Skip to main content

Penn Nursing DNP Nurse Anesthesia Student, Josiah Borden, Named a Mazda Hero

This year, the Mazda Motor Corporation is celebrating its 100th anniversary by naming 50 “Mazda Heroes,” selfless individuals who’ve done heroic things for their communities, and is awarding each of them a 100th Anniversary Special Edition vehicle. Nominations from across the country were sent in, and among those selected for the honor is Penn Nursing’s Josiah Borden, a student in the DNP Nurse Anesthesia program.

At the beginning of the pandemic, when there was so much uncertainty about the virus and its deadly impact, Josiah took jobs in two different intensive care units located two hours apart, often working back-to-back shifts, while also continuing his studies at Penn. During this time, he contracted COVID-19 twice himself, and yet, after recovering each time, continued to dedicate himself to the cause. Moved by his story, the company selected Borden, and, to mark the occasion, sent a film crew along to capture the moment when his selection as one of the heroes would be revealed to him along with his new special edition vehicle.

“I was in absolute disbelief, and felt overwhelmed with emotion just thinking back on the past year and all that’s come with it,” said Borden. “And while this recognition is an incredible honor, I want to stress that it’s about so much more than myself,” said Borden, when reflecting on the award and what led to that moment. “I’m just one person, doing a very small part in a global effort to improve our current situation. I’m surrounded by people who are heroes every day, and those people deserve to know they’re appreciated. I’m so happy that Mazda chose to do just that by creating these videos and showing a small glimpse of our careers and life’s work.”

“As a student who always seeks out opportunities to challenge himself, to make himself better, and to do whatever he can to add the profession of nursing, Josiah is an incredible role model. Of course, as humble as he is, he does not see it that way,” said Dawn Bent, DNP, CRNA, Practice Assistant Professor and Director of the DNP Nurse Anesthesia program. “When students first arrive and begin the anesthesia program, we make sure they know that they represent themselves and their families first, and a close second is the University of Pennsylvania and the School of Nursing. He has proven to be an ambassador for the School, and I could not be more proud of him.”

“The car is a surreal blessing and I’m incredibly grateful for it,” said Borden, “but my greatest pride is in representing the University of Pennsylvania, the School, the hospitals where I work, and my program. One of my favorite quotes is ‘the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.’ I’m no hero, I just felt it was my time to do something, and I’m surrounded by people who feel the same way.”

Watch Josiah’s video below, and visit the Mazda Heroes site for more stories.