UA Nursing Student and Freeman Medal Winner Overcame Obstacles to Become Outstanding Scholar, Leader

UA Nursing Student Overcame Obstacles to Become Outstanding Scholar, Leader
UA Nursing Student and Freeman Medal Winner Overcame Obstacles to Become Outstanding Scholar, Leader

Diana Shayevich and her parents fled her civil war-torn homeland Azerbaijan when she was only 11. She spoke almost no English when she and her family arrived in the United States, where "we had to start from scratch."
Nevertheless, Diana, who will graduate summa cum laude this week from the University of Arizona College of Nursing, went on to flourish in her new home. She completes her UA undergraduate work as an outstanding scholar, as well as an active community volunteer -- and even an accomplished dancer. Because of her many accomplishments, as well as dedicated service and volunteerism, the 22-year-old nursing student will be one of two UA graduating seniors to receive the prestigious Freeman Medal this week at UA Graduation ceremonies.

Diana received numerous academic scholarships and awards for her achievements at the UA. She is a member of Phi Eta Sigma, Golden Key National Honor Society, and recently was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. In 2000, she was selected from more than 1,000 inductees to receive the Merit Award of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Diana is fluent in Russian, English and Spanish, and she "studied abroad in Guadalajara and Madrid during two consecutive summers, using this opportunity to complete a Spanish minor and travel throughout Mexico and Spain."

As a student nurse, Diana received the 2001 Arizona Nurses Foundation Award, and was invited to join Sigma Theta Tau International, Beta Mu Chapter, an honor society for nurses. From the College of Nursing, she was awarded the Harry Heller Memorial Endowment Scholarship, the Wilburn and Janet Breechen Scholarship and the O'Connell Scholarship, among other honors.

First as a class representative, and then as the vice president of the Student Nurses at UA, she coordinated more than two dozen fund-raising and social events.

She also submitted grant proposals to support student programs and initiated a mentoring program for first-semester nursing students. She also served as chapter president of the National Student Nurses' Association.

Diana participated in graduate dance choreography, performing at the UA Winter Dance Concert, among other artistic endeavors.

She also found time to volunteer at the University Medical Center Emergency Department, TMC Cancer Research Center, Habitat for Humanity, Camp Wildcat, the Jewish Community Center and numerous other community organizations and programs.

"I'm beginning my nursing career as a camp nurse this summer, at North Star Camp for Boys in Wisconsin, and plan to work at a children's hospital for a year before pursuing a master's degree to become a family nurse practitioner with a pediatric focus. Eventually I would like to get a doctorate in nursing and be involved in academia," she says.

"Although an only child, I have two wonderful parents who have tried to present me with every possible opportunity, and who still continue to support and encourage me. I still have a significant amount of family in Russia, and I have been able to visit them three times over the past 11 years."