Outstanding Graduate Lauren Brown Excels as Nursing Student and Track Athlete

By Olivia Santos | Published: August 13, 2020

Outstanding Graduate Lauren Brown Excels as Nursing Student and Track Athlete

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Showing determination to persevere in the classroom and on the field, Islander nursing major, track team athlete, and soon-to-be graduate, Lauren Brown is ready to bring her fighting spirit to patients in need. Launching her nursing career during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Brown said, like many other students, she is ready to apply all she learned at the Island University to the task of saving lives.

“Entering the nursing field during a pandemic isn’t ideal, but I believe that I am ready and up for the challenge,” Brown said. “2020 is the year of the nurse, and COVID-19 is definitely putting it us the test.”

Graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in summer 2020 from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, the Dallas native said she chose to attend A&M-Corpus Christi because of the overwhelming sense of community she witnessed during her campus tour as prospective student. During her time as an Islander, Brown served in leadership roles in campus organizations, such as the Black Student Union, Islander Green Team, Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Islander Athletics Track, and the Student Nurses Association. She also earned her way onto the Southland Conference Commissioners List from 2017-2019. As a final accolade to her list of accomplishments, she was chosen as an Outstanding Graduate by the Office of the Provost. She will participate in the Spring/Summer 2020 Virtual Commencement on Aug. 15.

“As a student, I created friendships that are worth a lifetime. As an athlete, I mentored underclassmen and encouraged them to get active on campus, develop friendships, and open their horizons to college life,” Brown said. “Being an Islander pushed me to become more vocal and take on leadership roles, so when I got to the nursing program, I was able to excel.”

Brown said she chose to study nursing after her grandmother was hospitalized after falling ill – observing nurses advocate and care for her grandmother inspired and empowered her to do the same. During her time at the Island University, Brown gave back to the local community through volunteer work for the Ronald McDonald House and La Mariposa Wellness Therapy. Juggling academics, athletics, and extracurricular obligations, Brown showcased a level of leadership and structure others found inspiring.

“Lauren is very focused – she set a goal to get all A’s in her nursing courses and achieved it, and she’s been on the Dean’s List multiple times,” said Catherine Harrel, Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing and Brown’s mentor. “She has a lot of positive energy that spills over to her colleagues. She is a good leader and has transferred those skills that made her a college-level athlete to nursing – drive, determination, and pursuit of excellence.”

Reflecting on her time at the Island University, Brown recalled countless obstacles she overcame, from financial hardships to personal setbacks. She remembered the struggle of each day: waking up early to catch the bus from her apartment to staying on campus late into the night to attend class, then head to track practice. Then finally, calling a ride-hailing service to get to her job, where she would leave her shift at midnight. Thinking back, Brown said life at the Island University taught her priceless life lessons about determination.

“Texas A&M-Corpus Christi taught me to bloom where you’re planted,” she said. “If you remain still and allow your situation to reveal itself to you – you will then realize you’re exactly where you need to be.”

Following graduation, Brown plans to pursue a career in nursing in her hometown and begin working on a master’s degree in nursing, eventually pursuing a doctoral degree. In the future, Brown said she would be honored to return to the Island campus as a professor. When thinking of her peers, Brown said the class of 2020 is truly unlike any other.

“Considering our circumstances, we have all remained diligent and resilient, and for that I commend each and every one of us,” Brown said. “It takes a certain mindset to say you want to do nursing and it takes an even stronger mindset to do it online, but we did it. We reached the finish line, or so I thought – but the race has just begun. I know within this group of amazing students, we have future nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, nurse educators, and nurse researchers. May we all go out and change the lives of our community.”