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AlumNews

Spring 2021

MCAA Board Directs $210,000 Zook Gift to Enhance MCCN Faculty

Rachel L. Sheets Zook

“The Board of the Mount Carmel Alumni Association was shocked when we received word that a member of the alumni had remembered ‘the Mount’ in their will,” recalls Pat Steele Skunda ’72, ’10 and ’14, MS, RN, who is current president of the MCAA Board. “We didn’t know who had given the substantial gift until after the estate had been settled. Once we learned that it was Rachel Sheets Zook, a member of the Class of 1954, those who knew her were not surprised.”

The Board immediately invested Mrs. Zook’s estate gift in interest-bearing CDs and established a $1,500 Rachel Zook Memorial Scholarship, which was awarded to an MCCN student for the first time in 2020.

“When I became treasurer, we first began discussing how the funds might best be used to help the College extend its mission, thinking that once the CDs matured, we might help with a campus improvement project,” Pat recalls. “When that happened and Suzanne Martin ’66, JD, RN, became treasurer, she suggested we ask for insight from the president of the College about the area of greatest need.” Kathleen Williamson, PhD, MSN, RN, academic dean and president, MCCN, and Alyssa Fry, senior development officer, were invited to make a presentation to the MCAA Board.

“Dr. Williamson detailed the need to support faculty research and innovation, technology and evidence-based teaching strategies, and professional development in order to enhance student success and graduates’ future contributions to the profession of nursing. Ms. Fry noted how MCCN’s ‘Our Legacy of Learning’ had identified this area of need as a priority for the campaign,” Pat explains.

“After more consideration and discussion, the MCAA Board voted unanimously to direct $210,000 to the campaign for three programs: the Rachel Zook, RN, Memorial Faculty Innovation Scholarship; the Rachel Zook, RN, Memorial Speaker Series; and the MCCN Nightingale Faculty Fellows Program. We all feel really good about this decision and know that every Mount Carmel alumni will share in the gratitude we feel for Rachel’s generosity and also feel renewed pride in being a graduate of either the School or the College,” Pat says. More information on the three programs can be found on the Giving page of the College website.

We Remember Rachel

Rachel L. Sheets Zook

Ann Schiele, PhD, RN, MCCN president and dean emeritus, recalled: “I remember Rachel as always having a smile on her face and a willingness to do for others. She attended many of the Alumni Homecoming banquets and, next to her husband and their chronically ill child whom she provided care for, Mount Carmel was her next love.”

Phylis Motz Crook, Class of 1963 alumna, former coordinator of Alumni Relations and long-time volunteer for MCAA, said: “I enjoyed Rachel’s friendship for many years as we are both ‘Mount Carmel nurses.’ We did a lot of fun work together with the Alumni Association and she donated many of her beautifully quilted items over the years to benefit scholarships for student nurses. I last saw her in 2014 when she attended her class’ 60th reunion. She was a gentle soul and will be missed.”

Born Feb. 10, 1933, in Kilborne, Ohio, Rachel married Ronald Zook in December 1955 and practiced in the office of an otolaryngologist, as a home health nurse and at the Columbus Cancer Clinic (forerunner of today’s LifeCare Alliance) until their son Dwight Alan was born in 1956. Sadly, he passed at age 18 in 1979 and her husband died in 2008. Rachel and her husband enjoyed 52 years of marriage, at one time living on a small farm in Licking County where they bred American Kennel Club Brittany Sporting dogs. For more than 30 years they competed in AKC events in field trials and obedience events with their dogs. Rachel was residing in a senior residence in Delaware at the time of her passing, Oct. 18, 2016.

When Rachel was at “the Mount,” student life was very different than today. Students were required to live on campus unless their family lived nearby, they observed strict curfews, and were permitted to meet with male visitors only under the watchful eye of the house mother. It was not until four years after Rachel’s class of only 35 students – all women – graduated that married students were admitted. The curriculum at the time was a three-year diploma program from Mount Carmel School of Nursing, which transitioned in 1990 to the fully accredited four-year College it is today. Members of the faculty who would have taught Rachel and her classmates were also very different from today. The director of the School was Sister M. Nicholas Gough, CSC, and several Sisters taught various classes. They were members of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, who founded the original training school for nurses in 1903.

MCCN Faculty and Students Benefit

“We are grateful to our Mount Carmel Alumni Association board members for their foresight in investing the Zook gift for three programs that allow our faculty to continuously improve our preparation of graduates as competent and compassionate nurse leaders,” said Kathleen Williamson, PhD, MSN, RN, academic dean and president, Mount Carmel College of Nursing.

MCCN’s “Our Legacy of Learning” campaign, which kicked off on Founder’s Day, Sept. 15, 2020, is bolstered by Rachel’s gift, which is among the largest gifts in the history of MCCN and the largest for the campaign to date.

You are invited to participate in the “Our Legacy of Learning” campaign to:

Strengthen the College by investing in innovation in nursing education to help accelerate MCCN’s paradigm shift to advanced technological teaching tools that help prepare nurses who think critically and use evidence-based best practices to promote the health of individuals and communities.

Support MCCN students in their pursuit of higher education by providing scholarships and emergency funds that allow students from all faiths and walks of life to balance their academic and personal lives. As many as 93 percent of MCCN’s students rely on financial aid to answer their life’s calling to become professional nurses.

Sustain Mount Carmel’s legacy by ensuring the continuing creation of compassionate, caring and confident nurses who make up the thousands of Mount Carmel alumni around the country who are available to patients and families thanks to the Sisters of the Holy Cross having founded the School of Nursing in 1903 that transitioned in 1990 into the fully accredited, Mount Carmel College of Nursing of today.

You are invited to participate here.

Meet Judith A. (Stoner) Slee ’70, MD

Judy Stoner Slee

Year of graduation from Mount Carmel School of Nursing: I graduated from Mount Carmel School of Nursing in 1970, when it was a three-year, diploma-granting institution.

Other degrees and conferring university: In 1975, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio University and in 1979 a Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical College of Ohio at Toledo (today known as College of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Toledo). I completed my residency in Internal Medicine in 1982.

Professional Highlights: After graduating from Mount Carmel, I started working on a Med/Surg floor at Lancaster Memorial Hospital (now Fairfield Medical Center). A few months into working, a patient arrived in severe DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis). I could see that the doctor did not know how to care properly for this patient and thought I could better, so I started premed courses at Ohio University’s branch campus the next quarter. I continued to work full-time as a nurse at the hospital until it was time to transfer to the main campus in Athens to finish my degree. While in Athens, I continued to work part-time as a nurse at the hospital there, and when I was accepted into medical school, I moved to Toledo. I continued to work weekends as a nurse in the trauma unit in Toledo until we started our clinicals.

All of this was possible because I went to Mount Carmel, of which I am very proud. I am currently retired from private practice. More than 10 years ago I retired to help take care of my mother-in-law and my nursing skills, which I never forgot, were very helpful. I met my husband in medical school. He is a gastroenterologist and has been retired for two years. We’ve been married 42 years which seem to have flown by. We have two children, our son lives and works in the Philippines and our daughter is in finance. We have one grandchild who is the joy of our life.

Original hometown: Sugar Grove, Ohio, a village about 50 minutes south of Columbus.

Current hometown: Perrysburg, Ohio, a suburb of Toledo.

When did you first feel the call to be a nurse? I decided to become a nurse after being with my mother when she was hospitalized. I saw the care and support offered by nurses and the appreciation of their patients. Also, I was inspired by two aunts who were nurses and one of my best friends – a year ahead of me in high school – was enrolled at Mount Carmel.

What television show do you have to DVR every week? I don’t really have a favorite TV show, I just watch what my husband chooses.

What book is currently on your nightstand (or at the top of your Kindle favorites)? The book currently on my nightstand is “I Heard God Laugh,” by Matthew Kelly. I think we could all use more laughter now in these anxiety-provoking times.

What is your favorite memory of your time at “the Mount”? One of my favorite memories of school was glee club. I made many friends from all three classes, and it was relaxing to have something completely different to do besides studies. Most people today find it hard to believe we had a 7:30 p.m. curfew for freshmen, but we did, except at Christmastime we were allowed out until 9 p.m.

How has your Mount Carmel network helped you in your life, personally or professional or both? My nursing career, which was fulfilling in its own right, led me to another path which I took. I’m glad I did.

What advice would you like to share with other nurses as they move from student to alumni of Mount Carmel? My advice to students would be to work hard, be devoted and, if your nursing career leads you to another path, don’t be afraid to take it or afraid to face new challenges.

Meet Jared Collins ’10 and ’17, APRN-CNP, ACNPC-AG, CCRN

Jared Collins

Year of graduation from Mount Carmel College of Nursing: I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) through MCCN’s Second Degree Accelerated Program (SDAP) in 2010 and returned to earn a Master of Science in Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) in 2017.

Other degrees and conferring university: Before deciding to become a nurse, I had already earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Wittenberg University in 2006.

Certifications: AGACNP (Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner), CCRN (Critical Care Registered Nurse), ACLS (Advance Cardiac Life Support), FCCS (Fundamentals of Critical Care Support)

Professional highlights: Prior to attending MCCN to realize my dream of becoming a professional registered nurse, I worked in preclinical pharmaceutical testing in a toxicology research facility in northeast Ohio. My entire nursing career has been within the adult critical care environment. I worked as a bedside nurse and charge nurse in the Medical ICU at Mount Carmel East, and I later served as the nursing manager of that unit during my graduate studies. After graduating with my master’s degree, I began working as a critical care nurse practitioner throughout the entire Mount Carmel Heath System, which is what I am doing today. I also serve as adjunct professor of Nursing at my first alma mater, Wittenberg University, where I teach as a clinical instructor and lecture in the Acute Care/Critical Care class. My partner Phillip and I have three cats, Jackson, Joey, and Gray Kitty.

Original hometown: Van Wert, Ohio

Current hometown: Columbus, Ohio

When did you first feel the call to be a nurse? I first realized I wanted to be a nurse during my mother's battle with cancer. She had numerous hospital visits, and I truly liked how much time nurses actually spend with patients compared to other health care professionals.

What television show do you have to DVR every week? I am a reality TV junky, so there are too many to list – and some I do not want to admit to watching.

What is your favorite memory of Mount Carmel? My favorite memory of Mount Carmel is probably my first day of clinical as a nurse practitioner student when I got to intubate a patient – it's something that I never thought I would be doing when I started my nursing career.

What book is currently on your nightstand (or at the top of your Kindle favorites)? “A Minute to Midnight” by David Baldacci.

How has your Mount Carmel network helped you in your life, personally or professionally or both? My Mount Carmel network has greatly helped me throughout my nursing career, as it has allowed me to connect with health care workers across the region and has given me opportunities to expand my nursing experience and knowledge.

What advice would you like to share with other nurses as they move from student to alumni of Mount Carmel? My advice to today’s MCCN students is to never stop learning. The nursing profession and health care is always changing. Therefore, to be effective nurses we must change, learn, evolve, and adapt. Also, there are so many different aspects of nursing, so I advise you keep an open mind and gain any experience you can, because you never know what you are going to learn!

A Real Shot in the Arm! Mount Carmel Alumni Volunteer in Covid-19 Vaccination Efforts

In the upcoming issue of the Lamp we want to list all of our alumni who are helping with the vaccination effort. Please send us a note with your name, credentials, current workplace/retired, where you volunteered. If you snapped a photo, please send that, too, to alumnioffice@mccn.edu with the subject line “Vaccine.” Thank you.

“We Were There: Remembering 9/11”

This September will mark the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America. The loss of life was massive at three sites: the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. Some members of our alumni have connections to this day – either they were present as first responders, they helped those brought to hospitals, or they experienced personal loss. We would like to acknowledge these connections in the Fall issue, the Lamp. If you would like to share your story, please contact the Alumni office by sending an email to alumnioffice@mccn.edu with the subject line “September 11.” Thank you!

New! Family Nurse Practitioner Accelerated Program

Are you currently a licensed APRN seeking to earn a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) certification? MCCN is now offering a post-master’s, two-semester, fully online program to get you to your goal. Applications are open now through June 30. Apply today! Contact Roxanne Oliver for more information at roliver@mccn.edu.

In addition, RNs who dream of earning their Bachelor of Science (BSN) can easily do so through our RN-BSN Completion Program. And, alumni who are ready for a Master of Science degree have three tracks to choose from. Our Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), which is the highest level clinical practice degree, is also available. Visit our website or call 614.234.4CON. Do it today!

Nominations are now open for Distinguished Mount Carmel Alumni and Rising Star Awards – Due by June 1, 2020!

We invite you to nominate a member of the Mount Carmel Alumni for one of two awards that will be presented at the 2021 Mount Carmel Alumni Association Annual Meeting and Homecoming: Distinguished Alumni Award and Rising Star Award. Nominations must be received by June 1 to be considered for an award in the current year – please click here to nominate those special alumni.

Nominations received after the deadline will be considered the following year. All nominees and their nominators will be notified by July 15 of the outcome.

Homecoming Weekend 2021: Save the Dates!

As noted in the current issue of the Lamp, we will follow public health guidance available this fall regarding our plans. However, at this time, we are assuming it will be safe to gather:

Friday, Oct. 22, 2021 – Details about planned activities – which may include a speaker (with CEU credits) and a reception – will be included in the invitation.

Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021 – Mount Carmel Alumni Association (MCAA) Annual Meeting and Homecoming Celebration takes place again at The Grand Event Center, a short distance from the College. The Courtyard by Marriott, Columbus/OSU is just adjacent to The Grand with free parking on the property.

Schedule:

  • From 5 to 6 p.m. – cocktail hour with cash bar and class photos at 5:30 p.m.
  • From 6 to 10 p.m. – dinner and program, with visiting and dancing after the program. The evening will include a silent auction and raffle.

Dinner and program: The Grand Event Center
820 Goodale Blvd
Columbus, OH 43212

Hotel: Courtyard by Marriott Columbus/OSU
780 Yard Street
Columbus, OH 43212
Hotel: 614.453.4420
Direct: 614.453.4291

Mount Carmel Alumni Association has received a special rate for our alumni of $149 per night before taxes/fees; call above number to make your hotel reservation directly. Please note: the last day to book your reservation to receive this special rate is Sept. 22, 2021. Book now here.

For further information or assistance, please email: alumnioffice@mccn.edu in the Alumni Relations office.

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