Lydia Murray: Outstanding Graduating International Student

Lydia Murray, of Sault Ste. Marie, Canada, has been named the Outstanding Graduating International Student in the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture.

Murray is majoring in nursing and is a forward on the women’s ice hockey team.

Among her honors is a 2016–17 Team Maine award for the highest GPA on the team.

In her four years in the nursing program, Murray has done numerous clinical rotations, caring for a range of patients at Brewer Center for Health and Rehabilitation, St. Joseph Hospital; Surgical/Orthopedic Unit and Medical/Neuroscience Unit, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center; Surgical and Pediatrics at EMMC; and community clinicals at Orono High School, Orono Middle School and Asa C. Adams School. Her senior practicum is with the EMMC Obstetrics Unit.

On campus, Murray has been involved in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Athletes for Sexual Responsibility. She has discovered a passion for obstetrics and women’s health, and plans to pursue a career as a registered nurse.

What difference has UMaine made in your life and in helping you reach your goals? 
I am so grateful for UMaine because it allowed me to find my true passion in my work life — obstetrics and women’s health. I was lucky enough to have my senior partnership working with postpartum mothers and newborn babies, which is now something I want to do for the rest of my career. UMaine has given me so many amazing friends and memories and it will always be a part of me. Everything that has happened, good and bad, has shaped me into the person I am today, and the person I will be after graduation.

Have you had an experience at UMaine that has changed or shaped the way you see the world?
I have met so many international students and have made so many international friends. Throughout my four years, I have had women on my team from Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Latvia, Norway, Russia and Sweden. My roommate is from Sweden and it is so amazing to see the cultural differences and similarities in her day-to-day life.

Why UMaine?
I chose UMaine because it felt like home to me. The people here seemed friendly and down to earth, and that is exactly what they turned out to be. UMaine also has an amazing accredited nursing program. 

How would you define the opportunities for student success at UMaine? Is there any particular initiative, program or set of resources that helped you succeed?
In regard to student-athletes, we had so many resources to help us reach our full potential in academics. My academic adviser, Cristina Kerluke, was the most supportive and encouraging faculty member I met here at UMaine. She allowed me to focus on my studies while she completed a lot of the “behind-the-scenes” work. She was always there for me and other student-athletes. I also was a mentor/tutor during my time here, so I was able to see and be a part of the support students receive firsthand. 

Have you worked closely with a professor or mentor who made your UMaine experience better?
The nursing faculty here are amazing. Deborah Saber (assistant professor of nursing) was definitely a professor who made my experience here better. She was my lab instructor sophomore year and now is my academic adviser. From day one, she always believed in me, and always pushed me to my full potential. 

What advice do you have for incoming students to help them get off to the best start academically? 
My advice would be to treat school like a 9–5 job. Be prepared ahead of time. When you’re doing your work, be efficient and focus. I would also say to keep a well-balanced life; as long as you are efficient in your studies, then you shouldn’t have to sacrifice sleep, meals or social life.