Dainelle Morris, TUSPM '21
Dainelle Morris is the recipient of the newly-established Maureen L. Mattiacci Scholarship!
Dainelle Morris is a 4th year student and Student Ambassador for TUSPM. One of the roles of a student ambassador is to assist prospective students on their journeys in podiatry by giving tours of the school and sitting down to have personal chats. Dainelle answers questions that these students have, speaks on her experience in podiatry at Temple, and gives advice as well. The student ambassador program has transitioned online, as chats with students are done via Zoom, and the main goal of the program is to create an open environment for the students to ask questions and to learn about podiatry and what school looks like as a podiatry student.
Dainelle completed her undergraduate degree at Rutgers University with a degree in biology. She said that ever since childhood she was interested in science, questioning how the sun is involved in making the flowers grow. She worked in a laboratory that studied human cell lines post-graduation but was not allowed to interact with the people behind the cells. Dainelle knew a lot about the person based on the research and charts, but never had a personal interaction with the individuals, and she realized that she wanted to have this interaction. She shadowed doctors in different fields of medicine and felt the deepest connection with podiatry. She shadowed Dr. Rosenblum, a podiatrist in Paterson, NJ, and he had options to control his schedule and also saw and communicated with his patients every day. From shadowing Dr. Rosenblum, Dainelle learned that podiatry can be practiced where you feel comfortable and that there are many different directions of practice for podiatry. While visiting TUSPM, Dainelle felt that everyone at the School was welcoming and that the School felt like a huge family. The front desk security, student ambassadors, fellow students, and faculty and staff all contributed to the welcoming experience. The student ambassador that Dainelle met with helped her with the entire process, and they maintained a relationship after her visit to Temple through email, where the ambassador continued to speak about her experience and answered questions. Dainelle’s interview process for the TUSPM was unlike any other interview, where they were interested in why she wanted to be a podiatry student and made her feel like an individual, as opposed to just a number in a class. She said “They were not necessarily questioning my decisions but asked why I wanted to be a podiatry student. It’s easy to become a number in a class, and to feel like an individual is something that pulled me closer to the school.” When Dainelle signed on to come to Temple as a podiatry student, she knew that she wanted to be a student ambassador and felt like a member of the Temple family.
One of Dainelle’s best experiences at TUSPM was the opportunity to work in the clinic. The transition from a didactic classroom to seeing patients in the clinic drove home and instilled in the students that knowing and having a deep understanding of background information and symptoms is imperative. She loved meeting and working with the characters of Philadelphia in the fast-paced environment of the clinic. The clinicians also were helpful throughout the entire experience and remained a support system for the students. Bedside manner is also important; Dainelle is on externship now and is thankful that she got to have clinic experience at the Foot & Ankle Institute because she is comfortable talking to the patients, and has an easier time interacting with them and determining how the individual perceives information.
At TUSPM, Dainelle also works as a student ambassador. She feels that the rewards are immediate and loves learning that a student that she connected with is coming to the School. Another reward at Temple for Dainelle was the opportunity to learn a base knowledge in orthotics and practicing conservative and surgical care. Developing deep connections with the students and staff is one of her favorite parts of school.
For students that are interested in developing a career in medicine, particularly in podiatry, Dainelle recommends to shadow doctors in the field. She says that “shadowing creates a template for your future and shows choices in the field.” Dainelle remembers the transition from undergraduate styles of learning to podiatric learning and says that she learned a lot of material in a shorter period of time at TUSPM. Sometimes medical school can be overwhelming, but one she recommends reflecting on the goal. She is finishing her degree in Podiatric Medicine now as a 4th year student and says that the struggle was well worth the outcome. Her push factor was to continuously remind herself of the goal and that it was achievable.
As a member of William Paterson University’s, Young Alumni Chapter, Dainelle served on the member board as the secretary. The Young Alumni Chapter developed a scholarship for graduating students to assist in the stressful transition from graduation to finding a job. Dainelle credits the creation of this scholarship to help graduating students as one of her proudest accomplishments.
Dainelle loves working with her fellow students and learned so much from her clinicians, and because of this, Dainelle now has a goal to teach Podiatric Medicine in the future. She enjoys being a part of both the school system and the clinical experience.
Dainelle has felt impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic on a personal level. In previous years, all 98 students in her class studied together every day, and now they can only see each other virtually, which has been a difficult transition. The students are all balancing their home and family lives with their studies, the pandemic, and their personal lives. Another difficult part of this transition was losing some resources, such as access to the student library. Dainelle needs a silent environment to effectively study and had to overcome the loss of the library by recreating a study style and environment.
Dainelle has been living by this quote by Mahatma Gandhi for a few years: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” To Dainelle, this quote means that helping other people, for example by speaking to applicants as a student ambassador, or by seeing a smile on a patient’s face when a problem is solved, is the best way to find yourself. It is important to keep in mind that helping someone can also help you.
We wish Dainelle and all of our students the best in their future endeavors, and we are proud of our strong TUSPM family.