Katie Hilburn (2020) and Julianna Whitson (2018) have carried their UCM connection into the next stage of life. As Katie begins her career as an RN and Julianna enters her final year at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, by doing Clinical Pastoral Education, the two have reconnected at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.
Katie moved to Atlanta this summer to begin her job at Emory. Katie reflected on finding Juliana at work: “It was so nice to see a familiar face, even though I hadn’t seen Julianna in so long. I’m new to Atlanta and hardly know anyone. It was like a breath of fresh air. We made sure we were both ok to hug each other and then we did. I love that the UCM community is following me even in my new adult life.”
Katie and Julianna overlapped for two years at UCM and were Lilly Interns together for one of those. Julianna had been following Katie’s plans to move to Atlanta through Facebook. Julianna was scheduled to complete her CPE program over the summer and was excited to possibly see Katie. Then due to COVID, the summer program was cancelled, and Julianna thought it might get too complicated to connect with Katie this fall. With only two weeks notice, a position opened for the fall for Julianna to complete her CPE program at Emory and that is when they began their plan to see each other.
Julianna describes the day she finally found Katie. After a failed attempt where Katie was not working, Julianna had the opportunity to go back to Katie’s floor and look for her. Julianna’s reaction was very similar to Katie’s: “It was so nice to see a familiar face and hug someone and it made me feel connected back to the community I had in college.”
Connections made in a time of distance are truly a blessing. Julianna is discerning next steps as someone completing seminary during a pandemic and Katie is adjusting to meeting the needs of patients in a time of greater concern; seeing each other was just what they needed.
Katie and Julianna plan to continue to connect this year as they each care for the needs of the patients at Emory, perfectly embodying the outcome of the UCM mission—being Leaders for the Church and the World!