Kelly Shriver – Staff Highlight

United Career Institute Mt. Braddock is excited to introduce you to our new Allied Health Programs Director, Kelly Shriver! Kelly oversees all allied health programs, including Medical Billing/Administration, Medical Assisting, and Clinical Medical Assistant (our 12-month diploma program.)

Though Kelly is new to the United Mt. Braddock family, she has been a part of the United Irwin family since its inception in 2019. We are so happy to have her as part of both teams now!

Kelly’s educational background is in healthcare. She graduated from Indiana County Technology Center with her diploma in Medical Assisting and from Robert Morris University with her Bachelors of Science in Health Services Administration.

Kelly has a plethora of experience in the healthcare industry. Before coming to United, she worked at places such as Excela Health and her alma mater. She says, “I started my career as a medical assistant working in a neurology practice at Excela Health. I moved into a family practice setting 8 months later. After working in family practice for almost 3 years, I was promoted to be a quality coordinator. I worked closely with physicians to make sure patients were receiving all their necessary health screenings. After a year in this role, I was approached to join the organizational, education, and training team, which I happily accepted.  One year into that role, I was promoted to team lead. While working full time at Excela Health, I also taught for two years at Indiana County Technology Center for their evening adult Medical Assistant program.”

Training future medical professionals is one of Kelly’s favorite parts of working at United. “I wanted to get back into being an instructor as it was something I truly enjoyed doing.  Training future medical assistants is really where I saw myself working,” she said. She also loves the familial atmosphere at United. “From the top of the ladder down, everyone truly cares about you and your wellbeing. It really is a great place to work with amazing people,” she continued.

In addition to training future medical professionals, Kelly is motivated by her daughter, Harper. She said, “My daughter Harper motivates me more than anything else. I want to show her that no matter what she wants to do in life, she can achieve it with hard work, dedication, and love. I want to be the best role model I can be for her.”

Kelly is most proud of her academic accomplishments, specifically her time at Robert Morris. “I am most proud of graduating magna cum laude from Robert Morris because I started my program while working a full-time and part-time job and finished it with a newborn baby. Achieving a high GPA was an amazing accomplishment,” she said.

Kelly has some big plans for her future, both in her education and career! “My long-term career goals would be to further my education by getting my master’s in the field of education.  Down the line, I would love to take on a more leadership-oriented role in the organization, too,” she said!

Something you may not know about Kelly is that she wanted to be a special education teacher growing up. “I wanted to be a special education teacher, specifically at the elementary level. I went to elementary school with an autistic boy, and working with him on a daily basis made me so happy. Even though I didn’t end up doing that as a profession, I am still happy where life took me.”

To learn more about United Career Institute, request information here!

Stacey Davis – Staff Highlight

“Being in control of your own motivation and happiness is a great feeling!” Those are the words of the newest team member of United Career Institute Irwin’s Campus, Stacy Davis. “I like to motivate myself, and that can be very rewarding.” Stacey’s path to joining our team may not have been a traditional one. She graduated from college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Marketing and put that education to use by moving to New York City, where she was a fashion blogger and involved with social media marketing. She recalls that move as one of her proudest moments, and says “I moved to NYC on a whim, and it was terrifying! But I’m so glad I pushed myself to do it, and it was an experience that I will never forget!”

Upon returning to the area, Stacey worked in the restaurant industry and recently managed a wedding venue as a wedding coordinator. She relates that experience to why she originally applied for Front Desk/Registrar at UCI-Irwin. “I like seeing and helping people when they are happy and pursuing their dreams. That certainly is the case as they plan for their wedding, and I believe that is the case for students beginning their path to reach their career goals.” She says she chose to work at UCI because she liked the atmosphere from the very beginning, and she made her final decision based on her favorite thing so far, the people. “Everyone has been so nice and welcoming; it’s like an extended family.” Stacey sees herself as a creature of comfort and would love to have a long career at UCI. She believes her attention to detail and organizational skills will help her tremendously in her role.

To say Stacey might be a little bit of a cat person is an understatement. Stacey and her husband once decided to foster a group of kittens for the local animal rescue shelter. “Our guest bedroom quickly turned into a kitten sanctuary until they were able to be adopted out. It was really wonderful for us, even though my cats didn’t particularly like all the extra house guests.”

So far, Stacey’s Type A personality has been a great fit for our school and our students, and she has been a quick study on the responsibilities of her position. Join me in welcoming Stacey to the United Career Institute Irwin’s family and being a super addition to our team!

Cassidy East – Student Highlight

United Career Institute is thrilled to introduce you to Cassidy East, the February Student of the Month!

Cassidy has not been a part of the United family for long, as she started classes after she graduated from high school last year. “Before attending United Career Institute, I was enrolled as a student at Mount Pleasant Jr/Sr High School. I was also enrolled in the Health Occupations program at Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center,” she said.

Cassidy chose United’s Medical Assisting program because of the flexibility it offers. Medical Assisting students only attend classes Monday through Thursday and are done by 2:30 each day. This schedule allows United students to work while in school, if they choose to do so. Cassidy said, “I chose to come to United because it seemed like the perfect fit for me as I still wanted to continue to work as I gained my education.”

Cassidy has hopes to continue her education one day, but chose to start with the Medical Assisting program because it offers a great base to build off of. “I chose my program based on the knowledge I wanted to gain. I felt if I did the Medical Assisting program first, I would have a better understanding for when I go to further my education,” she said.

Medical Terminology was Cassidy’s favorite class so far. “This was my favorite because of how well I excelled in that class. I earned over 100% for Med Term 1-3,” she said. Overall, her favorite part of attending United is the general environment. “My favorite part of United is how relaxing it is, and also the people are really nice, and so it makes going enjoyable.”

After graduation, Cassidy hopes to be working in the medical field, specifically in a hospital. “My ideal job after graduation is in the hospital.” She continued, “If these plans are unable to be done right away, I would also enjoy working at a doctor’s office until I can further my education.”

In five years, Cassidy hopes to have a good job and generally be living a stable life. She said, “I would like to see myself having a stable job with a livable income. I would also like to see myself living on my own and having a better car.”

Cassidy is enjoying her time at United Career Institute and would definitely refer a friend! “I would definitely refer a friend as you gain a great education at United Career!”

If your story sounds similar to Cassidy’s or if you are interested in learning more about United’s Medical Assisting program, request information here!

Bethany Slezak – Student Highlight

Bethany Slezak is one of United Career Institute’s practical nursing students at the Irwin campus.She started the program in June of 2020 and will be graduating in June of 2021. She chose United Career Institute because she liked the idea of smaller classes, and she felt like it had a more family-like approach. Before she came to United, Bethany was working as an aide at a personal care home. She knew she wanted to go to nursing school because she likes taking care of people. She said, “I know it’s cliché to say that I want to take care of people, but it really is true. Specifically working with geriatrics, I want to give them the care they are entitled to.”

One of Bethany’s favorite parts about attending United is the instructors. She feels that they are very approachable and helpful to the students. “I love all of my instructors. They each have amazing qualities like their confidence, cleverness, intellect, humor, and are kindhearted. All things that I look up to.” Her favorite class so far has been Anatomy & Physiology. She said, “I find it fascinating how our bodies work. It is also the basis of Medical Surgical Nursing, so it’s great to see everything I’ve learned coming together!”

After she graduates, Bethany would like to start working in long term care. She wants to move on to Hospice care eventually. When we asked how she would like her life to be like in five years, she said, “I would like to be successful in my new career, married, and have some kiddos running around.”

If your story sounds similar to Bethany’s, request information here!

A Holiday Message From The Irwin Campus

The holidays are all about appreciating what you have and giving to those who have less. United Career Institute Irwin is encouraging our students and staff to give a little more this year this holiday season. 2020 has been an unpredictable year that has caused us to restructure our personal lives, businesses, and communities. As a United Career Institute family, let’s give back to our communities!

Here are some ways that you can give back to your community.

  • Organize a Food Drive – Pass out fliers with a list of recommended donation items, an “on-your-porch” pick up time, so the donators know when to drop it off, and list the local food bank/shelter where you will be delivering the donations. Ask your friends, family, and neighbors to participate with you!
  • Reconnect with an Old Friend – Sometimes, all it takes is a simple “How have you been doing?” to really brighten someone’s day.
  • Show the Fur Babies Love – Donate blankets and towels to a local animal shelter. Or even volunteer to work a shift there! They are always looking for more volunteers.
  • Donate Books – Donate your gently used books to a local library or nursing home. If they are allowing storytime, you could even stay to read one to a group!

Our Irwin campus chose to participate in a “Giving Tree” for the Westmoreland County Children’s Bureau. Students and staff are able to choose a card with a child’s requested gift, purchase the necessary items, and drop them off in the donation box. This was brought to us by one of our Medical Assisting students, Wendi Rost. Thank you, Wendi!

Here’s wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season!

Irwin Holiday Message

Perryo Medical Center – Externship Highlight

One of the most exciting and rewarding parts of the medical programs at United Career Institute is the externship that students participate in at the end of their program. Externship takes place during the last twelve weeks of a student’s program and provides invaluable educational opportunities. It allows students to apply what they have learned in their medical classes in a real-world, hands-on environment. United Career Institute Mt. Braddock prides itself on the externship partnerships we have forged over the years and we love seeing our students excel in real life medical offices, clinics, and hospitals.

One of these partnerships is with Perryo Medical Center in Perryopolis. Perryo Medical Center is an internal medicine primary care office that has been in operation since 1998. In their 22 years of doing business, they have touched the lives of numerous patients. Their dedicated medical staff works hard to ensure that their patients spend more time with their service provider than waiting in the waiting room. “We help our patients live a healthier life thorough periodic evaluations, implementation of preventive health guidelines, timely referrals to specialists, health education, and wellness options that fit their lifestyle”, they proudly state on their website. Perryo’s mission is to provide their patients with personal attention, unparalleled dedication, and the highest quality health care that they deserve! The team at Perryo Medical Center is happy to report that business is great! Jillian Clay who is the site coordinator for Perryo says, “We are accepting new patients every day. We are constantly growing.” She continued, “Our five-year outlook is promising with continuous patient and organizational growth.”

 United students love their externships because it not only allows them to practice the skills they learned in their programs in a real-world environment, but it also gives them one on one time with employers in their area. Clay says that externships students will “receive a valuable education and hands-on learning at our organization.” However, the student isn’t the only one who benefits from externship partnerships with United Career Institute! The externship site also has a lot to gain. “The students keep us on our toes, up to date with new information, and we always welcome an extra set of hands,” says Clay.

Jillian left us with some advice for students entering medical programs this year. “Treat every patient as if they were your family.”

To learn more about United’s exciting externship program or if you are a medical site interested in partnering with you United, give us a call at 724-437-4600!

Abigail Douglass – Student Highlight

Abigail Douglass is a practical nursing student at United Career Institute Mt. Braddock and is September’s student of the month.

Before Abby became a part of the United family, she attended another institution. Like many of our students, the traditional college environment did not work for her. “My experience was fairly good, but I did not like the bigger class sizes and less personal experience. I enjoyed the school, but I was not ready for a four year university experience.” Abby began working as an aide at a personal care facility and loved her experience, but her dream of becoming a nurse continued to nag at her. “I have known I wanted to be a nurse for a long time now. I love the health care field and I am fascinated by everything the body does. I want to be able to help people and support them however I can.”

Abby chose to attend United’s Practical Nursing program because of the small classes and family-like atmosphere. She also likes that the program is quick. United’s Practical Nursing program is direct admission, meaning if you are accepted into the program, you begin nursing classes immediately. You won’t waste time and money taking general education courses that don’t apply to your nursing career. “My favorite part of attending United has been the friends I made. I have become very close with some of the people in my class and I know I have made some truly amazing lifelong friends.”

While Abby has enjoyed her entire experience at United, there are a couple of classes and instructors that have stuck out to her.  “Amanda is my favorite teacher and I loved both med surg classes that she taught. Amanda is always very supportive and encouraging. I also love Mrs. Stotelmyer because of the wealth of knowledge she has to offer and her passion for nursing.”

After Abby graduates, she hopes to be working on the med surg floor of a hospital. She also wants to continue her education! “In five years I am looking forward to being a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree. I would love to be working in an emergency department and working on getting my master’s degree in nursing.”

When asked if she would refer a friend to United, Abby said, “I would refer a friend to United because of the fast-tracked nursing program. This program provides you with a great education and I do feel that I will be leaving this school fully equipped with the knowledge I need to be a great nurse.”

If your story is similar to Abby’s or you are interested in a nursing career, request information here to learn more!

Campus Safety – Mt. Braddock


At United Career Institute Mt. Braddock, we take pride in making our students feel at home. Part of making our students feel at home is making their health and safety our top priority. Campus safety can mean many different things. It could be protecting their psychological health by offering a safe place to talk and share. Other times, it could be protecting their professional health by ensuring they know the proper way to use protective gear while performing medical procedures. It also means protecting their physical health by providing a clean and healthy school environment. In the days of COVID-19, ensuring our student’s health and safety has never been so important. Read on to find out how we are making United Career Institute a safe environment for students, staff, and visitors.

The first step we take in protecting anybody who enters our school is taking temperatures. Everybody who enters the building must have their temperature taken, no exceptions. Anybody who does not meet the temperature requirements cannot come back to the building until they produce a negative COVID test or until their temperature returns to normal. All students, staff, and visitors must sign a waiver ensuring that they have not traveled to any hot spots, experienced COVID symptoms, or been in close contact with somebody who has tested positive.

The next step we are taking in ensuring the safety of our campus, is wearing masks. Anybody who enters our building is required to wear a mask, with the only exception being those who have a medical reason prohibiting them from wearing one. Since we offer in-demand medical programs at United, many of our students view this as an opportunity to prepare for their future careers!

In addition to the actions we are taking listed above, we have posted CDC guidelines around the building to remind students, employees, and visitors to frequently wash their hands (for 20 seconds at least), avoid touching their nose and mouth, and go home if they begin feeling sick. We also provide hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes in high traffic areas of the building. This includes the front desk, bathrooms, classrooms, and offices. As many of these precautionary measures are important to practice when working in the medical field, we are using COVID as an opportunity to teach our students what it is really like to work day to day in a hospital, doctor’s office, or clinic.

At United Career Institute, our students are considered a part of the United family. One of our core values is “Caring” and one way we demonstrate that is by ensuring our campus is safe for everybody who walks through our doors.

To learn more about the caring environment you will experience at United Career Institute Mt. Braddock, request information here!