Making the Difference, Maia Stewart

While most student nurses are balancing classes, clinicals, and academic service learning, Maia Stewart is adding a few other items to that list. Stewart, a senior from New Orleans, is a member of the Track and Field team, and a member of the Zeta Delta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She has also completed the 1794 Scholars Program and was a 2023 EURecA Research Award Winner.

“Being a student athlete and nursing student, my days can be very tiring, tedious, and stressful,” Stewart acknowledges. “Despite the demands, I try my best to always give my all and put my best effort in any task I attempt to achieve. I like knowing that no matter the outcome, I can say I’ve tried my best.”

Stewart’s passion for nursing was sparked by her mother, a registered nurse who imparted values of compassion and care.

“My mother showed me the importance of nursing growing up,” said Stewart. “Her critical thinking and knowledge allowed situations such as an accidental stab wound, or a broken finger, to be calm, and resolved without emergency services.”

When Stewarts grandfather became ill, it was her mother who served as the primary caretaker.

“Her care during that situation taught me the true importance of a great nurse and inspired me to be the same helpful individual in the lives of others,” said Stewart.

As Stewart began her studies at UT, she knew her journey to her nursing degree would be different than her peers. As a student athlete her schedule would be rigorous, but it did not halt her desire to make a difference in the care of patients.

“I want to be a nurse because I would like to provide quality care, comfort, and be a supportive individual to people seeking health care,” she explains.

As Stewart reflects on her favorite memories at UT, she recalls a moment with a patient on her birthday.

“I did not plan on celebrating my birthday because I had an 8-hour clinical, track practice, then clinical the next day,” said Stewart. “So, I spent my birthday in a waiting area with my assigned patient, holding conversation and getting to know each other while we waited for her diagnostic stress test. In this conversation, it came up that it was my birthday. Before I left, she had her partner bring me some flowers in a beautiful vase, with a sweet note to thank me and wish me a happy birthday.”

This extremely unexpected gesture reminded Stewart that her journey to becoming a nurse was worth it and reinforced her desire to serve others.

“Individuals have inspired me on my journey through telling me that I have made their day better, time in the hospital better, and compliments such as they believe I will be a great nurse in the future,” said Stewart.

Looking ahead, Stewart’s goals are grounded in a commitment to continuous growth and excellence.

“My career goals are to become a competent nurse, and possess critical thinking skills to solve any problem,” she says.

Throughout her time at UT, Stewart has been inspired by the support of her professors and mentors, who have played a pivotal role in shaping her development. Their dedication has fueled her aspirations and instilled in her the confidence to pursue her dreams.


Kara Clark (865-974 9498,