Induction into Alpha Sigma Lambda (ASL), the national honor society for adult students, is a high honor.
Alpha Sigma Lambda recognizes the special achievements of adults who accomplish academic excellence while facing competing interests of home and work. It is dedicated to the advancement of scholarship and recognizes high scholastic achievement in an adult student’s career.
Igor Gorbaletov, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing through the Keuka College Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP) , has earned a place in Chi Alpha Lambda, the Keuka College chapter of ASL.
But Aug. 11, when the induction was under way, Gorbaletov, a new honoree, wasn’t there. That’s because he was busy taping a segment for Friends and Neighbors, a Twin Tiers community talk show on local leadership, hosted by Henry Dormann, editor-in-chief of LEADERS magazine, which has featured regional, national and world leaders. Dormann’s show airs Saturdays at 9 a.m. on WETM-TV (Channel 18), the NBC affiliate in Elmira.
Gorbaletov has volunteered for two years as producer of the show, and since 2005 with the magazine, even putting his native tongue, Russian, to use on its behalf. For example, when Dormann profiled former Soviet Premiers Mikhail Gorbachev and Vladimir Putin in the magazine, Gorbaletov provided translation. He also assisted in interviews with former President Gerald Ford and Liberian President Helen Johnson-Sirleaf.
While Gorbaletov enjoys promoting strong U.S.-foreign relations, his foremost community passion is nursing.
Debra Gates, associate professor of nursing for Keuka, taught the Bath resident in several Keuka classes at the Arnot-Ogden Medical Center School of Nursing in Elmira. According to Gates, he was “an overall great student, really respectful and grateful for any help given planning the right direction” for his studies and career.
“He really wanted [to excel in] this program, and has got some goals and ambitions. Where I think he gains the most ground is very strong and sincere interpersonal skills,” Gates said.
Gorbaletov was advised to “get into critical care,” Gates said, so he’d be prepared to apply for anesthesia school.
“Getting a bachelor’s degree is a real stepping stone – they (nurses) can’t progress if they don’t have that bachelor’s. It’s a huge step for all our students,” added Gates. “He’s got a lot of ambition and drive and is proud of what he’s accomplished and the profession. He is interested in the research end of things.”
According to Gorbaletov, “the driving force” behind his success at Keuka was “a clear understanding of the fact that the better I did in school, the better I would perform at work, thus giving my patients the highest-quality and safest care and efficiently helping them regain their health and return to the joys of life.”
Gorbaletov said he enjoyed the in-person class interactions particularly because nursing is a field dependent upon natural human interactions. The convenient work place location of the program and its evening hours, were attractive to him as well as the discovery Keuka’s program was designed by experienced, highly-educated registered nurses.
“With Keuka’s training, I now feel very confident and eager to pursue further education to become a nurse anesthetist (advanced practice registered nurse), so I would be able to practice nursing with a high degree of autonomy and advocate for patients since a patient who is under general anesthesia cannot speak for him/herself,” Gorbaletov wrote in his application to the honor society.
Perhaps a few times a week, someone in Bath will ask him a health-related question about medications, surgery and so on, he said. “I always try to listen very carefully and then answer or discuss a concern to the best of my knowledge.”
If he doesn’t have an answer, he tries to find one, he said, adding “it is not too difficult for me to see that my fellow community members appreciate these simple acts, which further results in a general sense of support, friendship and care.”