Westmont Magazine Cultivating a Fit Body and a Firm Faith
Mary Caitlin Dominguez-Guasti ’11 has found outlets for her passions for physical fitness and nursing as an Air Force officer. During her semester with Westmont in San Francisco, she worked in the emergency department at California Pacific Medical Center and developed an interest in nursing. After graduating from college, she moved back to Colorado Springs, where she grew up, and completed training as an EMT. Feeling called to join the Air Force as a nurse, she then earned her nursing degree at the University of Nebraska and accepted a commission as a second lieutenant in the Air Force. Her grandfather served as a pilot in the Air Force, and she had always considered following in his footsteps.
While stationed in Virginia, Mary Caitlin learned about the Alpha Warrior Program, an intense physical fitness competition operated by an Air Force branch that focuses on building resilience. After qualifying through several rounds of competition, she competed in the 2019 Air Force Alpha Warrior Final Battle in Selma, Texas. The finalists—six men and six women—raced to complete 32 obstacles and fitness tests. Mary Caitlin finished third in the nation in a contest she describes as “American Ninja Warrior” meets CrossFit. She says it was one of the hardest things she has ever done, but she appreciated the opportunity to grow her God-given passion for fitness. The following day, she joined the top six Air Force finishers to compete as a team against the best Navy and Army contestants in the Inter-Service Alpha Warrior Battle. The Air Force won for the second year in a row. Mary Caitlin enjoyed the camaraderie with members of the other military branches, who supported each other throughout the event.
In her role as a clinical nurse at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia, Mary Caitlin worked on a Multi-Service Inpatient Unit and provided patient care. Now at Andrews Air Force Base, she helps with pharmacy curbside pickup so service members and their families can get their medications with minimal interaction and stay safe from COVID-19. She also helps receive military patients from overseas who must be scanned for the virus before returning to their home bases. Many of the injured service members have been overseas for months, and Mary Caitlin enjoys giving them a taste of home.
At Westmont, she majored in kinesiology and became involved with the athletic department. “I loved how the kinesiology program fostered an appreciation for physical fitness along with academics,” Mary Caitlin says. “The ability to train your body is an overwhelming privilege, and I never want to take it for granted.”
During college, she developed enduring relationships and sought to make her faith her own. Opportunities such as chapel, religious studies classes and mentorships helped her build a firm foundation for her faith. Ann Cavalli, who works in the athletics office at Westmont, encouraged her to grow her relationship with Christ. “This spiritual foundation has been a huge blessing, especially in the Air Force, where I often have to give up control and don’t always know where I’ll go next,” she says. “I know I have stability in Christ, and I can trust in his plan.”
She and her husband, Anthony, live in Maryland. He also serves in the Air Force as aircrew and provides communications during travel for the nation’s leaders with the 99th Airlift Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base.
Always looking for a new challenge, Mary Caitlin aspires to become an emergency room nurse. Above all, she desires to use her God-given passions for his glory.