Providing care for others

Alumna establishes scholarship to aid nurses in completion of degrees

Pamela Angerer Payne '81, '91, '95 is a women's health nurse practitioner for HealthCare Partners Medical Group in Pasadena. She established a scholarship to help nurses complete degrees.

With three academic degrees and three professional certificates from Cal State L.A., Pamela Angerer Payne certainly knows how to get the most out a quality education. As a financial supporter of the University for more than a decade, she is helping to provide the same chances for other Golden Eagles.

“I feel strongly in providing opportunities for young people to go to school and get a better education,” Pamela said. “I particularly like Cal State L.A. because so many of the students there are the first people in their families to go to college.”

Being the first in the family to attend college is a situation to which Pamela can relate. Born and raised in Alhambra, Pamela’s family didn’t have the money to pay for school—her father was a mail carrier and her mother a bookkeeping assistant. So she worked to pay for tuition.

“I’m proud to say I’ve never had student loans,” Pamela said. “My first bachelor’s degree took me eight years. Of course, that’s back when tuition at Cal State L.A. was $53 a quarter.”

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in history in 1981, Pamela was hired at a law firm, earning several professional certificates to work as a paralegal. She met her husband, John Payne, an attorney at the law firm, and the two were married in 1984.

Pamela then returned to the University to pursue education in the health care field. She completed her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1991 and worked in the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center Gynecologic Oncology Services unit treating women with ovarian, uterine and cervical cancer.

Since completing her Master of Arts in Nursing in 1995, Pamela has worked as a women’s health nurse practitioner at HealthCare Partners Medical Group in Pasadena.

“It was always my goal to work in the field of women’s health,” said Pamela, who is a menopause specialist certified by the North American Menopause Society. “With the baby boomers aging, more and more women need health care advice about managing menopause. It clicked with me as an interest.”

Pamela has committed her passion and knowledge in service to the University as both a classroom lecturer intermittently from 1997 to 2010 and a dedicated donor, giving at least $1,000 in unrestricted gifts annually for more than 10 years as a President’s Associate.

More recently, Pamela sold stock options and was inspired to establish the Pamela Angerer Payne Nursing Scholarship.

“I wanted to do something more in particular for the nursing department because it’s been so instrumental in my success,” she said.

Pamela recognizes that going back to school can be a financial hardship for many who have established careers and families. The scholarship will help support registered nurses who want to obtain bachelor’s degrees and provide better patient care.

“I believe CSULA School of Nursing provides a thorough and excellent contribution to the education of professional nurses. And I hope that as we continue to expand the educational base the profession will be recognized for what it is: an integral part of the health care field. ... We are the backbone of the hospitals and the medical profession.”