by Marissa Matton '14, MA '16
When LaDonna Christian, MSN '07, PhD decided to pursue a career in higher education, she chose to earn her master's degree at UMass Dartmouth because it was one of only a few colleges offering a focus in her specialty, community health nursing.
Today, she takes the lessons she learned from her professors—caring about students while challenging them to excel, and guiding them to be innovative—into her own classroom. An associate professor at Simmons College, Christian has achieved more than her dream of teaching nursing.
She is the director of the Dotson Bridge and Mentoring Program, Simmons' diversity nursing program, and she recently earned her doctorate at Simmons. Christian is pleased that Professor Barbara Weatherford reached out to her when UMassD was planning to initiate its own Nursing Diversity Program.
"I was able to give back in a small way some of the knowledge I learned as a student, and in my current position. I was very well prepared by UMass Dartmouth's College of Nursing Community Health Master's program," said Christian.
"The Diversity Nursing Scholars Program demonstrates a renewed commitment the College of Nursing has made to all students by increasing diversity in the healthcare system, thereby improving population health," she said. "The strategies they use to achieve this goal are both innovative and creative."