After Covid-19 derailed her undergraduate commencement, Danielle Nahas (MHA/MBA ’23) will have the chance to celebrate in person at her graduation this April, and she couldn’t be happier.
“I’m excited. It’s real. It’s finally happening,” says Danielle, who currently serves as president of the Student Government Association (SGA) and will graduate from the Department of Health Policy and Management’s dual MHA/MBA program.
Having lived in Jordan and Lebanon and emigrated to the US as a child, Danielle is aspiring and forward-thinking. You need only to talk to her for a few minutes to sense her exuberant outlook on life. Desiring a platform for not only her voice, but the voices of others, it was only natural that she applied to the SGA when she enrolled at Pitt Public Health.
The SGA is about connecting with each other and passing on knowledge to keep the organization moving forward, she says. “Success and grades are one thing, but the network that you create in school and beyond is just as important.”
Danielle majored in psychology and neuroscience as an undergraduate, earning a Bachelor of Science in both, but her planned path—to become a physician—was interrupted by a chance opportunity. In early 2020, while working at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, she learned about the MBA/MHA program and decided to enroll. A few months later, as the pandemic upended everyone’s plans, Pitt began to feel like home.
Though she will miss Pittsburgh, Danielle is looking forward to starting a new chapter in her life. After graduation, she will be working as an administrative fellow at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in the office of the CEO. “I’m very excited for the opportunity. I didn’t think this was the route I was going to take, but I'm trusting my intuition. I know that the steps that I'm taking for myself are going to be the ones that are best for me,” she says.
As outgoing SGA president, Danielle would like to see the network continue to grow and include a student member from each of the academic departments. Many students, for example, are not aware that the SGA is available to help students attend events, such as conferences and other events related to professional development. For Danielle, it’s important students “feel empowered to travel to conferences and present their work,” and she hopes to leave SGA in good hands.
“Graduation is like closing all the chapters,” she says. “All seven years I've had at Pitt are going to be experienced this April, and I want to make the most of it.”
Pitt Public Health has many organizations to help you foster a strong connection with the school. Interested in learning more about student life and engagement opportunities? Visit our website or contact Mike Dolinger at firstname.lastname@example.org.