Page 1

Spring/Summer 2011

from Bud to Blossom Mercy College Strategic Plan

Student Success Center Gains Permanent Home | Mercy Grads Help Nursing Students Succeed | 1

message from the president College Board of Directors As we conclude another academic year, I am once again reminded of the mystery of human life and the immense role that a health care education can play in the shaping of that precious gift from God. On April 12, 2011 we received word that one of our own – a student in our Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program – Denise Laughlin had been killed in a singlecar accident on her way home the night before. Denise was little more than three weeks away from graduation. As a result, at graduation Denise’s brave parents, Mike and Kym Stein along with Kayleah Patience Laughlin, her daughter, accepted Denise’s diploma posthumously. It was a touching and powerful reminder of the gift of a life well lived. Also this spring the College Board of Directors approved our new strategic plan for 2011-14, entitled “Advancing Our Legacy of Learning Excellence.” The major highlights of the new plan can be found in this issue along with a summary of the prior plan which guided us through my first five years as president.

Patricia A. Shoff, JD Board Chair

Dave Harmeyer Vice Chair

Deborah A. Willyard, RN, MSN Class of ‘79 & ‘98 Secretary

Willard L. Boyd III, JD Laurie Conner Barbara Q. Decker, JD (ex officio) Diana Deibler Jacqueline Easley Sister Jude Fitzpatrick, CHM Diane Huber, RN, Ph.D., FAAN, NEA-BC Martin F. Larréy, Ph.D. Sharon Phillips, RN Robyn H. Wilkinson (ex officio)

Nursing Alumni Association Board of Directors Sandy Hall, Diploma 1979, BSN, 2003

The College completed a Strategic Academic Program Studies review this spring for all of the degree and certificate programs offered by the College. Academic Program Chairs spent considerable time throughout the winter gathering quality, stewardship, and growth data along with analysis of future trends within each career field to help guide future planning for the College during the strategic plan period. These studies reaffirmed the important mission work we undertake every day in preparing students to shape the health of those they will touch throughout their careers. In the fall issue of VitalSigns we’ll provide a review of the results in greater detail. I also want to extend my congratulations to our newest distinguished alumni who will be honored in October 2011 – Janice Sinek Turcotte, Class of 1954 (Nursing Diploma) and Deb Richmond Willyard, Classes of 1979 (Nursing Diploma) and 1998 (BSN) – for their important contributions to Mercy College, the nursing profession and their communities. They are fine examples of the legacy that we cherish. As always, I invite you to contact me with your ideas or suggestions.


Karen Gamerdinger, Diploma 1982, BSN, 2003 Vice-President

Mary Schemmel, Diploma 1976 Treasurer

Rhonda Heim, Diploma 1973 Secretary

Dr. Shirley Beaver

Dean of the School of Nursing (ex-officio)

Kate Bowersox, ASN 2002, BSN 2006 Jane DeGooyer, Diploma 1981 Dr. JoAnn Humphreys, Diploma 1968 Bonnie McCoy, BSN 2001 Jennifer Miller, ASN 2009, BSN 2010 Mary Jan Miller, Diploma 1956 Willow Patterson, Diploma 1979

Barbara Q. Decker, J.D. President

Rachel Reynolds, ASN 2003, BSN 2007 Margaret Richey, Diploma 1982 Jolene Runkel, Diploma 1979, BSN 2003 Cathy Smith, Diploma 1976 Deb Willyard, Diploma 1979, BSN 1998

2 | Spring/Summer 2011

in this issue


Spring/Summer 2011 | Volume 10 | Issue 2


College Highlights

New Faces on Campus Campus News and Updates Commencement

Cover Story


From Bud to Blossom

Mercy College Strategic Plan -Wrapping up 2006-2010 and Beginning the 2011-2014 Plan


Student Success Center Gains Permanent Home


Mercy Grads Help Nursing Students Succeed


Barbara Q. Decker, J.D.


Brian Tingleff

Associate Editor Jim Tagye


Program Highlights


Student Profile


Alumni News


Mercy College Donors


News & Notes


A Reflection of Health Care

Graphic Designer

Š Copyright 2011

Melissa Miller

VitalSigns is published by the Marketing Department. Submit address changes online at or mail to Mercy College of Health Sciences, Marketing Department, 928 6th Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50309-1239.

Writers Melissa Miller Debra Steilen Jim Tagye Brian Tingleff

Photography Jim Heemstra Melissa Miller Jim Tagye

It is the Mercy College policy to conduct academic programs and business activities in a manner that is free from discrimination and to provide equal opportunity for and equal treatment of students regardless of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, physical or mental disability, status as a disabled veteran or veteran of war, or any other factor protected by law. | 3

college highlights

New Faces on Campus Faculty and College Staff Karen Anderson, PhD Director of Student Services Karen joined Mercy College in May 2011 as the Director of Student Services. Prior to her transition to the college, she was the dean for adult programs at Grand View University. She earned a PhD in Education from Iowa State University, a MBA from Drake University, and a BS in microbiology from Iowa Sate University. Karen lives in West Des Moines with her husband Andy. She has two adult sons. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, biking, and traveling.

Suzanne E. Crandall, RT(R), EdD, MHA Program Chair, Radiologic Technology Suzanne joined Mercy Medical Center in 1984 as a staff technologist. In 1986 she became director of the radiology certificate program and in 1995 transitioned the program into the Mercy College associate of science degree program. In 2005 she left Mercy College to explore other radiology opportunities. In December 2010 she re-joined the Mercy College family as the radiology program chair. Suzanne holds a doctorate degree in leadership and adult education.

Susan Brown, PhD, NREMT-P, CHES

Victoria (Vicki) Campbell, RN, MSN

Assistant Professor, Liberal Arts and Sciences

Assistant Professor, Nursing

Susan is currently an Assistant Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences after initially joining Mercy College as an adjunct instructor of biology in August of 2010. Susan holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Ohio Northern University, The University of Texas at Austin and Iowa State University. In addition, Susan is a Nationally Registered Paramedic (NREMT-P) and a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). Susan and her husband Kyle live in Des Moines and are expecting their first child later this year.

Pathways Program Manager Kim joined the Mercy College family in January 2011 as Program Manager for the Pathways to Healthcare Careers-Iowa Program. She also works at Iowa Heart Center as the Director of Training and Development and at Iowa Heart Foundation as Executive Director. Kim received her BSN and MSN degrees from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma and her Ed.S. and Ed.D. degrees from Drake University. She lives in Ankeny with her husband Jason. They enjoy traveling to tropical destinations and spending time with family.

Lee Richardson, CMO, NREMT-P, CCEMT-P

Financial Aid Coordinator

Instructor, Emergency Medical Services

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Vicki has a MSN from Drake University and a BSN from Mercy College of Health Sciences where she is a past Alumni Board president. Vicki lives in Pleasant Hill with her husband Michael, daughter Stacey, and 3 grandchildren. Vicki enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, being outside poolside, and is an avid Iowa Cubs fan along with her husband.

Kim Oswald, RN, EdD, MSN

Chad Peters Chad joined Mercy in April 2011 as the Financial Aid Coordinator. Prior to transitioning to the college, he worked in a financial aid office at a community college in Colorado. Chad attained his Bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University and after working a few years decided it was time to move back to Iowa to be closer to family and friends. He enjoys spending time outdoors camping, hiking, gardening and loves to travel.

Vicki joined Mercy College in April of 2011 as an Assistant Professor of Nursing. Prior to her transition to the college, she worked as an Education Specialist at HCI Care Services in West Des Moines and as an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Grand View University. She was previously an assistant professor at MCHS from 2001-2006.

Lee joined Mercy College in December 2010 as an Instructor in the Emergency Medical Services Program. Lee began his EMS career in 1981 and has been a working paramedic since 1985. Prior to coming to Mercy College, Lee was a career Firefighter/Paramedic in a suburb of Dallas Texas. Lee holds multiple credentials in EMS, Fire and Law Enforcement as well as a degree in EMS. Lee lives in Knoxville and loves to spend time with his teenage children, Jordan and Philip. Lee has an older son, Walter, who still lives in Texas.

Current Career Opportunities at Mercy College If you have a desire to make an impact on healthcare today and in the future, come join our team. Our current openings are listed below. Visit for complete job descriptions and requirements. Interested candidates may apply online through the Mercy Medical Center — Des Moines website at www.mercydesmoines. org. Enter the name of the position in the keyword search to find the job of interest you are applying for. - Pathways for Health Care CareersIowa Program Tutors for Medical Assisting and Nursing Assistant programs - Program Chair, Diagnostic Medical Sonography - Academic Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness Coordinator - Instructor, Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program - Assistant Professor - English

college highlights

Campus News and Updates Mercy Nursing Graduates Scores Surpass State and National Rates on NCLEX-RN in 2010 Mercy College nursing graduates achieved a first-time pass rate on the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) of 93% in 2010, exceeding the state (84%) and national averages (87%) for all nursing schools.

Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Steering Committee

(Source: Iowa Board of Nursing)

Purpose and Goal: With the formation of the HLC Steering Committee, the Board of Directors and President seeks to ensure Mercy College of Health Sciences is properly positioned for its 2013-2014 PEAQ self-study and comprehensive visit resulting in the achievement of a successful status of full “continued accreditation” as designated by the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Accreditation Updates

HLC Steering Committee Members

Mercy College President Barbara Decker shared that, “We are pleased with this outcome and recognize the achievements of our nursing students and faculty in serving our communities.” “Faculty and students alike should be proud of their dedication in attaining this success rate! These outcomes reaffirm that Mercy graduates are prepared to enter the profession of nursing,” said Dr. Shirley Beaver, Dean of the School of Nursing.

The accrediting processes are spearheaded by Dr. Joan McCleish, Dean of Institutional Research, Assessment and Distance Education, and each respective academic program chair within the College. The following updates reflect accomplishments, reports in progress, as well as those soon to be submitted to their respective accrediting body. - The Clinical Laboratory Science program completed and submitted its selfstudy and is expecting a site visit in the fall of 2011. - The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program received approval for continued accreditation that resulted in the maximum award of 5 out of 5 years with the next site visit in 2016. - The Nuclear Medicine Technology program received an accreditation extension that resulted in the maximum award of 5 out of 5 years with the next site visit in 2015. - The Polysomnography Technology program received continued accreditation in January subsequent to a peer review by CoA PSG with a site visit due in 2014. - The Mercy College Training Center annual site visit took place in fall 2010 and achieved continued accreditation in all areas.

2010-11 Excellence Awards Pictured left to right: Irene Bertsch, MA, Adjunct Faculty Award, Linda Knowles, Professional Staff Award, and Amanda Tollari, RN, BSN, Faculty Award.

- Marti Doyle, LMSW, PhD Associate Professor of Social Science & HLC Steering Committee Co-Chair - Joan McCleish, PhD Dean of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Distance Education & HLC Steering Committee Co-Chair - Shirley Beaver, RN, PhD, NEA-BC Dean of the School of Nursing - Sue Bravard, PT, MS PTA Program Chair - Barbara Q. Decker, JD President - Jacqueline Easley Director, Diversity Services at Mercy Medical Center and College Board Member - Eileen Hansen, MA, AHIP Director of Library - Tom Iverson Systems Technology Supervisor - Tom Leahy, JD Director of Business Operations - Jeanne Pike Recording Secretary - Elizabeth Ritt, RN, EdD Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost - Jim Tagye Marketing Manager - Brian Tingleff Vice President of Admissions and Advancement - Karen Tjossem Anderson, PhD Director of Student Services | 5

college highlights

College Sponsors Two Students for World Youth Day Pilgrimage in Madrid, Spain President Barbara Decker is pleased to announce, that for the first time two (2) Mercy College of Health Sciences students, Sara Lydic, a Bachelor of Science in Health Science student, and Liz Becker, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing student were chosen to represent the College at World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, Spain this August. They will join others as part of the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines Pilgrimage. World Youth Day is a gathering of more than 1 million young adult Catholics (18-39 years of age) eager to celebrate their faith with Pope Benedict as part of a pilgrimage centered around encountering Christ. The two students were selected from a pool of applicants, which were reviewed by Mercy College faculty - Joan McCleish PhD, RN, Jeannine Matz PhD, Joann Humphreys RN, EdD, Joe Moravec DMin and Dawn Bowker RN, MAN, ARNP, WHNP-BC. The College will pay for airfare and accommodations during the trip. In return for their participation, these two women will serve as student representatives on the College campus ministry team in the 2011-12 academic year.

Mercy Students Assist with State and Federal Agencies with Earthquake Simulation On Thursday May 19, 2011, more than 50 Mercy College of Health Sciences students and faculty played the roles of simulated patients in a multi-state, multi-federal agency exercise designed to support regional planning, to prepare for, respond to and recover from a catastrophic earthquake. During the exercise, the Veterans Affairs of Central Iowa Health Care System established a National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) Federal Coordinating Center and Patient Reception Site at the 132nd Fighter Wing, Iowa National Guard. Each volunteer was assigned a patient scenario including being moulaged with bandages, splints etc. to represent injuries sustained in the earthquake with severity levels ranging from minor to life threatening. As disaster patient triage dictates, color-coated wristbands were used to direct simulated patients to their respective colored floor mats based on the severity in the Patient Reception Site. Students were transported from the Iowa Air National Guard in Des Moines to various participating medical centers in the Des Moines, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City.

An Active MCANS Group MCANS is the Mercy College Association of Nursing Students and is a constituency of both a state and national organization: IANS - Iowa Association of Nursing Students and NSNA - National Student Nurse Association. In asking active members of MCANS what attracted them to participate, they responded with philanthropy, networking, leadership opportunities and professional benefits such as decreased malpractice insurance fees. The MCANS faculty involvement is strong and dedicated to mentoring nursing students and assisting with professional development. We have begun filling officer positions and fundraising in order to send officers to the state convention in October.

Standing Left to Right: Karla Hall RN,MSN, Faculty Advisor, Mandi Counters RN,MSN,CNRN, Faculty Advisor, Dawn Bowker RN,MAN,ARNP,WHNP,BC, Faculty Advisor, Zachery Ahmann , Treasurer, Emily Holtmeier, Secretary Kneeling Left to Right: Mony Chau, Vice President, Daniel Bray, President. Not Pictured: Ashley Richtmeier, Fundraising Chairperson, Nicole Scar, MCANS Senate Representative

Presidential Award for Excellence at the Mercy Excellence Fair 2011 Pictured left to right: Dawn Bowker, Assistant Professor of Nursing, Brianna Rumbaugh, BSN student and Brandi Harned, BSN’11, presented a community health poster on dental care affecting the homeless population in Central Iowa. The Mercy Excellence fair provides an opportunity for Mercy entities and individuals to present a poster(s) on topics of research, study and best practices. 6 | Spring/Summer 2011

college highlights

(Clockwise starting in upper left corner) President Decker and Bishop Richard Pates bless the hands of a student during the ceremony; President Barbara Decker congratulates ASN graduate Mony Chau; Fr. Joel McNeil stresses the value of a Mercy education during his commencement address; College administrators Dr. Suzanne Crandall, Dr. JoAnn Humphreys and Dr. Janet Roberts-Andersen gather before the ceremony (center photo); Maura Wiebers earned her RT degree; ASN graduate Jeflyn Jensen receives her nursing pin from her uncle.

Commencement Mercy College Graduates 137 Students in Nine Healthcare Disciplines this Spring Mercy College conferred 137 Bachelor and Associate of Science degrees at a ceremony held at Hy-Vee Hall, in Des Moines on Friday, April 29, 2011. These students graduated from the following academic programs; Bachelor of Science degrees in Health Care Administration, Health 7 | VitalSigns

Sciences, and Nursing; Associate of Science degrees in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Medical Assisting, Nursing, Physical Therapist Assistant, Polysomnographic Technology and Radiologic Technology. Fr. Joel McNeil, Pastor, St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Student Center and Diocesan Director

of Campus Ministry, was the Commencement Speaker. The Most Reverend Richard E. Pates, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Des Moines delivered the Gospel Reading and conferred the blessing of the hands of the graduates. | 7

from Bud to

Bl ssom Mercy College Strategic Plan Wrapping up 2006-2010 and Beginning the 2011-2014 Plan


o to the Mercy College of Health Sciences website, and you will find a message from President Barbara Q. Decker. She describes what Mercy does best: Students gain knowledge and access to technology that leads to exceptional first-time national exam passage rates. Faculty and staff provide personalized, hands-on instruction that leads to student empowerment. Board members establish relationships within the community and with Catholic Health Initiatives nationwide. The community benefits from better prepared health care professionals. None of this happens by accident, of course. These outcomes grow out of strategic plans that mesh

8 | Spring/Summer 2011

the best thinking of Mercy’s constituents into one singular effort. “All of us have a common direction, a common vision that relates to the fulfillment of Mercy’s mission” Decker says. “What is it that we’re going to do in terms of sustaining the College now and for the future?” Earlier this spring, Mercy’s Board of Directors approved a new strategic plan for 2011-2014. But to understand the new plan, you need to first look at what the 2006-2010 plan did—and did not—accomplish. Here’s a quick look at the past and future of Mercy College.

The Dogwood The dogwood is an important symbol of Jesus and his crucifixion. The blossom of the dogwood also serves as a reminder for Christians that Jesus died on the cross to cleanse their sins. Common symbols of the crucifixion, such as the thorny crown and the cross, were recreated in the dogwood blossom. | 9

Honoring Our Past, Building Our Future: 2006 – 2010 From the first, Mercy College President Barbara Decker challenged her academic and professional team to create a roadmap for the future. Through a collaborative process, Decker’s kick-off project--the 2006-2010 strategic plan--took shape. “The plan certainly is ambitious, but realistic and important to our future,” Decker said at the time. And ambitious it was, with 29 goals and 128 objectives, each crafted in the best interest of Mercy College and its students. “It was a very ambitious plan, recalls Vice President Brian Tingleff, who served on the planning committee with Decker. “We threw in a lot of goals that were intended to stretch us. That’s what a good plan should do.” Tingleff identifies three areas that rise to the top when looking back at the accomplishments during that time period.

Mercy College stretched itself in terms of academic programming in order to meet the needs of future students and their potential employers. Stretch came in the form of putting hospitalbased educations programs under the Mercy College umbrella. After a careful exploration, both Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the School of Clinical Laboratory Sciences (CLS) made the shift. “It made sense to take those programs out of the medical departments, even though the staff had great connections with the hospital,” Tingleff says. “As part of the college, the programs could focus more on academic rigor and meeting the needs of potential employers.”

10 | Spring/Summer 2011

Additional stretch came through two new programs created to serve health care employer needs and help students to continue to be marketable. The first, polysomnographic technology, is a new career field with the potential to solve sleep problems that are just now being understood, per Tingleff. “It’s one of the cutting-edge careers in health care,” he says. The second, a Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree program, launches students into graduate school (including medicine) and other avenues of graduate education. “We want to give students opportunities to grow,” Tingleff says. “They’re on the front lines. They need to be able to go back to school for an advanced degree when they see they need more knowledge.”

Mercy College increased the diversity of its student body as part of an effort to increase the diversity of the health care work force. This internal challenge resulted in an innovative partnership among Iowa Workforce Development (IWD), the Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services, and Mercy. Together, the three organizations move refugees and immigrants into a health care workforce that reflects the diversity of the state. Known as Pathways to Health Care Careers - Iowa, the program opens a highpotential career path to the state’s newest Iowans by assisting them in overcoming language and culture barriers. That’s because the program provides course content modified in pace and teaching style to meet the needs of these students. The resulting bilingual health care professionals are prepared for five career fields: medical billing and coding, emergency medical technician-basic (EMT-B), nursing assistant, medical assistant, and paramedic. “The Pathways grant didn’t get funded until 2010, however, so it will be one of those connective tissues between the two plans,” Tingleff says. “The impetus came out of the 2006 plan, and it will grow and flourish in the next plan. We’ll be looking for ways to sustain the original concept and expand it to other academic areas.”

Mercy College improved the way it manages growth, focusing on its ability to serve the needs of students. Mercy was, and still is, a young college— even though its history is entwined with the century-old tradition of the Sisters of Mercy. In 2006 Mercy College expe-

it had been upgraded to a Student Success Center, with a physical space for providing services for tutoring, testing and related needs.

“Students didn’t know if they could find loans to go to school,” Tingleff says. “Without knowing how many students you will have from semester to semester, it’s hard to combine partial classes into “The Student Success Center is another full classes that warrant full-time teachbit of connective tissue between the 2006 ers.” plan and the 2011 plan,” Tingleff says, “especially as we provide assistance to It also proved difficult to find people more and more Pathways students.” with the right educational backgrounds and teaching skills to handle some of the health care classes, Tingleff says. “We have top-notch adjuncts,” he says, “yet you simply get more continuity from full-time staff.”

“It was a good tool, a good process, and very inclusive. It did not sit on a shelf. We learned a lot. It gave us a nice sense of where we wanted to be.” Brian Tingleff, Vice President of Admissions and Advancement

rienced significant growth in student numbers. College administrators looked at the resulting need for increased resources—everything from parking spots to computer workstations. Most important of all? Providing a high-caliber faculty. “People loved us, and it was wonderful to be loved,” Tingleff says. “But we needed to find enough people with the appropriate backgrounds to teach.” As a result, Mercy College retained a human resources staff member — someone responsible for hiring full-time faculty, adjunct faculty, and tutors. Mercy also invested in a Student Success Project-now the Student Success Center--to help students overcome learning barriers. “What we found over our first 10 years is that having a high GPA doesn’t guarantee academic success in college,” Tingleff says, noting Mercy’s nontraditional student body. “Our students have homes, children, jobs…addressing these factors can impact academic success.” The Student Success Project began offering services to help students overcome these barriers. It proved to be such a boon to student retention that by 2011

This goal will continue to be integrated into the annual review of staffing needs.

Where the 2006-2010 plan fell short—and why

Mercy College tabled its plans for an immediate capital campaign.

A dramatic economic downturn altered where Mercy College was going, Tingleff says. As a result, two goals in the 2006 plan were redirected (or needed further study and revised timeframe).

Mercy had hoped to grow the size of its endowment, a potential solution to students who are unable to come up with tuition dollars. The College hired a consultant to reach out into the commu-

“I learned a long time ago from a professional planner that you must remember you have to live in the house while you remodel it. This means you must maintain the fine things that are going on at the same time you think of all the great new things you’d like to do.” Sr. Jude Fitzpatrick, CFM, Board Member

Mercy College redirected its goal to hire more full-time faculty Mercy intended to reduce its dependence upon adjunct professors and replace them with full-time faculty. But because of the economic downturn, it became harder to predict how many students would be able to obtain the financing to enroll.

nity and see if potential donors would respond to a capital campaign. “But their report said: ‘You’re too young. People are going to need more time to understand your value to this community,’” Tingleff recalls. Instead, the consultants recommended that the College work to better integrate itself into the community. That way, the | 11

institution can help potential donors understand what quality health sciences education means to the delivery of health care. The desire to grow the endowment became part of the 2011 plan, Tingleff says, adding more connective tissue between the two efforts.

Advancing Our Legacy of Learning Excellence: 2011 – 2014 As articulated by President Decker, the title of the new strategic plan combines the legacy of the Sisters of Mercy with the expectation for excellence in providing higher education in the health sciences. Committee members (see sidebar) met every other week for seven months to talk about the imperative and direction of the College, which she says was “as valuable as the individual goals and objectives.” Co-chairs Dr. Shirley Beaver and Sr. Jude Fitzpatrick led the committee in reviewing outcomes of the previous plan, gathering input from the campus community, and focusing on a vision of educational excellence. “As we got that input, we realized emerging themes would become the pillars for the new plan,” Beaver recalls. Within those pillars the committee established 10 goals, 22 objectives, and metrics for measuring the College’s success in meeting the goals. “All of the goals are important,” stresses President Decker. “And each of them brings strength in different ways. All 10 of them reflect the College in terms of where it is today and where we want it to be in the future. We decided these goals were realistic, while at the same time they were bold.” The Committee also considered the fact that Mercy College would be engaged in a comprehensive accreditation visit from the Higher 12 | Spring/Summer 2011

Learning Commission in 2014. “This gave us a wonderfully unique opportunity to do some parallel thinking,” Sr. Jude says. “Not to be hamstrung by the HLC process, but to know that both processes could be enhanced if we kept both in mind.” Along with establishing goals, the committee discussed how Mercy College would measure its success as a college. The 2006 plan generated a dashboard (a set of benchmarks) to keep constituents aware of what Mercy was doing— a challenging and enlightening process, per Brian Tingleff. “What did we mean by saying we wanted to grow by X percentage?” he

Committee Membership Co-chairs

Sharon Phillips, RN

Shirley Beaver, RN, PhD,

Board Member


Dean of the School of Nursing

Sr. Jude Fitzpatrick, CHM Board Member

Carole Adams Administrative Assistant to the President

Elizabeth Ritt, RN, EdD Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost

Wendy Rivas Bachelor of Science in Health Science Student

Mary Schemmel, RN’76, MSN

Michael Allsopp, PhD

Assistant Professor of Nursing

Liberal Arts and Sciences Professor

Patricia Shoff, JD

Willard L. Boyd III, JD Board Member

Board Chair

Brian Tingleff


Vice President of Admissions and Advancement

Thomas Leahy, JD

Robyn Wilkinson

Director of Business Operations

Board Member

Robert Loch, MBA,

RN’79, BSN’89, MSN

Barbara Q. Decker, JD


Nuclear Medicine Technology Program Chair

Joan McCleish, RN, PhD Dean of Institutional Research, Assessment and Distance Education

Deborah Willyard, Board Member

recalls people asking. “Who’s going to collect that data and collect it uniformly?”

The 2011-14 Plan Pillars include:

“That effort continues with the 2011 plan”, says Shirley Beaver. Those charged with implementing the plan will determine the appropriate metrics, then select items that can be measured monthly to provide a regular snapshot of the College’s success. Among the most important: student assessment.

Pillar: Fostering Mission and Community, which refers to advo-

“Our most prized outcomes are our students,” says Joan McCleish, Dean of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Distance Education. “We want to make sure our graduates are ready on Day 1. So we need to assess student learning, both inside and outside the classroom. What are their retention and graduation rates? How satisfied are they? How engaged are they? Those are the outcomes that we are measured against by our accreditors, ourselves, and the board of directors.”

“This plan is all about collaboration. It’s all about soliciting ideas and input from others. In the end, the Plan sets direction and focus toward fulfillment of our vision.”

cating through actions and words the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. Goal 1: Articulate a distinctive Catholic campus ministry that aligns with the College’s mission and embraces all faiths and backgrounds. Goal 2: Demonstrate the growing importance of diversity to the future of Mercy College’s success.

Pillar: Advancing a Collaborative Learning Community, which refers to creating a teaching and learning environment focusing on holistic healthcare education.

Goal 3: Foster a learning community that embodies the spirit of lifelong learning, intellectual engagement, spiritual development, and collaborative scholarship.

Pillar: Engaging the Community,

which refers to sharing the unique health resources of the College with our communities of interest. Goal 4: Gain recognition by local, regional, and national communities of interest as a leader in the delivery and innovation of health sciences education.

Pillar: Stewarding Resources, which refers to acting responsibly in the utilization and management of resources.

Goal 5: Strengthen the financial status of the College to enhance long-term value Goal 6: Maximize the use of technology and data analysis to enhance the operational performance of the College.

Pillar: Preparing for the Future,

which refers to positioning the College to meet the needs of a changing healthcare environment. Goal 7: Develop a methodology that will be used to determine the optimal enrollment of the College. Goal 8: Enhance the Campus Master Plan to ensure that physical resources are aligned with future needs that optimize student and teacher interaction and learning. Goal 9: Explore opportunities to create or partner in developing additional undergraduate and/or graduate programs. Goal 10: Assess the timing for a Comprehensive Fundraising Campaign to meet annual, capital, and endowment needs of the College.

President Barbara Q. Decker, JD | 13


hen Mercy College says it will do everything it can to help students succeed, the institution means it. That’s why the College formally recognized the value of a once-mobile program by creating a permanent Student Success Center directed by Dr. Mark Kloberdanz, EdD, MPA. The new Center includes a testing room, tutoring room, and three counseling rooms designed to provide personal, academic, and emotional support to students while they attend Mercy College.

“We offer all students six free counseling sessions that they may not even need in the time they’re here,” he says. “But if they’re anxious or depressed, experience a family tragedy or go through a divorce, they have counseling readily available to help them stay afloat while they’re in one of our educational programs.” Kloberdanz stresses that the Success Center sessions are not intended to take the place of long-term therapy. The Center provides solution-based counseling

Student Success Center Gains Permanent Home “The Center allows us to give them every opportunity to be successful,” Kloberdanz says. Free tutoring is the most requested service, he says. Toward that end, Kloberdanz manages 32 tutors (teaching assistants, adjunct faculty members, and peer tutors) in 20 different subject areas. “The whole reason to have a tutoring program is to provide that oneon-one attention to help students succeed,” he says. “So we try to identify difficult subject areas where students tend to struggle, and provide assistance to help them have a better chance of sticking with it.” Personal counseling is the next most-requested service, according to Kloberdanz, who is a licensed psychologist. He handles most of the sessions, but also supervises a part-time intern from Drake University’s counseling program. 14 | Spring/Summer 2011

only. “It’s like triage,” he says. “We take two or three sessions to figure what the student needs to best help him or her succeed. We have almost everything we need [at Mercy Behavioral Health], but we’re also a conduit to other providers. ” Academic counseling helps students who are struggling with their classes, Kloberdanz says. Sometimes it’s because they’re not sure they’re in the right program. “We hear things like, ‘Mom thought I should be a nurse. I’ve been here for a semester and this isn’t the fit I thought it would be,’” he says. And sometimes students need special ADA testing accommodations because of physical or mental disabilities. For them, the Center offers test proctors, a quiet testing area without distractions, and longer test times. The same

The third semester of the nursing program is the most rigorous and the most challenging. The Student Success Center was a big resource for me. I talked to Dr. Kloberdanz about the stresses of nursing school and some outside things I was dealing with. He was able to encourage me and give me an objective perspective. He really helped me get through it and see that there was an end in sight.

Dr. Mark Kloberdanz, MPA Student Success Center Director

Jill Kramer, BSN December 2009 Nurse, Mercy Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

testing area makes it possible to offer make-up tests to students who have been out for illness or family emergencies and Compass testing to refugees and immigrants who need to show proficiency in English and math before entering a Mercy College program. Kloberdanz and other Mercy College employees do as much outreach as possible to let students know about the Center’s services. “We have to keep reminding students we’re here,” he says. “We want them to know they can walk right in and get help when a crisis occurs.” Clearly the message is getting out and students are finding their way to Kloberdanz’ new digs. What he finds most gratifying is when they begin to understand that by getting help they have a better chance of making it at Mercy College. It’s not about someone else being smarter, he stresses. “Once they get the help they need, it’s no big deal,” he says. “Admitting that one needs help is the biggest part of the battle. I want to do whatever I can to help them reach their goals; that’s a victory for the entire college.”

Fall Semester 2010 Data

83 32 32

students made 277 visits for personal or academic counseling in fall 2010. students qualified for ADA accommodations in fall 2010.

tutors provided free tutoring services in 20 subjects | 15


ursing students at Mercy College experience greater success in the classroom thanks to steps the school has taken to support the learning experience. Two new positions make a key difference: a teaching assistant -Amy Tappendorf -- who supports

methods they’ve been relying on aren’t working.” As the program coordinator and a former teaching assistant at the University of Kentucky, Flynn well understands the benefit of Tappendorf’s support. Flynn organizes the

Mercy Grads Help Nursing Students Succeed students taking third-semester coursework, and a tutor -- Aesha Patel -- who helps students in the anatomy lab. Both Tappendorf and Patel graduated from Mercy in 2010.

third-semester lectures, administers and evaluates the exams, coordinates the clinical components, and

The TA position, in particular, reflects a realization that students historically have had a difficult time during the third semester, according to Dr. Shirley Beaver, Dean of Nursing. “We focus on critical thinking during third semester and design our tests to be similar in format to the NCLEXRN licensure exam,” she says. “Sometimes it’s difficult for students to grasp the critical thinking aspect of becoming a nurse. And that skill is a huge component to professional nursing.”

evaluates the students’ success. With 110 students, this additional help provides more personalized instruction to those who need assistance. “Plus, TAs are closer to the material than the instructor is,” she says. “Instructors sometimes forget how hard it is to learn the material for the first time. The TA helps fill in the gaps.”

Assistant Professor Rebecca Flynn, ARNP, MSN, CPNP, who coordinates the third-semester course, sees first-hand when students encounter this new learning method. “Students who are used to making As and Bs no longer get the grades they used to get,” she says. “Around midterm, they’re frustrated because the study 16 | Spring/Summer 2011

“He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.” -- Arabian Proverb

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -- Gandhi Tappendorf also extends Flynn’s reach by administering test reviews, working with the instructor to identify appropriate questions that accurately reflect the test content (without duplicating it). Students take the practice exam as a group, then go through the questions one-by-one with the TA to understand the rationale behind the right answers. “My exam scores have improved a lot as a result,” Flynn says, “and

The quote from Gandhi and the Arabian Proverb are adhered to the walls in the Student Success Center as inspiration for our students.

overall student satisfaction has improved drastically. I hear a lot of students say, ‘I’ll just go work with Amy and see if she can help me understand it.’” In addition to improved test scores at Mercy College, NCLEX scores have reached an extraordinary first-time pass rate of 93 percent, according to Dr. Beaver. This result exceeds national and state averages (87 and 84 percent, respectively) for all nursing

“Our goal is to

schools according to the Iowa Board of Nursing.

help students

“We have raised the rigor of our program, which has led us to using teaching assistants, which has yielded wonderful NCLEX scores,” Flynn says. “A nursing degree doesn’t mean anything towards nursing practice if a student cannot pass the NCLEX-RN exam.”

pass the test the first time, enter the working world, and practice as a professional.” Dr. Shirley Beaver Dean of the School of Nursing

Academic leadership also saw more students moving onto 4th semester as a result of the TA program, which means fewer students have to take the class over. “More students were retained in the program; we love that,” Beaver says. “It’s directly related to the teaching assistants, the Student Success Center, and all the work that [director] Dr. Mark Kloberdanz has done to help students be successful.”

Meet Amy Tappendorf Teaching Assistant Amy Tappendorf, RN, who received her ASN from Mercy College in 2010, remembers third semester well. “There’s a drastic change in the approach,” she says. “It’s no longer just about knowing the information; it’s about being asked to apply it.” So she draws upon her recent experience as a student to help those who have followed her. “It’s just a matter of going over the info again, helping them understand it, and explaining it in a different way,” she says. Along with her other duties, Tappendorf administers test reviews to let students practice taking the tough kinds of questions they’ll | 17

face both in their college exams and eventually the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. The multiple-choice test questions are especially tough, Tappendorf says, because all of the answers might be right. The student needs to use critical thinking skills to figure out which of the four answers is best. Tappendorf works with students to understand how to read the questions, understand what’s being asked, and use process of elimination and other strategies to arrive at the right answer. At the conclusion of a review session, she goes over the practice test with the students and discusses the rationale behind the answers. How does she know her efforts are paying off? Students send her text messages and make phone calls to her, she says. “They say things like ‘Oh my gosh, that test went so much better.’ ‘Thank you for helping me understand.’ ‘I know I would not have passed third semester if not for you,’” Amy recalls. “And I say ‘You’re the one that’s putting in the time and effort; I’m just trying to help guide you along.’” Tappendorf, who recently got a nursing job with CBS Health Care Services and Staffing in metro Des Moines, says she’ll continue working with Mercy’s nursing students. “We didn’t have a nursing TA when I went through school,” she says. “I wish there was even more that I could do.”

Meet Aesha Patel Aesha Patel, who earned her BSN degree in December 2010, helps Mercy’s nursing students with anatomy lab. “Anatomy was one of my favorite classes when I was in school,” she recalls. “But I know how I struggled at first.”

18 | Spring/Summer 2011

Patel serves as a lab assistant for Adjunct Instructor Jenna Simpson two days a week. Students attend lecture first, then go to the lab where they’re charged with identifying anatomical structures. Patel guides the students’ exploration of their assigned cat’s organs, bones, tendons, and ligaments. The bigger organs, such as kidneys and stomach, are easy to identify, Patel says. But smaller structures, such as tendons and ligaments, are more difficult. “You may not be able to rely on visual memory,” she says. “You have to know where the smaller structures are relative to something else in the body.” So Patel quizzes students three or four times on the same things until she hears the right answers. Her reward is when

students tell her they passed labs or did better on exams because of her help. “Helping someone learn is the best thing you can possibly do,” Patel says. “Imparting knowledge to someone else is a great opportunity for them to learn, and you as well. I become stronger in subjects I teach, which is a win-win situation.” Patel recently joined the medical neurology and trauma unit at Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. She says she will continue her work as a lab assistant and test proctor for ADA accommodation students, and will eventually begin tutoring Pathways students.

program highlights

Service Learning Series The College’s Building Hope Project: Looking through the Eyes of Another Three homeless individuals will learn to be healthier and more productive citizens as a result of Mercy College’s Building Hope Project, a collaborative effort with HOPE Builders--a ministry to the homeless. Numerous Mercy College students will learn to look through the eyes of another as they compassionately care for homeless individuals in this structured service learning experience. And the year-long program will reverberate into the community as those students move into health care roles and care for the rest of God’s family. “Students will learn to love and care for people where they’re at, to break down stereotypes, and to treat people as God wants us to treat them,” says Dr. Joe Moravec, D.Min., Philosophy and Religion Professor for Mercy College. “If you can do that, it’s not hard [as a health care worker] to offer the same compassion to the more privileged.”

“We want to empower students to recognize that they can make a difference, something that they may not have known prior to coming to Mercy.” -- Dawn Bowker, RN, MAN, ARNP, WHNP-BC,

Associate Professor of Nursing

The Building Hope project grew out of a long-standing relationship with the Sisters of the Humility of Mary (CHM), Moravec says. That relationship led to a meeting with David Costello, co-founder of HOPE Builders, who subsequently helped Moravec and Father James Kirby, Mercy adjunct instructor, to take 25 students to visit underserved individuals living by the river. “The homeless are a culture of their own,” says Margaret Richey, an associate professor who helped Moravec with a subsequent service learning experience in fall 2010. “Many people think of cultural diversity as coming from a different country, but it can also have a lot to do with socioeconomic status, educational level, and physical capacity. By increasing students’ knowledge of the homeless population, we can help those students learn to provide more culturally competent health care.” Fast forward to November 2010, when Costello approached Moravec with an intriguing proposition. HOPE Builders had secured a River Bend home to house three

homeless persons for a year. Would the College be willing to provide faculty and students to help those individuals improve their own lives? Moravec, Kirby, Richey, and Associate Professor Dawn Bowker (who had also taken part in the fall 2010 experience) agreed to participate. In December 2010 the College faculty members and their students began to visit with Richard, Cheryl, and Kelly (not their real names) at the HOPE Builders’ River Bend residence. By midDecember, Catholic Charities recognized the value of the project with a $750 grant as part of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. And all along, students were being exposed to issues such as diversity and vulnerability that they may not have experienced in their home towns, according to Moravec. “We take students outside their comfort zone, while at the same time making them feel safe and confident about their ability to make a difference,” he says. As a result of their work in formulating trusting relationships, the Mercy College team learned that Richard (who has a GED) is interested in going to college, says Bowker. Mercy students found him a laptop and are helping him improve his computer skills. Other students are tutoring him in algebra to help him | 19

“This experience has altered my views in a way I was not expecting. The first day, I had anxiety and dread in the pit of my stomach. But I realized that the main obstacle that they were left with was lack of support. I started looking at them as people instead of homeless.” -- Student

20 | Spring/Summer 2011

prepare for an admissions test. Cheryl has a back problem that prevents her from holding a job. College volunteers are trying to help her get vocational rehabilitation and connect with other services to help her re-enter the job market. The Mercy College team is working to help all three individuals get access to basic services and get beyond survival mode.

“The individuals they

“We’re trying to get them beyond dayto-day mentality,” Moravec says. “To look down the road to next week, next month. Not just surviving, but thriving.”

in a classroom setting.”

Moravec says he hopes the Building Hope pilot program is replicated, both in terms of what Mercy College does in the future and what other health care organizations do within the community. His goal is to help as many students as possible get a hunger for caring for those who are underprivileged—thereby creating a lifestyle of developing relationships with people who are lonely, isolated, and in need of a friend. “That’s our mission,” he says. “We’re Catholic health care and we believe in the healing ministry of Christ. That’s what Mercy College is all about.”

met have taught my students more than I could ever teach them

-- Joe Moravec, D.Min., Professor of Theology

student profile

Pamela Juhl, RN Why did she enter Mercy College’s RN to BSN online program? It’s not that Pamela Juhl RN, CRRN needed to learn bedside skills. She became a diploma nurse 30 years ago, has worked in nursing ever since, and now serves as Mercy Medical Center’s Director for the Center for Rehabilitative Medicine. There Pam has 24/7 accountability for the supervision of the nursing and therapy staff on her unit and the care provided to her patients.

As it turned out, Mercy Medical Center requires a bachelor’s degree for nursing management positions. And she already knew she needed to spend more time delving into the bigger picture for health care – which the bachelor’s degree coursework would foster. Online classes just made sense for Juhl. She looked at a handful, even went to orientation at another university, but chose Mercy College because it was part of what she already knew as Mercy Medical Center employee. “It’s mainly about the flexibility,” she says about the decision to study online. “Having a full-time job doesn’t allow me to leave work and go to class every day. This way, I have the ability to do classwork after work and on the weekends.” But it wasn’t easy to make the transition to new student after three decades in the world of work, Juhl says. She needed to

increase her comfort level with computer technology and online methods of gathering information, submitting projects, and interacting with her class colleagues. Reading assignments, research topics, faculty communication: all were posted online. And depending upon the class, there were other tools Juhl needed to use. For the Health Assessment course, for example, Juhl was required to submit a video -- burned onto a disk -- of her physical assessment of someone. Students and faculty depend upon Skype sessions (software used with a webcam to make video calls) to work on projects together and present their work online to get feedback from their peers. “Initially, I felt lost [in term of computer skills]. What are these terms? What do they mean? What is Blackboard?” Juhl recalls. (Blackboard software allows instructors to teach all or part of their courses on the Web.) “But I decided that I should be able to figure it all out. So I stumbled through the first class. The second class got easier. Then it all started to make sense.”

Now completely comfortable in her role as student, Juhl recommends that other RNs go back for an online BSN degree to get the broader picture. “We get narrow in how we look at the world,” she says. She also advises potential BSN students to understand the commitment it will take. “You have to decide how much time and energy you’re going to put into it and when you’re going to do it,” she says. “It’s different than going to a class every Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. You’re on the

Our average age for all nursing programs is 27. We have people with families and jobs; they’re very busy. For them to be able to take classwork at times that benefit them is very advantageous. A high percentage of these students do their online work at midnight or later.” -- JoAnn Humphreys, RN, EdD, ASN and BSN Program Chair

A New Approach to our Online Student Newsletter This story is from our second issue of Mercy Messenger Online. Mercy Messenger Online is a student newsletter produced by the Marketing Department. The publication will feature current Mercy College students sharing their stories with the College community. This issue features Pamela Juhl, RN, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing student. The story may also be found online at We hope you enjoy getting to know our student body.


Mercy Messenger | 21

student profile / alumni news computer every night, reading and responding. It lies in your hands alone to learn the info.” Katherine Seibert, RN, EdDc, Associate Professor of the Division of Nursing, is one of Juhl’s instructors and program advisors. “Pamela is the type of student this program is designed for, a nurse who has practiced for years who wants to take her education to the next level,” Seibert says. “The online program allows nurses to stay in practice where they are and continue higher education so they can expand their roles [into leadership, management, insurance, academia, or community health nursing] if that’s what they want to do.” Seibert is committed to helping these returning students succeed, in part, because bachelor’s degrees are the future of nursing. Many states are grappling with the decision to make a BSN an entry-level degree for the profession, she says. In fact, BSN-in-10 legislation in many states reflects the desire for new RNs to get their BSN degrees in 10 years after initial licensure to continue practicing. Iowa has not yet adopted this resolution.

2011 Alumni Calendar of Events AU G U ST Tuesday, August 9 - 3:45 p.m. Alumni Association Board Meeting Sullivan Center, Room 130

“I make sure each student gets comfortable working with

Tuesday, August 30 - Noon Mercy College Scholarship Luncheon Medical Center East Tower

all the online tools and techniques, no matter their level of


experience.” -- Katherine Seibert, RN, EdDc, Associate Professor of Nursing The complexity of care offered these days also requires someone who has greater indepth learning than you can get through an ASN program, Seibert says. “It’s the nature and complexity of the patients we see today,” she says. “Someone who gets a hospital bed is a very complex patient, and management of that patient’s care is directed by a nurse. It takes a huge amount of knowledge, ability, and skills to coordinate a team.” Juhl is finishing a community health course, then has two classes to take before graduating in August. At this point, she plans to stay on in her current administrative position. “But I have thought about whether or not I want to purse a master’s degree,” she says. “I haven’t made a decision to do that yet, but there are many online possibilities.” Note: Mercy’s RN to BSN Online Program is open to registered nurses with a current, valid license and a diploma or ASN degree with a minimum 2.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Courses are offered throughout the year, with start dates in the fall, spring, and summer. BSN program core courses are offered online only. Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) courses required in the BSN curriculum are offered both online and in the classroom. Students have up to six years to complete the program. Mercy’s BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and has approval of the Iowa Board of Nursing.

Friday, September 16 - Noon Golden Years Luncheon Tursi’s Latin King, Des Moines

O C TO B E R Saturday, October 8 - 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. Alumni Reunion Weekend Open House Sullivan Center, Room 102 Saturday, October 8 - 10:15 - 11:15 a.m. Estate Planning Seminar Sullivan Center, Room 102 Saturday, October 8 - 5:00 -8:00 p.m. Alumni Reunion Celebration & Annual Meeting The Wakonda Club, Des Moines Friday, October 14 - 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Health Coaching - CEU Workshop Sullivan Center, Room 130


What’s Your Story? Alumni Testimonials for Mercy College -- This is your chance to reminisce about those wonderful instructors or experiences from your days at Mercy College with everyone. We would like to share these stories with others on the College website, in print or other communication. In addition, if you have photos, please submit these as well. To share something, complete this convenient online form at www.mchs. edu/alumni_testimonial or drop us a note in the mail and send it to Mercy College of Health Sciences, Attn: Marketing Department, 928 6th Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50309. 22 | Spring/Summer 2011

Tuesday, November 21 - 3:45 p.m. Alumni Association Board Meeting Sullivan Center, Room 130

DECEMBER Friday, December 2 - 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Alumni Christmas Luncheon Sam and Gabe’s, Urbandale

alumni news

Merger Talks Resume; Membership Mailing Anticipated for Fall Nearly five years after initial discussions began to consider the merger of the alumni associations of the School of Allied Health with the School of Nursing talks are underway again this summer at the request of the College. Currently, the two organizations operate independently of each other. Earlier this year, President Decker attended the Nursing Alumni Association Board meeting to discuss and determine the Board’s willingness to resume discussions on the topic. In the intervening five years, the College’s third School – the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences – has added an additional degree program, thus bringing to three the number of associations that could be operational in the future if a merger wasn’t initiated. She encouraged the Association Board to work with representatives of the other groups of alumni from the two Schools to see how a more unified approach could be undertaken beginning with the 2011-12 budget year (see chart below for examples of group sizes by degree field). By integrating all alumni into one alumni association, the College will be better positioned in responding to alumni interests and needs. Representatives form the Membership Committee and the Nominating Committee of the Nursing Alumni Association are scheduled to meet this summer with representatives of the various alumni groups as nominated by their academic Program Chairs from the other Schools. Initial ideas surrounding operating structure include using a unified organizational name with individual professional chapters to represent the various degree fields e.g. Nursing Alumni Chapter or Radiologic Technology Alumni Chapter of the Mercy College Alumni Association.

Academic Programs Clinical Laboratory Science*

Alumni Population 2010 5

Annual Reunion Weekend Saturday, October 8 Alumni Reunion Weekend Open House 10-11:30 a.m. Sullivan Center, Room 102

Estate Planning Seminar 10:15-11:15 a.m. Sullivan Center, Room 102

Alumni Reunion Celebration & Annual Meeting 5:00-8:00p.m. The Wakonda Club, Des Moines

Request for Mercy Memories

Diagnostic Medical Sonography (Certificate and Associate Degree)


Emergency Medical Services - Paramedic (Certificate and Associate Degree*


The following classes are being honored during the 2011 Alumni Reunion

Health Care Management (Bachelor Degree)


Celebration: 1961,

Medical Assisting (Certificate and Associate Degree)


Nursing (Diploma, Associate and Bachelor Degree)


Nuclear Medicine (Certificate)


Physical Therapist Assistant (Associate Degree)


Polysomnographic Technology (Certificate and Associate Degree)


Radiologic Technology (Certificate and Associate Degree)


Surgical Technology (Certificate and Associate Degree)


1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, and 1996. If you are celebrating your reunion visit to complete the Mercy Memories online form by September 26, 2011.

* CLS and EMS historical alumni databases have not been merged into the college-wide alumni database at this time, both include decades of additional alumni.

More information about the new structure will be included with the annual membership mailing which will be delayed until early fall to give the working group time this summer to discuss options.

Questions or comments can be directed to Brian Tingleff, Vice President of Admissions and Advancement to pass along to the working group. He can be reached at (515) 643-6663 or by email at

Nursing Alumni CEU Workshop Health Coaching October 14, 2011 | 23

mercy college donors

Scholarship Recipients for 2010-11 Recognized Mercy College scholarship committees awarded more than $247,706 in scholarships to students based on criteria that included academic ability, financial need and/or area of academic study. Scholarship winners and the committees that selected them include:

Nursing Alumni Association Scholarships Nursing Alumni Association General Scholarship Nicholas Berte Karen Denger Ashley Lane Tessa Sandel Brittany Weg

$300 $300 $300 $300 $300

Miss Leona Sweeney Endowed Scholarship Tiffany Beyer Devin O’Neil Tiffany Wagenaar

$750 $750 $750

Sr. Mary Sebastian Geneser Scholarship

Holly Cochran $700 Jennifer Fields $700 Erin Gallagher $700 Jean Gelbman $700 Erin Hernandez $700 Lindsay Maxwell $700 Rebecca Schleuger-Valadao $700

Sr. Zita Brennan Nursing Endowed Scholarship Jessica Ohlinger


Mercy Auxiliary Nursing Scholarships Mary Northup Scholarship Katherine Hagge

Mercy Auxiliary General Scholarship Cynthia Barbour Nicholas Berte Tiffany Beyer Jenna Boyle Holly Cochran Alyson Day Karen Denger Jonathan Escobar Tamara Estrem Jennifer Fields Emily Flahive Katlin Friebus Erin Gallagher

24 | Spring/Summer 2011


$1,000 $1,500 $1,500 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,500 $1,750 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,500 $1,000

Jean Gelbman Melissa Gomez Natasha Green Kristine Grier Cherish Hansen Erin Hernandez Beth Ingersoll Jeflyn Jensen Quin Kennedy Allison Kirschbaum Samantha Knutson Kyle Kosman Ashley Lane Lindsay Maxwell Molly Murphy Emily Nelson Jessica Ohlinger Devin O’Neil Janette Osweiler Kerry Plummer Ashley Richtsmeier Abigail Rutt Tessa Sandel Nicole Scar Brittany Shelman Courtney Shelquist Amanda Shindelar Sarah Stephas Lynsey Sunstrom Dominica Thomas Amy VanDerKamp Sherri Walter Brittany Weg Stephanie (Yario) Clark Katie Bauer Noel Collins Alexis Cordia Gwen Gerth Michelle Hauck Emily Holtmeier Titus Ivory Sarah Kitsis Justin Kline Nicholas Lahr Jennifer Larsen Alicia Lynch Shannon Moses Sara Prather DewAnn Sanchez Rosemary Smaglick Shawna Snuggs Lourdes Stevenson Alicia Thede Betty Truong Chris Wright

$1,000 $1,500 $1,000 $1,000 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,750 $1,500 $1,000 $1,000 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $2,000 $1,500 $2,000 $1,500 $1,000 $1,500 $1,500 $1,000 $1,000 $1,500 $1,000 $1,500 $1,500 $1,750 $1,000 $1,500 $1,000 $1,000 $750 $750 $750 $750 $750 $750 $750 $375 $750 $750 $750 $750 $375 $750 $750 $750 $750 $750 $750 $750 $750

Morris and Lenore Mandelbaum Scholarship

Stacia Vos Kayla Wasson

Sr. Mary Gervase Northup Scholarship

School of Liberal Arts and Sciences Scholarships

Mony Chau

Elizabeth Liewer



$1,750 $875

School of Allied Health Scholarships

Frank & Mary Quijano Scholarship

Allied Health Clinical Scholarship

Health Care Administration Scholarship

Page Lund Stacia Vos Brianna Willis Austin Ollinger

$1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,500

Allied Health First Year Scholarship Jennifer Johnston Katrina Sherry

$1,000 $1,000

SIKH, Inc. Scholarship Andrea Ehrsam

Iowa Heart Center Scholarship Bonnie Strickland



Mercy Medical Staff Endowed Scholarship Bonnie Strickland


Michael Bohl RT Scholarship Stacia Vos

Robert Williams Scholarship Jill Rollinger



Schildberg Foundation Scholarship

Lashunda Ward-Taylor

Ruth Coady Alexa Kroeger Dawn VanFleet

Health Science Scholarship Sara Lydic John Cambron Sarah Lumbrezer Nathaniel Nielsen

Kristina Grier Sara Lydic

Transfer Student Academic Scholars Rachel Horn Kaylee Moravec

Beatrice Bender Scholarship

William and Marcia Young Endowed Scholarship

Bernice Ortale Scholarship

Transfer Student Academic Scholars

BSN Scholarship

Brodi Applegate Elyn Carolan Ryan Hammond Kelsey Kinney Deanna Kuenning Kelsey Swanson Alexis Vopava


$1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000

$500 $500

$1,750 $2,250

School of Nursing Scholarships


Brittany Wilis

$1,000 $1,000 $1,000

SIKH, Inc. Health Science Scholarship

Kaitlin Friebus Devin O’Neill Amanda Shindelar

Andrea Ehrsam


Tiffany Beyer

$1,000 $1,000 $803


Rebecca Schleuger-Valadao $1,000 $1,750 $2,000 $2,000 $2,000 $1,750 $2,000 $2,250

Carl & Mary Cacciatore Memorial Endowed Scholarship Devin O’Neill


mercy college donors Claude E. Niemier Perpetual Trust Nursing Scholarship Amy VanDerKamp


Dr. E.T. Scales Scholarship Emmanuel Bempah Titus Ivory

$810 $810

Frank & Mary Quijano Scholarship Erin Gallagher Erin Hernandez Jessica Ohlinger Ashley Richtsmeier

$2,500 $2,500 $2,500 $2,500

Frank Harkin Memorial Scholarship Tessa Sandel

Helen Ann Maloney Scholarship Samantha Knutson Courtney Shelquist


$1,000 $1,000


$2,000 $2,000 $1,000 $2,000 $2,000

Joann Coppola Randa Memorial Endowed Scholarship Ashley Lane Emily Nelson

$573 $500

SIKH, Inc. Health Science Scholarship Kristina Grier

Student Leadership/ Community Service Scholarship Mony Chau Jonathan Escobar

Latinos Unidos Scholarship

Student Senate Scholarship

Mercy Medical Staff Endowed Scholarship

Transfer Student Academic Scholars

Melissa Gomez

Nicholas Berte Tiffany Wagenaar

Patricia Coates Scholarship

Iowa Orthopaedic Center PC Scholarship Tiffany Beyer

Holly Cochran Ashley Lane Lindsay Maxwell Emily Nelson Courtney Shelquist

Jonathan Escobar


$500 $599


Schildberg Foundation Scholarship Karen Denger Amy Jackson Courtney Dahl

$6,250 $6,250 $6,250

Stephanie Esterbrook

Jacklyn Aronow Cynthia Barbour Jenna Boyle Chelsey Carrington Amanda Cooper Alexis Cordia Emily Holtmeier Titus Ivory Jessica Kness Molly Murphy Lauren Sampson DewAnn Sanchez


$1,000 $1,000


Rickell Schwenk Lourdes Stevenson Samantha Taylor Alicia Thede Christopher Walker

Freshman Academic Scholars Ashley Conover Emily Flahive Michelle Harding Ashley Hillman Samantha Knutson

$2,000 $2,250 $1,750 $2,250 $1,500

$2,500 $4,000 $3,500 $2,500 $3,500

$1,750 $2,000 $2,250 $875 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $2,250

Scholarship Support Necessary for Student Success More than 90% of Mercy College students needed some form of financial aid this past year to achieve their dream of becoming a health care worker. Because of that, charitable support remains an important part of many students’ finances.

ship in honor of her parents, Frank and Mary Quijano to assist students who run into financial hardship and might not complete their education without additional funding.

“We remain exceedingly grateful to our many benefactors who annually support our students through gifts to the General Scholarship Fund or one of our many other scholarships shown on this page,” said Brian Tingleff, Vice President of Admissions & Advancement.

The hundreds of gifts that are added to the Mercy College General Scholarship Fund annually are used to support several special scholarship initiatives, including the Frank Harkin Scholarship, Allied Health Scholarship, Freshman Academic Scholarship, Transfer Academic Scholarship, Health Care Administration Scholarship, Health Science Scholarship, BSN Scholarship, Latinos Unidos Scholarship and the Student Leadership/Community Service Scholarship. Each of these scholarships helps to address a specialized need or group of students who meet specific criteria.

Thanks to the continued generosity of the Mercy Auxiliary of Central Iowa, students received more than $83,000 through one of four sponsored scholarships by the women and men associated with Mercy Medical Center’s auxiliary. They continue to be the largest single source of donations to our students.

We are also indebted to the volunteers who serve on our three scholarship committees who read hundreds of scholarship applications each year looking for the best candidates who most closely match the donor’s giving intent.

Nearly $10,000 in scholarships were awarded by the Nursing Alumni Association through their four scholarships, which as of next year will all be endowed funds, with the ongoing payments by the organization to fund the Nursing Alumni Endowed General Scholarship with a 5-year pledge of $30,000 to perpetuate that last fund. We are also honored this year to have received an endowment pledge of $25,000 from President Decker to establish a scholar-

Scholarship Recognition Luncheon The next Scholarship Recognition Luncheon is scheduled for August 30, 2011 at Noon in the Mercy Medical Center East Tower Conference Center. This event is our annual opportunity to gather donors to meet scholarship recipients. Invitations will be mailed in July. | 25



Reasons to Visit Mercy College’s Page Wondering why you should take the time to check out Mercy’s Facebook page? Here are 10 awesome reasons.

Because you can connect and rediscover

Because you can tell the whole world

your friends! Round up the old gang to meet

(including Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, Dad,

you this summer at the Iowa State Fair. That

Aunt Kathy, Uncle Bob, and Kelly, your best

way you catch up while chowing down on funnel cakes,

friend in grade school) that you just got a fabulous job in

ginormous turkey legs, and homemade ice cream.

health care! Or a promotion! Whatever…you’re employed!

Because you can stay on top of Mercy’s

Because you can feel like you’re right

media coverage. Sometimes it will be

in the middle of the action in downtown

about visitors from the Vatican (remember

Des Moines by browsing through the latest

Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski?) And sometimes it will be

photos of student life. Post some of your own, even if you

about who won the Mercy College Annual Chili Cook-off!

were wearing saddle shoes, bell bottoms, peg-leg jeans,

Congrats Amanda Tollari, Eileen Hansen, Miranda Gauthier,

or a scrunchie at the time.

and Kevin Sindergard, by the way. Because you can get a thrill from reading Because you can thank your favorite

about the great things Mercy graduates are

professor for helping you understand phar-

doing all over Iowa, the United States, and

macology, or statistics, or biochemistry, or

the world.

anatomy, or whatever ridiculously hard class almost made you quit and look for a job flipping burgers.

Because you can keep your calendar upto-date (and outrageously full) by getting the

Because you can figure out if you know

details on job fairs, career fairs, fund-raisers,

the future health care professional who

volunteer opportunities, fun runs, bake sales, seminars,

just got named Student of the Month by

featured speakers, lunch & learns, employment opportu-

Mercy’s Student Senate. Heck, you never know… maybe

nities, free food, service days, open houses, and other

it will be your son or daughter!

campus happenings.

Because you can get a reminder about

Because you can get that warm fuzzy feeling

Mercy values and how they stick with you

from knowing you’re part of the Mercy College

even years after you last set foot in the Patricia

family: yesterday, today, and for the rest of

Clare Sullivan Center.

your life.

become a fan 26 | Spring/Summer 2011



What’s new with

You? Have you recently gotten married, had a baby or grandbaby, achieved an advanced degree or received a promotion or award? Share your news with classmates. Submit your updates by contacting the Marketing Department online at mchs. edu/notes. We’d love to hear from you! We also encourage you to submit digital photos of your family or Mercy College friends at get-togethers.

1966 Dianne Clothier, ‘66 retired from the VA hospital after 30 years in 2002. After retirement, she worked part-time for four years for NIH at Carl T. Hayden Research Foundation on the Accord Diabetes Clinical Research Study. Married for 43 years, she has two children, one dog, three grandchildren and has lived in Phoenix, AZ for 32 years. Kristine Dixon, ‘66 was a staff nurse for two years, in-service educator for 16 years and the Chief Nursing Officer for 20

years before retiring in 2004. Since then she has been a volunteer nurse at the Comfort House for hospice residents. Nancy Howell, ‘66 shifted to part-time as an ED Staff Nurse. She plans to spend most of her free time enjoying her six grandchildren.

1971 Mary Jo Hofer, ‘71 worked at Mercy in Iowa City for one year after graduating from Mercy in Nursing. Mary Jo married a military man and moved to Biloxi, MS. Although, my career was cut short due to health reasons I always felt that my education from Mercy was the best. I am proud to be a graduate of Mercy still today. Rita Audlehelm, ‘72 retired after 30 years in the health care industry. She completed her Masters in Health Services Administration. Her son Joe is attending the University of Iowa and majoring in Communications. He is a wide receiver for the Hawkeyes football team. Jane Carmody, ‘72 will complete a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Rush University in Chicago, IL in May 2011.

1973 Patricia Berns, ‘73 is married with three children. She has two sons, one daughter and six grandchildren. Patricia’s daughter is also a nurse. Patricia Scheckel, ‘73 has nearly 40 years experience in Radiology – 20 years in x-ray

and 20 years in ultrasound with certifications as ARPT, ARDMS and RVT.

1976 Roseann Cardamon-Cady, ’76 earned her BSN from Texas Woman’s University. She is married, with no children and loves to travel. Peggy Gilbert, ‘76 is currently the State Coordinator of Nebraska for Healthcare Associated Infections Project. She is also the Council President to the Grand Island City Council.

1977 Lynn Tofts, ‘77 has four sons that she adores – one just completed five years as a Corpman in the Marines. Another just received his commissioning as an officer in the US Army National Guard.

1978 Nancy Cambron, ‘78 has worked for Mercy for 30 years in all capacities – from PCT, RN, CRN, Manager, Director to now ARNP. She worked on many units including Med/Surg, Mother/Baby, PACU, Peds, PICU, ICU, neurosurgery, and Medical Imaging.

Wisdom to Wellness Maureen Minnehan Jones, Nursing Class of 1973, published Wisdom to Wellness: Healing Your Emotional Sufferings so the Physical Healing Can Follow in spring 2011. The book addresses her personal passion about healing, and is filled with insights and strategies for dealing with 18 specific illnesses from a holistic/energetic perspective. The book can be ordered at www. MaureenMinnehanJones. com. The book has also been released for the Kindle! Maureen was also chosen to present a poster presentation titled The Missing Piece in Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease at The Alzheimer’s Disease International Conference in Toronto, Canada on March 27, 2011. Maureen’s article The Missing Piece in Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease is also being published in The Medimond Publisher in Bologna, Italy, home of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world, the Alma Mater Studiorum, founded more than nine centuries ago.

Jean Gibbons, ‘78 is married to her high school sweetheart Dan. They have two children, Chris and Michelle, who are married and live in Ames and Des Moines. They have two grandsons, Mickey and James, ages 12 and 14. As well as | 27


three grandpuppies, Jaxon, Bentley and Reesie. Vickie Lenihan-Clark, ‘78 and her husband, Bruce have been married for 25 years. They have a son Erick and a daughter, Bridget, and three grandchildren Chloe, Alex, Brynn. Vickie, a RAGBRAI rider, and her family are bicycle enthusiasts.

1980 Linda Wuebker, ‘80 is working towards completing a BSN degree. Linda’s daughter, Cassandra, was accepted to MCHS and will start classing this fall.

1984 Marilyn Nugent, ‘84 earned her BSN degree from Graceland University in May 2009.

1988 Barbara Rozenboom, ‘88 was honored to be named 2010 Woundostomy Nurse of the Year from the Iowa WOCN Affiliate. Sheri Severseike, ‘88 completed her degree from the University of Iowa School of Radiation Therapy and is Medical Dosimetry Certification Board certified.

1989 Chris Mentz, ‘89 was just promoted to ANM in the Pediatric Specialty Clinic in Iowa City. The clinic has 16 different specialties and sees 150-200 patients daily. 28 | Spring/Summer 2011



Beverly Reid, ‘91 worked at Knoxville Hospital and Clinics for 17 years as a nursing supervisor, the last two years as a diabetes educator. Beverly quit work almost three years ago after her twins were born. One of the twins, her daughter, has a clotting disorder with portal vein thrombosis. She has been very ill over the past 18 months and has had multiple surgeries. Her latest was a mesocaual shunt using a donor vein. They have to take her to the transplant team at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh every five weeks, so I have been very busy being a nurse at home. I hope to return back to work when the twins start school.

Jaci Wilcox, ‘94 has been married to her high school sweetheart for 14 years. They have two sons, who both enjoy sports. Jaci is PALS/ACLS Certified and enjoys pediatrics and adult nursing.

1992 Linda Bender, ‘92 developed and launched three hemodialysis outpatient centers in Iowa as the Hemodialysis RN – Manager/Administrator.

1993 Laura Dankof, ‘93 is currently working as a nurse practitioner in internal medicine with an emphasis on providing a holistic and integrative approach to care. Susan Pair, ‘93 is married, with two kids ages 14 and 9. Susan graduated from the University of Iowa in the Nurse Anesthesia program in February 2007. Deb Rieck, ‘93 has been married for 34 years. She and her husband have two children and one 2-year-old grandchild.

1995 Shawna Barnett, ‘95 went back to school after 12 years as a bedside nurse for a MSN/ CRNA degree and graduated in February 2011. She is currently working at UIHC in the Department of Anesthesia. Kerry Steffensen, ‘95 received a BSN degree in 2009 from Winona State University. She is married to Josh Steffesen with three children Wyatt,11, Zoey, 9 and Skylar, 4. Melissa Vaughn, ‘95 has five children between the ages of 5 months and 13 years old. She has worked in OB for almost five years.

1996 Rita Bolles, ‘96 as of June 11, 2010, retired from Wyoming Medical Center. She and her husband moved back to Iowa to be closer to her children and grandchildren.

1997 Wendy Hopkins, ‘97 is the EMS Captain for Colfax Volunteer Fire Department and Paramedic Service. She is also a disaster coordinator for the City of Colfax.

Shawna Neifert, ‘97 has been a school nurse for nine years. Prior to that, she worked at Mercy in Des Moines – two years in PAR & 18 months in SICU. She is married with two children, a 13-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son.

1998 Shannon Fecher, ‘98 graduated with a BSN degree in May of 2010. She enrolled and is actively obtaining a MSN degree in FNP specialty at Clarkson College. She hopes to graduate in May 2013. She is married with three children (Kendall 7, Carter 4, Chase 1).

1999 Traci Dow, ‘99 is working on her MSN-FNP degree online and starting an adjunct position in the spring at Lakeland College as an instructor for second semester nursing students. Carrie Kelderman, ‘99 was named one of the 100 Great Nurses of Iowa May 2010. Mary Schnathorst, ‘99 is married with three children, Gabrielle, 12, Troy, 9 and Delaney, 8.

2000 Melissa Meils-Pelham, ‘00 has three children, Mali, 9, Maxwell, 6 and Greta, 1.

2001 Royale Andrews, ‘01 has been married to her husband,Mark, for six years. They have two children, Kasey Jae and Reese Nicole.


Cindy Goshorn, ‘01 holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice in both Family Practice and Psychiatric Mental Health. She has two grandchildren.

Lona Pelong, ‘04 is married with two girls, ages two and four. Lona works full-time for an outreach clinic in Knoxville (through Pella Regional).

Melanie Hermann, ‘01 is Certified as a Clinical Nurse Specialist by ANCC and by NCC as Inpatient Obstetrics. She is married and has three children ages 7, 5 and 2.

2002 Maria Glasgow, ‘02 became a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse in 2008. She is a Super User for Horizons IPU Computer System (Hospice IPU). Her goal is to become involved in Hippotherapy. Maria is also a preceptor for nursing students. She is a 4-H Club Leader for Boone County and an adoptive parent. Wendy Nelson, ‘02 before becoming employed at St. Anthony’s, Wendy worked in Mercy NICU for six years. She and her husband have an 18-month old son named Kaleb Marcus.

2003 Desty Bahling, ‘03 will complete a BSN degree in July of 2011. Lindsay Luris, ‘03 is married, and working towards a Family Nurse Practitioner degree.

2004 Dana Brent, ‘04 is married with two children. She became Med/Surg certified in June 2010.

pursuing her BSN degree and hopes to graduate in December 2011.

Eugene Yoder, ‘07 is currently in NP school at Graceland University (graduation in 2012).


Raydeen Derscheid, ‘04 is Board Certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Christina Sailors, ‘06 has two children, Riley, 3 and Kinnick, 2 months. She is currently working toward a MSN degree in nursing education.

Anne Napper, ‘04 received her Master’s in Healthcare Administration and has recently applied for PA school at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Loretta Umbenhower, ‘06 is married with one child. Her husband is deployed. She volunteers as an EMT for the local fire department.

Chelsea Reed, ‘04 participated in medical missions in Mexico from 2008-2010. She gave birth to her son, Henry Reed, on June 6, 2009.


2005 Wendy Cooper, ‘05 is a BCLS instructor, CNA instructor and the OR Unit Clinician. Angela Mortoza, ‘05 completed a Master in Health Care Administration degree in May 2010.

Shannon (McKern) Benson, ‘07 married December 12, 2009 and obtained a MSN degree November, 2009. Nadira Dhanaswarm, ‘07 is currently pursuing a Master in Nursing Education and looking forward to a rewarding career in preparing students who will become future nurses.

Carie Ostlund, ‘05 is married and has a little girl, Camryn, who is 18-months old.

Jody (Schroeder) Horstman, ‘07 is currently working in the Recovery Room at Mercy in Des Moines. She was married to husband, Bill, in September 2009.

Janet Short, ‘05 obtained her NNSOO Certification in Nursing Staff Development. She also works part-time for Mercy College as an Adjunct Clinical Instructor.

Jody Jackson, ’07 is married with two children, a boy and girl. She has worked in the pediatrics department since graduation and is working towards a pediatric certification.

2006 Erica (Yoder) Allen, ‘06 married Dr. Nathan Allen on June 5, 2010. Alicia (Graber) Mohr, ‘06 married in October 2010. She is

Christina Thomas,’07 attained her BSN through Kaplan University. She has worked exclusively in critical care and has recently entered into a management position at Truman Hospital in Kansas City.

Rachel Hinderaker, ‘08 will graduate from Northwestern College in St. Paul in Spring 2011 with a theater degree. Joy Kerkhoff, ‘08 has a sixyear-old son named Jackson. She has returned to MCHS to complete her nursing degree. Kelly McFarland, ‘08 became recently engaged and will be getting married in July 2011. Darrin Vanscoy, ‘08 is a Paramedic on an Indian Reservation. He plans to begin a Paramedic to RN program in Arizona starting in May 2011.

2009 Elizabeth Clancy, ‘09 is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in Radiologic Technology. Whitney Mullenbach, ‘09 is planning her wedding for July 16, 2011.

2010 Sommer McCann, ‘10 returned to Mercy College Spring 2011 to begin her BSN degree. Monica Allen, ‘10 is certified through the American Registry of Cardiac Sonographers. She is returning to Mercy College to pursue a bachelor degree in health science so she can apply for the physician assistant program to DMU. | 29


Stephanie Atkins, ‘10 bought a house and is getting married July 9, 2011.

Births Cassandra Simpson‘05, and her husband, Nathaniel, announce the birth of their daughter, Ava Marie. Ava was born on January 26. She is the couple’s first child. Susan Kock, ‘06 and her husband welcomed a healthy baby boy in July 2010. Angie Chidester, ‘06 married Jerod Chidester on May 30, 2009. She gave birth to identical twin boys September 24, 2010. Katie Dean ‘07 and Nicholas, announce the birth of their son, Blake Nicholas. Blake was born on December 23 and is the couple’s first child. Christina Bries ‘07 and David, announce the birth of their son, Samuel. Samuel was born on March 3 and was welcomed home by, brother, William, 1. Megan Gute, ‘07 gave birth to her daughter, Molly, on May 21, 2010. Holly Durbin ‘08 and Daniel, announce the birth of their son, Ethan Daniel. Ethan was born on November 22 and was welcomed home by Isabelle, 1. Sarah Bierce ‘08 and David, announce the birth of their daughter, Eleanor Mae. Eleanor was born on March 11 and is

30 | Spring/Summer 2011

the couple’s first child. Sara Harlan, ‘08 had a baby girl on October 16, 2010. Lindsay Hannapel, ‘08 gave birth to her first son, Wyatt, on May 24, 2010.

Sympathy Your prayers are requested for the family and friends of these graduates who have died recently.

Lucy (Bell) Griffith ‘40, died on March 8, 2011 Mary (McCann) McNally ‘46 of Des Moines, IA, died on March 8, 2011 Elsie (Cecchenelli) Everett ‘48 of St. Helena, CA, died on January 30, 2011 Elaine (Durand) Evans ‘53 of Johnston, IA, died on April 28, 2011 Ruth (Evans) Adair ‘55 of Johnston, IA, died on January 22, 2011 Donna (Pauli) Tromblee ‘55 of Seabrook, TX, died on January 9, 2011 Layola (Williamson) Muhlenbruck ‘64 of Urbandale, IA, died on April 7, 2011 Connie (Gearhart) Norman ‘68 of South Pasadena, FL, died on February 8, 2011

Get Published! Share a personal reflection or submit a project reflecting healthcare to publish in VitalSigns or the College website. Everyone enjoys reading short stories written with inspiration and heartfelt emotion. Share with readers your experiences you have encountered in your role in health care/education. Take this opportunity as Mercy students, alumni or College employees to be recognized for artistic and literary achievements inspired by health care. Works are accepted in the following genres: Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction, Art and Photography. Reflections from a past experience, class or community service project are also accepted.

Submission Guidelines

You must be a current Mercy College student, alum or College employee to submit to Mercy College. You may submit multiple works to multiple genres.

Categories Literary Expressions Subject Matter: Health Care Genres include: fiction or nonfiction, poetry, prose, essay, and short stories. • Length Limitation: 1000 words • Preferred file types: .doc, .txt, .pdf

Art and Photography

Subject Matter: Open (not limited to health care) Genres include: Acrylic or oil paintings, charcoal drawings, sculptures, ceramics, photographs, etc. • Submit a photograph of artwork with 300dpi resolution at 7” x 10”. • Photographs must be submitted in digital format • Preferred file formats: .tif or .jpg • If artwork is chosen and you do not have a digital file available, a photograph may be taken by the Marketing Department

a reflection of health care


Subject Matter: Health Care Provide a reflection from your personal, professional, class or community service experience. This should reflect what you have gained from your experience and how it impacted your role as a healthcare provider. For students, the reflection can come from the graduation requirement. An electronic file must be submitted. • Preferred file formats: .doc, .txt, .pdf If your submission is selected for publication, you may choose to be listed as anonymous. However, submissions may not be made anonymously. Any submissions which are not chosen for print may be posted on the website.

Online Submissions

The Dogwood Tree When Christ was on earth, the dogwood grew To a towering size with a lovely hue.

Works may be submit online at

Its branches were strong and interwoven

Mail or Drop Off Submissions

And for Christ’s cross its timbers were chosen.

If mailing or dropping off your submission, please include the following information with your submission(s): • Your name • Your program of study • The title and description of your work • Category/Genre (Medium/media for art submissions) • Email address • Your phone number • Class Year (Alumni only) Mailing Address Mercy College of Health Sciences Attn: Graphic Designer 928 6th Avenue Des Moines, Iowa 50309 Drop-Off Site Mercy College of Health Sciences Sullivan Center Receptionist Desk Attn: Graphic Designer 928 6th Avenue Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Being distressed at the use of the wood Christ made a promise which still holds good: “Not ever again shall the dogwood grow To be large enough for a tree, and so Slender and twisted it shall always be With cross-shaped blossoms for all to see. The petals shall have bloodstains marked brown And in the blossom’s center a thorny crown.

All who see it will think of Me, Nailed to a cross from a dogwood tree. Protected and cherished this tree shall be A reflection to all of My agony.” Anonymous | 31



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Spring/Summer 2011 VitalSigns  

To help keep alumni and supporters informed of what's going on at Mercy College, we distribute VitalSigns magazine twice a year to share new...