Monica Sullivan Nursing Scholarship Fund

When Monica Sullivan laughed, you couldn’t help laughing along.  When times were tough at work, she would turn on a CD and lead her team in singing loudly to Simon and Garfunkel.  When a student came to her needing help, she would give them a hug, hand them a tissue, and close her door to spend hours with them, until by the end they were both giggling. She was a dedicated, compassionate and loving professional, friend, wife, mother and grandmother, who committed her life to nursing and caring for others.

Monica was always taking care of people.  But a real turning point in her life happened when Monica was still very young. Her sister Kathy became extremely ill and needed a kidney transplant. Monica stepped forward and donated her kidney. This experience impacted her life in an unexpected way...the nurses who lovingly cared for her and her sister left such an impression on the young Monica that she decided at a tender age to devote herself to nursing. She saw their care and commitment to making people’s lives better, and found her passion.

Monica fulfilled her dream by earning her nursing degree at Michigan State University. After college, Monica married her husband John and they moved to Wisconsin, later her two sons, Ryan and Sean were born, and together with their dad they became her “boys”.

Monica’s history with Schoolcraft began when she and John moved back to Michigan to raise their family and she took a position as a Nursing Coordinator at the college. Monica completely fell in love with Schoolcraft, its nursing department, and most of all its nursing students. Her talent and dedication eventually resulted in her promotion to Dean of Sciences for Schoolcraft College.

Monica didn’t stop there. She quickly became a force to be reckoned with at Schoolcraft, known for her belief that things could always be improved. She was a great leader who listened to everyone’s input to create win-win situations.  She quickly moved up the ranks from Dean of Science, to Dean of Instruction and finally Vice President of Instruction.  But in her heart, she was still a nurse.

Monica lived her life to the fullest, always wanting to learn more and try new things. She also believed that you should never leave anything unsaid.  These beliefs stayed with her when she was diagnosed with uterine cancer.  Her husband John shares: “She always wanted the straight story, good or bad, even when she became sick.  During her fight with cancer, she was treated by some of her former students and was so proud of the caring professionals they had become.  Through it all, she remained completely devoted to her students and wanted to be there for them as long as she could.  Monica believed deeply that Schoolcraft is a special place where people can get a chance to change their lives. She was passionate about this belief and dreamed about setting up a scholarship to help her beloved nursing students fulfill their educational dreams.”  Sadly, she passed away before seeing her dream realized.

Happily, Monica lived long enough to see her first grandchild, Jack, who she adored.  On June 5, 2011 she passed away at the age of 53, surrounded by her family.  In her honor, her “boys” are now establishing the scholarship she dreamed of, the Monica Sullivan Nursing Scholarship Fund.

Cheryl Hinds, a personal friend and colleague recalls, “Monica told my daughter she would make a great nurse.  She said, ‘I can see it in your eyes, how you care.’  My daughter entered nursing school, and before she passed, Monica said to me that she would be with my daughter when she graduated.  As my daughter completes her last semester of nursing school, I know Monica will not only be there for her, but she will also be there for each and every Schoolcraft nursing student that receives her scholarship. This will be Monica’s legacy.”

 

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