Meet Nataysia E. Swope (’23), Concordia’s first Public Health graduate.
Editor’s note: This is one in a series of stories highlighting a few of Concordia’s uncommon May 2023 graduates. Faculty and staff submit candidates for consideration. Stories are posted in the days leading up to commencement. View more uncommon graduates here.
Nataysia E. Swope’s journey to becoming the first graduate of Concordia University Wisconsin’s public health program was not without its twists and turns. The graduating senior changed her major five times before finally landing in Public Health. Her throughline throughout the changes was her desire and passion for helping people, particularly in maternal health.
Nataysia came to Concordia from the south suburbs of Chicago after starting at a university in Saint Louis. The then pre-med major was interested in pursuing a nursing degree and knew Concordia was closer to her home and had a strong program. At Concordia, her circuitous academic journey began in nursing. It veered toward radiation technology, biomedical science, and finally, public health, the program she had a hand in creating as one of the first enrollees.
Driven to help people
Her passion for helping people is personal. As a minority woman, Nataysia knows the disparities in pregnancy mortality rates. She intends to help make maternal care more equitable for all by becoming a nurse practitioner specializing in midwifery. Ironically, this narrowly defined focus requires her to return to nursing school, something she intends to do in the near future.
Aside from her academic pursuits, Nataysia has been active on campus as the Black Student Union president, a cheerleader, an academic senator in the Student Government Association, and a resident assistant.
According to Walter Goodwyn, director of the Office of Multicultural Engagement, “Nataysia is an exceptional student and an outstanding human being. She consistently demonstrates her intelligence, creativity, and leadership skills in and outside the classroom, making her a role model for her peers.”
Nataysia never lost faith that she would eventually find what truly ignited her passion. She advises other students still undecided in their field of study to take life one day at a time. According to Nataysia, “I tell them that changing majors isn’t a big deal, and in fact, it can help them find their true calling and what makes them truly happy.”
Nataysia’s story is one of perseverance, dedication, and self-discovery. Her impact on Concordia University, both as a student and a leader, has been significant, and her mark will remain for years. With her unwavering spirit and commitment to making a difference, Nataysia is bound to accomplish exceptional things in her future endeavors.
The Public Health program at Concordia University Wisconsin gives you the opportunity to become a knowledgeable and influential figure in your health community. To learn more about the wide variety of bachelor’s and post-graduate degree opportunities, click the link below.