Our alumni have some pretty amazing stories to tell. Ƶ alumni have overcome significant obstacles, worked hard on their journey toward success and are making great contributions in both career and community. If you have an idea for an Alumni Spotlight story, contact alumni@richland.edu.

Cynthia Okpalike

RCCF Cynthia Okpalike

Cynthia graduated from Ƶ in 2011 with her AAS in Nursing. Cynthia continued her education to acquire her MS in Nursing with an emphasis on Nursing Administration, all while raising four beautiful children and working a full time job with the help of her supportive husband. Cynthia is continuing to make her mark on the nursing profession as she works to complete her Doctorate degree.

Cynthia’s education and experience at Ƶ provided her a gateway to her numerous achievements and success. Ƶ opened Cynthia up to a world of possibilities in nursing, showing her the profound community impact nurses can make, and leading her to a career path that has proven to give a lifetime of rewards.

Caring is Cynthia’s passion and the best way to care for humanity is through nursing. Although the Pandemic has led to long hours and stressful days, Cynthia is certainly making her family and all of us #richlandproud.

Jeffry Mason-Wells

RCCF MASON WELLS 5 12 20Jeffrey originally started at Ƶ as an EMT student. While completing the EMT-B and EMT-I classes, Jeffrey did hours of clinical in the ER’s throughout Decatur. During this time, he realized that he wanted to be doing what the nurses were doing, so he transitioned his educational path and graduated with an Associate Degree in Nursing in 2015.

Prior to leaving Ƶ, Jeffrey suffered a great loss and was widowed. He was forced to create a new plan for life, as his previous goals were taken away in an instant. Jeffrey set new goals to become a travel nurse, and worked in this role for 2.5 years before leading him to his current role as an ER Nurse at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa California – one of the busiest ER’s in San Diego County.

Ƶ prepared Jeffrey with great nursing skills, including time management and prioritization skills – skills that have been essential as he works on front lines treating potential COVID-19 patients. Jeffrey has accomplished amazing personal and professional goals and we couldn’t be more #richlandproud.

Ann McIntyre


Ann received her AAS in Nursing from Ƶ in 2012 and is employed as a Cardiology Nurse at Prairie Cardiovascular inside of St Mary’s Hospital. Prior to working at Prairie Cardiovascular, Ann spent 6 years in medical and cardiac ICU.

With her ICU experience and knowledge base, Ann knew that she could make a greater impact on the front lines fighting this pandemic. In early April, Ann made the difficult decision to leave behind her husband and 2 small children in Decatur to work in a hospital in the Bronx in New York. Ann knew this is exactly where she needed to be and we couldn’t be more #richlandproud.