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STLCC Students Receive McDowell Honorary Nursing Scholarships

December 19, 2014

McDowell Scholarship winners  
Pictured are, from left, Meramec Nursing department secretary Cathy Bramlett, Meramec Nursing retention coach Erica Ciarlo, Forest Park Nursing program coordinator Esther Otto, Ashley Thomas, Mollie Hoermann, Meramec Dean of Science, Math and Health Janet Walsh, and STLCC Director of Nursing Education Karen Mayes.

Her colleagues used words like “insightful,” “kind” and “passionate” to describe Barb McDowell, who recently retired after 15 years as a member of the nursing faculty at St. Louis Community College.

In honor of McDowell, the college faculty and staff donated to the St. Louis Community College Foundation to create the Barb McDowell Honorary Scholarship, which was presented this December to one graduating student from each of the STLCC campuses with nursing programs: Jesse Meng (Florissant Valley), Ashley Thomas (Forest Park), and Mollie Hoermann (Meramec).

The scholarship is a one-time award named for an STLCC Nursing department faculty member. Nursing faculty and staff choose the scholarship recipients. Each student received $100.

“Since spring 2013, we have had five faculty retire from the district nursing program,” said Karen Mayes, STLCC’s director of nursing education. “With each retirement, I have asked for donations to a scholarship to be given to one student from each campus in honor of the retiree. I ask for one-word descriptors of the faculty member, and those descriptors are compiled into a “Celebrate You” collage.  Those same one-word descriptors are used to choose the scholarship recipients from each campus.”

McDowell, the fall 2014 honoree, retired this past summer. 

“Barb was an incredibly talented faculty member who always was student-centered in all that she did,” Mayes said of McDowell.

“I hope to share the qualities that helped me receive this scholarship with my coworkers and my patients, as well as their families,” said Meng. He intends to work in medical-surgical or telemetry.

Thomas described Forest Park as “a wonderful experience.”  Thomas hopes to work in neonatal intensive care.

“I have gained some amazing friends, and have met some of the most knowledgeable nursing instructors,” she said. “I hope someday to be as great of a nurse as some of the instructors I have come across.” 

Hoermann said McDowell was a “kind, informative, bright and motivational teacher.” Hoermann plans to work in a trauma care unit or in cardiology.