By Jenelle (Bayus) Sanders

This week, we lost one of our own. As a campus community, we grieve the tragic passing of Gerardo (Jerry) Carrillo Ramirez, a senior nursing student at the College, planning to graduate this May.   

Jerry passed away early Monday morning, following a car accident in Ravenna, Ohio. Originally from Richmond, California, Jerry transferred to Hiram from Diablo Valley College in fall 2020. After his graduation this spring, he planned to return to his home state to become an Intensive Care Unit nurse.  

This is a time of acute grief for our campus community that will be felt and experienced in many ways. As a small and intimate community, we are blessed by the belonging of every one of our students, faculty, and staff. So many in our campus community had the gift and memory of being with Jerry during his time on the Hill, and were no doubt impacted by his presence. 

Dr. Sarahbeth Abalos, nursing program director at Hiram, described Jerry’s quiet presence in the program as one that was respected and beloved by his faculty and peers, exemplifying what a nurse should be. And as she has spent time grieving with his classmates this week, she shared that they saw him as thoughtful, selfless, always willing to help, and that he genuinely cared about his peers and patients.  

To honor Jerry’s memory, the College will host a Memorial Service on Wednesday, February 22, 2023, at Hiram Christian Church (6868 Wakefield Road, Hiram, Ohio) with Reverend Christopher McCreight, college chaplain, officiating. Additionally, Hiram’s Mariachi Ensemble will perform, and Jerry’s nursing classmates will give scripture readings. Dr. Abalos will deliver the eulogy. The service will begin at noon, but doors to the church will open at 11:40 a.m.  

As we mourn together, please know that there are many services available to our students. Professional counseling services are available for students by contacting Dr. Kevin Feisthamel,, or calling 330.569.5418 to schedule an appointment. For students who would like to talk with a staff member, please contact Dee West, dean of students, at 330.569.5237 or  

Ministerial counseling services are available for students, staff, and faculty by appointment with Rev. Chris McCreight, the College chaplain, at A 24-hour community crisis phone line is also available at 1.800.273.8255 or you can text 741741.   

For faculty and staff, details regarding the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) are located under the Important Information section of the Human Resources tab in the My Hiram Portal.  This is a free resource available to all faculty and staff.   

As a campus community, we extend our sincerest condolences to Jerry’s family, friends, and all who knew him. And during this time of great sorrow for our campus community, please be sure to care for and lean on one another for support.   

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