open.”