We’re proud of the ambitions and accomplishments of our students and alumni – learn some of their stories in our monthly feature:
Daiya Lambert ’21
Three-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program
Daiya Lambert started her college journey at Howard University in Washington D.C. When she decided to transfer to a school that was closer to home and more affordable for her, she researched nursing schools near Lancaster, where her grandparents live. Enrolling in our three-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program may have started out as a practical choice, but Daiya has since found a challenging and rewarding new experience. She shares: “My favorite part about the program is the continuous challenge to strengthen my critical thinking skills and professionalism. In all classes, we’re always prompted to ‘think like a nurse.’ We speak in nursing language, and everything we do is of the profession. Achieving that level of connection with the profession before formally practicing is by far my favorite part and in my opinion the most beneficial.”
Her clinical rotations in critical care were especially impactful for Daiya, who believes this area of nursing will satisfy her desire for challenging work that will make a difference in peoples’ daily lives. She currently works as a patient care assistant on a neuro floor at UPMC Pinnacle Hospital in Harrisburg and hopes that she might combine these two disciplines in her future nursing roles. Daiya adds: “I also have the type of personality that is hungry for a sense of heroism. It’s always been my dream to call the shots, the ones that actually matter; like I’m a character on Grey’s Anatomy.”
Despite the clear vision Daiya has for her future as a nurse; she also is passionate about a second career path in fashion. She is the owner, designer, and co-creative director of a women’s wear fashion brand. Daiya adds: “For the last three months, my team and I have been working on rebranding and building our image and brand story from ground up to increase marketability. It’s been quite a journey and I’m so excited for our new endeavors!” Daiya has sometimes struggled as she tried to devote herself fully to both career paths and has delayed the completion of her nursing degree. She credits nursing faculty Dr. Dee Minchhoff, Dr. Allison Maloney and Dr. Becky Cox-Davenport with providing the emotional support and coaching that has helped her to stay positive and follow her true passions. “It is because of them that I found the strength to continue through the program, and I’m excited for what the future holds.” Daiya explains.
Walter Stewart ’19, MHA
Group Operations Manager, DaVita Kidney Care
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Walter Stewart ’19 decided to stay in Lancaster after earning a bachelor’s degree in Public Health from Franklin & Marshall College. During his undergraduate and post baccalaureate education, he completed research dissertations through study abroad opportunities in Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean. “This allowed me to have a true experiential and data driven understanding of health disparities from a social and economic point of view,” Walter adds.
As a recent graduate of our Master of Healthcare Administration program, Walter notes: “to isolate one part of my PA College experience as a highlight would be difficult as it was truly a great overall experience.” Walter appreciated the opportunities to work one-on-one with his professors and cohort peers to understand ways to achieve organizational goals, implement process changes through continuous improvement, and build a great structure for both a direct patient care team and patients. He credits his PA College degree with giving him the skills to be a strong leader, and points in particular to the support of his advisor, Dr. Joe York. “He was supportive from our initial chat about what PA College has to offer, to giving sound advice on how to tackle one course that might have been more challenging than the other, and finally at the end, which PhD programs to apply to post-graduation because I can’t seem to stop wanting to learn,” explains Walter.
Today, Walter is a Group Operations Manager for DaVita Kidney Care. In this role he oversees outpatient dialysis and home renal therapies for patients in Lancaster County. This includes facilitating and improving patients’ clinical outcomes for DaVita’s eight In-Center facilities, and supporting its nurses, patient care technicians, social workers, dieticians, and support teammates. “Seeing my patients with kidney disease live long productive lives is a great feeling; seeing them get a call for a kidney transplant is even better,” he adds. Prior to this role, Walter was the Emergency Department and Ambulatory Surgery Operations Lead for Customer Engagement at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health.
Walter lives in Manheim Township, with his wife Clarissa, a Massage Therapist with Lancaster General Health, their two children, Olivia and Owen. The family also includes Berne-doodles, Milo and Lily. He enjoys spending the warmer months of the year riding his motorcycle and practicing what he calls his “terrible” golf swing at the range. The family enjoys visiting the beach at Seaside Park, New Jersey and camping at Promised Land State Park in the Poconos.
Seeking People of PA College
Do you know an exceptional current student or alumnus whose experiences and accomplishments would help tell the PA College story? Or someone who has overcome an obstacle or reached a challenging milestone during their PA College experience? Please email your suggested names (and identify them in one of these categories) to Karen Jenkins. Self-nominations are also welcome!