Hannah Peters | Staff Writer
March 16, 2023
One might’ve heard of the trendy internet slang term ‘academic weapon,’ but do they actually know what one looks like? If not, Emmala Lee, a senior and first-generation student, is a perfect example of one.
Apart from being a dedicated nursing student, Lee has remained an active participant in clubs and organizations on campus throughout her time at Duquesne.
Not only is she an executive board member for the Asian Student Association, Evergreen Club and the Filipino Student Association, but she is also a student ambassador for nursing, a three-year Resident Assistant, a Community Engagement Scholar, and a part of pre-orientation for freshmen with The Center for Excellence in Diversity and Student Inclusion.
“These four years are really short, and I wanted to spend my time doing things that I love outside of my major,” Lee said. “As much as I love nursing, I wanted to make sure I was a part of clubs and other things that I am passionate about that don’t necessarily pertain to my major.”
With nursing, Lee hopes to go into labor and delivery, a goal she said made the most sense for her.
“In high school, I was involved in the science club and took a lot of honors and AP science classes, so it was just putting together my passion for science and my love for caring for babies and children,” Lee said. “Plus, just knowing that there is a nursing shortage helped me know that I wanted to pursue this route of caring for people.”
This past semester, she had the opportunity to intern at Lancaster General Hospital in Lancaster, Pa., which led to a future job opportunity there.
“I’m not sure what unit yet, but I am looking forward to working with Lancaster General Hospital in the future,” Lee said. “The internship led me there, and I really feel like the School of Nursing at Duquesne made me feel comfortable and capable of doing this internship.”
The thing she cited as her favorite part about Duquesne is not the job opportunities, but rather the people.
“My favorite part is building relationships with people – faculty, staff, friends, classmates, people outside my major, all that good stuff,” Lee said. “A lot of these relationships have led me to have many different experiences that I feel have even helped me with nursing, because nursing is such a people-oriented job.”
She has found lots of this relationship building through her work in the various clubs she is a part of. She has taken on a variety of roles at these clubs spanning from event coordinator to secretary, with some public relations mixed in.
“Something else I like to do is graphic design, which I think is super fun,” Lee said. “I like to make a lot of the posters for our clubs. But I like to do a lot of the event stuff too — the planning, making the fliers for our program, doing the program.”
Despite all the clubs she is a part of, she claims not to have a favorite.
“I love them all,” Lee said. “They each pull at my heart in different directions. So, I can’t favor one over the other.”
She might not have a favorite club, but there’s one event that has stuck with her the most: pre-orientation.
“It makes me so happy to see freshmen that I met in pre-orientation getting involved in the same clubs I am a part of,” Lee said. “It’s so fun to see them excited to see me again, and to see how they’re doing and to follow up with the things we talked about before. I think that’s my most rewarding feeling.”
Cassidy Kline, a senior at Duquesne, participated in the Pre-O program during her freshman year. That’s where she met Lee.
“She’s one of the first people I met at Duquesne,” Kline said. “Ever since Pre-O, our friendship just kind of blossomed. We lived in St. Anne’s together and hung out a lot.”
With a four-year-long friendship, Kline spoke to the type of friend and person Lee is, in spite of her many responsibilities on campus.
“She’s one of the most hard-working people I’ve ever met,” Kline said. “She’s constantly busy. But even after working her job from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and having RA duty, if I need to talk or just need to hang out with someone, she’s always there for me. Overall, she’s one of the most-supportive people I’ve ever met. She’s a really good friend, and any of her friends would say the same.”
Lee’s many experiences have allowed her to become a valuable mentor to the Duquesne community and, as such, she is able to share some words of wisdom.
“As a senior, and being a part of different clubs, I would say that tapping into getting to know who you are and recognizing your strengths or your weaknesses, and asking for help when you need it, it makes you a better person in the long run,” Lee said. “Ultimately, people are here to help you.”