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Walden Magazine // Jul 01, 2012

Connections: Maintaining an Invaluable Network

Dr. Steven Matarelli ’11 explains how he stays connected to other Walden alumni from his home in the United Arab Emirates.

Steven Matarelli

As a registered nurse for 27 years, Dr. Steven Matarelli ’11 has spent a lot of time in emergency rooms and intensive care units—and seen an array of health issues. Now in the United Arab Emirates as the chief operating officer of a tertiary teaching hospital managed by Johns Hopkins Medicine International, his location has influenced both his doctoral research and his social change mission.

As a PhD in Public Health student, Matarelli focused his dissertation on assessing high-risk sexual behavior by Middle Eastern men, particularly as it related to HIV transmission. As an alumnus, his research continues. “I want to reach opinion leaders here to help them realize that this is something they can’t ignore,” he says.

His Walden connections, especially the members of his dissertation committee, have helped advance his work. “I spent 18 months with those faculty members and I’ve stayed in touch,” Matarelli says. “All three asked to do research with me. That was a huge compliment.”

Fellow alumni have equally inspired him. “I have a community of close friends I met through classes and residencies,” Matarelli explains. “We exchange emails and talk about our research. Walden is a part of my life and I want to stay connected.”

He recently joined the Walden Alumni Ambassador Program to share his experiences both at Walden and as an international healthcare professional and to expand his network. He believes other graduates can also benefit by maintaining contact with Walden.

“In every professional role, I’ve had a network of people who stimulate each other intellectually and understand each other,” Matarelli says. “Find that group and stick with them.”

Reconnect with fellow alumni and get involved today at