Not only does Tricy Peralta Kosobud-Sossamon ’92 hold the distinction of being named the first CSU Homecoming Queen, she was also the first Homecoming Queen crowned during football season in fall 1991 after the university changed its name in 1990.
Through personal tragedies, career changes, and perseverance, Kosobud-Sossamon has relied on the foundation of faith her family instilled in her, the encouragement of college professors and mentors, and her love of lifelong learning to help her not only succeed but also flourish.
A self-described Navy Brat, Kosobud-Sossamon traveled the world with her family and became intrigued with global business. She completed a business degree with a minor in Spanish and had plans to complete a Master’s degree in international business.
Professor Steve Best in the CSU biology department encouraged Kosobud-Sossamon to consider a career in nursing while she was an undergraduate. But at the time she was focused on international business. While working temporary jobs waiting on acceptance to graduate school, she realized she enjoyed interacting with and helping individuals, especially those with medical needs. She said, “Professor Best had been right. I trained as a licensed practical nurse in Roper Hospital’s LPN program and realized this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” she said.
She went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Medical University of South Carolina, a Master of Science in healthcare administration from Bellevue University, and earned a dual Master of Science in Nursing/Doctor of Nursing Practice from MUSC this summer.
Her 21-year career at MUSC is changing once again as she transitions into a doctorate-prepared Nurse Practitioner position in MUSC’s Neurology Department for Movement Disorders this fall.
Kosobud-Sossamon wanted to learn more about this subspecialty of neurology following some tragic events in her family. “Before completing my BSN, my younger brother grievously lost his life in a motor vehicle crash. He had neurological injuries leading to his tragic death. I later mourned my husband when he succumbed to ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) a week before our daughter turned two,” she said. She also has family members suffering from dementia and Parkinson’s, which increased her desire to understand the pathophysiology of the nervous system and brain.
Kosobud-Sossamon credits her family and her church community of St. John the Baptist Cathedral with keeping her grounded. “I am blessed to have parents who sacrificed coming to this country so that my siblings and I could have opportunities we otherwise would not have had,” she said. “Last spring, I was honored to mentor a few CSU nursing seniors through the Buccaneer mentorship program – what a wonderful way for me to give back to an alma mater that has given me so much.”
“I’ve met so many amazing and inspiring people who have touched my life – many from CSU. Dr. A.J. Conyers solidified my love for my faith with his religion classes. Dr. Lionel Lackey inspired me to take in what I read with his engaging story telling. Mrs. Johnnie Keyes in the library like a mother to me when I needed one away from home. Ms. Pamela Peek was always encouraging and inspired me to minor in Spanish. Dr. Bruce Harshbarger and Coach Howard Bagwell brought tears to my eyes with their personal congratulations letters upon being selected as Homecoming Queen my senior year. CSU was certainly my village when I started in academia. It is one of the fondest memories I will always have and be grateful for.”