College honors 6 seniors with service awards
Julianna McKenna | Friday, May 15, 2020
This year, the Division of Mission honored six seniors with various service and ministry awards for their commitment in carrying out the mission of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.
Senior elementary education major, Mary Stechschute, received the Sister Maria Concepta McDermott Award for Service in Education.
“The award means the world to me, I have spent so much time in classrooms and childcare learning environments, and the fact that I was honored with this is something I will cherish for a long time. I just love working with kids of all backgrounds, and I am so grateful to all the schools and volunteer programs that let me work with the kids,” she said. “Getting an award named after a nun who did what I hope to do was also amazing, any comparison to a woman who dedicated herself that much is something to feel proud of.”
Stechschute said the award has motivated her to keep doing what she’s doing.
“I plan to teach in a major city, not sure which at the moment. I am an elementary education major so I always planned to spend the rest of my days with kids,” she said.
Stechschute encourages students to find volunteer opportunities and get involved in South Bend while on campus.
“I encourage everyone to do a simple Google search to find places to volunteer in their communities. There are so many incredible programs in South Bend alone. A few hours of volunteering with kids will not only bring you joy, but also a little bit or perspective,” she said.
Senior communication studies and religious studies major, Katy Stalter received the Sister Kathleen Anne Nelligan Award for Ministry.
“Receiving this award reassured me in my ‘yes’ to following a call to ministry. For me it was a reminder to not end ministry just because I’m graduating, but to learn from my experiences that I’ve gained from SMC and continue to serve Christ through ministry after graduation,” she said.
Stalter was active in campus ministry and served as a Ministry Assistant during her time on campus.
“My motivation for all of the ministerial work that I did over the four years was solely for the purpose of serving Christ by serving those around me, whether that was by offering praise and worship music for the community, helping out with retreats, or being a Ministry Assistant in Le Mans Hall,” she said. “It was really awesome to be recognized for it, but I still would’ve done it all over again even if it didn’t mean receiving the Sister Kathleen Anne Nelligan Award.”
Next year, Stalter will continue her ministry service abroad by participating in the House of Brigid program at the Notre Dame.
“I will be headed to Dublin, Ireland in late August to continue ministry for the Newman University Catholic Church for a year,” Stalter said. “I am excited to be immersed in a faith-filled community where I can continue to offer music and friendship to those that I encounter.”
Senior nursing major Morgan Chichester received the Sister Olivia Marie Hutcheson Award for Service in the Health Field.
“I am so honored and grateful to be the recipient of this award,” she said. “It represents a passion to serve, love, and provide hope to people and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to do that in our campus community and around the world over the last 4 years.”
Next year Chichester will be working in the field and hopes to continue to share her passions through her work.
“After graduation, I will be working at Emory University Midtown Hospital in Atlanta, Ga. on the General Medicine/Telemetry Unit,” she said. “Every day I come to work I will always have the goals of being passionate, committed, and resilient in my work and love the people I am working with and for well.”
For Chichester, motivation comes through her faith in God and service to her community, and she encourages other students to share their passions and gifts.
“My motivation in anything I do in life is to love God and love my neighbor and I believe this award represents that,” she said. “…I would like to encourage students to make everyday count and share hope, faith, and love with anyone you come into contact with.”
Senior social work and religious studies major Sophia McDevitt received the Sister Kathleen Anne Nelligan Award for Ministry, and senior psychology major Emily Bednar received the Sister Christine Healy Award for Service with Women. The Sister Olivette Whalen Award for General Service was awarded to senior psychology major Nicole Popow.