Amber Daniel ’18 is one of the inaugural recipients of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Dean’s Scholarship for the Beaver College of Health Sciences, one of the most prestigious university scholarships. She majors in exercise science and aspires to work as a Physician’s Assistant. Amber said she has always wanted to work in the medical field, but it was her experiences at Appalachian that have helped her find her calling.
As a Dean’s Scholar, Amber participates in events where she interacts with healthcare professionals, heads of departments in health sciences and the college dean. “Having close relationships with people who are well-versed in the fields I want to go into has definitely been helpful for connecting to resources on campus,” Amber said. “I had the opportunity to meet someone from the committee of the Wake Forest PA program. She shared her experience about transitioning within the field from the emergency room to family practice. The way she described the emergency room—fast-paced, thinking on your feet—it piqued my interest. I think that would be something I would love to do. And when I want to transition into having a family, I could move into something at a different pace.”
Amber, a Greensboro native, said her parents are proud to see her succeed as a first generation college student. “That’s something I carry with me when I go to class. I want to make sure I am doing the best I can because my parents did not have that opportunity.”
In addition to being an honors scholar, Amber is a varsity student athlete, resident assistant and the secretary of Wellness Educators for Change, Advocacy and Student Needs, a student organization devoted to advocating for student well-being and empowering peers to positively change health behaviors. As one of the university’s wellness educators, Amber has learned about wellness and prevention services, attended a professional conference and found a trustworthy mentor in the group’s advisor. She credits this student organization for providing a formative experience, giving her insight about long-term patient care for when she becomes a physician assistant.
To donors of Appalachian State University, Amber said, “You are helping students to have a unique experience. We take a lot of pride in receiving your donations and in succeeding at what we have come to Appalachian to do.”