Congrats, Grads: Former Patients Accept Their Diplomas

Graduation season is here! It’s time to tip our caps to the Class of 2016, especially our Magee graduates. A few former patients are graduating this year, and they wrote to let us know what they’ve been up to. Please join us in celebrating their special achievement.

20160501_164921Matt McCarroll suffered a C5 spinal cord injury in late Summer 2012. This halted his future plans, including his studies at the University of Pittsburgh. After rehabilitation at Magee and proper planning, Matt returned to Pittsburgh to continue his studies in Fall 2014. “There were definitely some adjustments that I had to get used to,” Matt says. “I was thankful to know the layout of the University prior to being hurt, but everything was in a different perspective now.” Matt used Pitt’s Student Disability Services for accommodations regarding class work and found an agency to provide attendant care while he lived in Pittsburgh. In addition to his studies, Matt learned how to travel without driving, using public transportation to get him where he needed to go. “My experience with the University of Pittsburgh is definitely a positive one.” Matt says. “There are many services in place to help people with disabilities not only return to but excel in the school environment.” In April, Matt graduated from Pitt with honors with a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering. He has decided to continue his education by accepting a position in Pitt’s chemical engineering Ph.D program. Matt strongly urges people with questions about returning to school or living with a spinal cord injury to contact him at



Erica Koveleman sustained an incomplete spinal cord injury in 2012 and graduated from high school shortly after her discharge from Magee. Erica had been accepted to Penn State University prior to her injury, and her goal was to graduate from PSU.  Her dream came true on May 7, 2016 when she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Advertising with a minor in Business.  Erica started at Penn State’s Berks Campus, then transferred to the Main Campus for her last two years. Erica is a Peer Mentor at Magee and is always happy to talk with other patients about her disability and her schooling experience. She wants to continue to advance her knowledge in the field of Advertising and has been accepted to the Chicago Profile School to work on her advertising portfolio.




cap and gown

Melissa Nunn writes, “I am a criminal justice major and received an associates of arts in criminal justice. Bucks County Community college was great. Being at a smaller school is really nice because you get to know each professor. The professors were always there to help if I needed it, and they were very accommodating.  When I first went back to school, I was very  intimidated.  I wasn’t sure how people would treat me, or if something would go wrong, but it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  It allowed me to gain more independence and get stronger. It also allowed me to meet new people.   The more classes I took, the more confident I got.”




We wish all of our graduates the best of luck in their future endeavors. To learn more about the Adolescent and Young Adult Education and Vocational Program at Magee, please contact Vilma M. Mazziol, MS, LPC, CRC at


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