Published on October 11, 2023 by Eric Holsomback  
Dannelle and Emily Paz
Dannelle and Emily Paz

In the heart of Samford University, a mother-daughter duo, Dannelle and Emily Paz, are crafting their academic path. Their intertwined educational journeys, filled with shared passions, support and aspirations, offer a compelling story of growth and dedication.

Dannelle, a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) educator, finds joy in sharing knowledge and witnessing the success of others. As she approaches the empty nest stage, she eagerly anticipates expanding her role to teach at a college or university, either online or in person, alongside her clinical anesthesia, management and administration duties.

Samford became more accessible for Dannelle with the invaluable assistance of her daughter, Emily. Emily, who was studying abroad in the London program when Dannelle embarked on her doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program, provided game changing technological support. Dannelle fondly recalls how Emily, even from across the pond, helped her navigate the complexities of online learning platforms like Canvas. This mother-daughter tech collaboration not only made Dannelle's transition to Samford smoother but also deepened their connection.

Emily's initial thoughts when her mother expressed her desire to enroll in Samford's DNP nursing administration program were filled with happiness and excitement. She recognized that it was a long-cherished goal and the ideal timing for their family. 

Emily's passion lies in women's health, with potential career paths ranging from labor and delivery nursing to lactation consulting, hormone therapy, gynecology services and fertility services. She also discovered a newfound interest in public health outreach, especially in aiding underserved and uninsured populations. After graduation, Emily envisions working in a bedside nursing position, most likely in labor and delivery, where she can make a significant impact on the lives of women and their families.

What makes their journey even more fascinating is the balance of commonalities and differences. Both Dannelle and Emily share a passion for leadership, advocacy and creating positive change. However, they differ in sensitivity and communication styles. Dannelle's inclination to speak up contrasts with Emily's more sensitive approach. This diversity enriches their perspectives and abilities, making them a dynamic team in their shared field of nursing.

Their shared love of travel has influenced Emily's decision to consider moving to San Diego after graduation. She is motivated by the desire to be closer to her extended family. Growing up in Alabama, Emily missed having extended family nearby, and living within driving distance of loved ones holds a unique appeal.

Dannelle and Emily's educational journeys reflect the transformative power of education, the enduring impact of mentors and supportive academic communities and the unique bond shared by a mother and daughter as they both pursue fulfilling careers in nursing and education. Their story serves as an inspiration for those seeking to balance personal growth, family and professional aspirations. Together, they demonstrate the profound impact that education and a strong support system can have on one's journey to success.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.