Beyond the degree: Quinnipiac leader redefines student involvement

January 16, 2024

Kubi-Ayana Walters smiles for a headshot.

Kubi-Ayana Walters ’24 has successfully completed her program and concludes her journey on campus but her extensive contributions to the academic community and beyond will leave a lasting impact for years to come.

As an international student from Jamaica, the process of choosing a university that felt like home was important to Walters. Quinnipiac stood out to her family immediately because of the School of Health Sciences and its solid foundation in premedical studies.

“Despite the initial challenges of adapting to a new climate and making friends in a new country in the middle of a pandemic, the pursuit of academic excellence and a promising future motivated me to take this leap,” said Walters.

She immediately dove into extracurricular activities at Quinnipiac, something that was not new to Walters, who spent many hours serving the community throughout high school.

Walters distinguished herself as a dedicated leader in countless ways. In the Student Government Association, she held the position of international student senator and became the very first Black female international student to serve as secretary during the same year. She served as a resident assistant, volunteered within Quinnipiac EMS and participated as a leadership fellow for the Sawhney program.

Walters was an active member of the African Caribbean Student Union and the Sigma Alpha Pi Honor Society as well. She worked at the information booth and welcome desk as attendants for the Quinnipiac Office of Student Engagement and Department of Campus Life, along with working as an advising intern in the College of Arts and Sciences' Advising Commons.

She said her experiences have made her feel like an active part of Quinnipiac, a culture she describes as fostering a positive and inclusive environment. 

“Quinnipiac has been a cornerstone of my personal and academic growth, providing not only a solid foundation of knowledge, but also fostering a supportive environment that has shaped me into the resilient and confident individual I am,” said Walters.

While she didn’t begin her journey at Quinnipiac as a health science studies major, she was inspired by Lisa Cuchara, professor of biomedical sciences, to shift her academic focus during her junior year.

“Dr. Cuchara’s engaging teaching style and the exploration of case studies, spillover sets and presentations on various viruses and bacteria opened my eyes to the vast world of public health,” Walters said.

In addition to academics, her professional resume was enhanced through her participation in the EMT program, participating in the Yale/CT DPH Public Health Fellowship and interning with the New Haven Department of Public Health in the epidemiology department.

Walters said she plans to pursue an MPH or PhD in public health after graduation.

“As I prepare to step into the next chapter of my educational journey, I am deeply grateful for Quinnipiac’s role in shaping my academic and personal identity,” said Walters. “I will carry with me lessons learned and experiences gained into my postgraduate life."

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