As a first-generation college student herself, Shari Lambert has always loved the mission of the community college system. Recently named the new Washtenaw Community College Dean of Health Sciences, Lambert is back and eager to make a positive impact on the lives of students and the community’s health care workforce.
“I am extremely excited to be joining the team at Washtenaw Community College. From the moment I read the job posting, I have felt that this is where I belong,” Lambert wrote in an introductory email to Health Sciences Division employees. “My personal and professional goals mirror the mission of your college … to strive to make a positive difference in people’s lives through excellent educational programs and services.”
Lambert’s 32-year healthcare career includes 17 years of academic experience at two Michigan community colleges and the past six years as Assistant Dean of Clinical Instruction and Partnerships at the University of Detroit-Mercy.
Lambert graduated from the Mercy School of Nursing in Toledo, Ohio, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Detroit-Mercy. She started her nursing career as a 17-year-old Certified Nursing Assistant in a long-term care facility. While attending college, she spent summers working at a steel mill – and then became a plant nurse for five years upon graduation. During an ensuing 14-year stint in obstetrics, Lambert says she “came to the realization that with every nursing job I was blessed to have, I loved the teaching component involved.”
Following that passion, Lambert earned a Master of Science in Nursing from the Medical College of Ohio/University of Toledo and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Detroit-Mercy.
“Education is absolutely my passion, especially focusing on the integration of clinical and classroom teaching,” Lambert said.
Though most of her professional and academic experience is in the world of nursing, Lambert is excited to oversee a WCC Health Sciences Division that includes Allied Health, Health Science and Nursing departments. Health Science classes lay the foundation for a student's career path in health care and Allied Health prepares students for careers in Dental Assisting, Medical Assisting, Physical Therapist Assistant, Radiography and Surgical Technology.
“Embracing other disciplines is what really excites me about this opportunity,” Lambert said. “There’s so much opportunity for inter-disciplinary cooperation. Having been in nursing education for 17 years, I’m looking forward to looking at things from a holistic health care point of view.
"If the pandemic has done anything, it has made us realize how much looking at things differently can create new opportunities.”