2016 Distinguished Alumna: Dr. Susan Michaelree Fletcher '66
Dr. Susan Michaelree Fletcher serves as chair of the Global Health Education Program for Chamberlain College of Nursing. Dr. Fletcher developed Chamberlain’s international and multicultural nursing program and frequently leads nursing students on international nursing service projects to India, Brazil, Kenya, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the Philippines.
She earned both a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and a Master of Science in Nursing degree with an emphasis in community health from St. Louis University and a Doctor of Education in adult education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has been involved with Chamberlain College of Nursing since 1993.
She previously served as a professor at Chamberlain’s St. Louis campus and taught nursing courses for Regis University in Denver. She has received the DeVry PRIDE Award and Chamberlain’s “Doing Well by Doing Good” Award. Dr. Fletcher was a finalist for Nursing Spectrum’s 2010 Nursing Excellence Program in the category of Community Service and was also nominated for the Dorland Health People Awards in the Public Health Nursing category.
Susan’s lovely mother Frances Wood Michaelree, also attended Ursuline Academy St. Louis, graduating in 1935. Serviam runs deep in Susan’s blood through her mom. Ursuline has Susan and her mother to thank for influencing many young women to choose Ursuline Academy – bringing along a troupe of Susan’s friends for a 5th grade tea for interested students. At Ursuline, Susan was involved with the Red Cross, Girls Athletic Association, Serviam Association, National Honor Society, among others.
When the class of 1966 gathers, they are always so riveted by the inspiring stories that Susan shares about the people she has served in the poorest of countries. She has said, “Students think they’re going to help save the world, but they come away receiving more than they ever could have given – a greater confidence in their abilities and a real sense of purpose.”
One of her classmates wrote, “It is a testament how Susan lives the Ursuline lifestyle, Serviam, and all the values we were taught, especially to serve others. She gives of herself, both with her students and the people of the world who are underserved. Susan is present with her students every step of the way. She would make the teachers who taught her very proud for all that she has done. How grateful the world is to have people like Susan in it. How grateful Ursuline is to call Susan one of our own.”
Susan has been a leader in overcoming cultural boundaries in order to serve the poorest of the poor. Her commitment to the field of nursing inspires the next generation to reach out of their comfort zones and give communities access to much needed healthcare. Susan’s unique global perspective on service and her dedication to nursing education is why she is the 2016 Ursuline Academy Distinguished Alumna.
Nominated by the Class of 1966 on their 50th reunion.
2014 Young Alumna Serviam Award: Theresa Goodwillie '08 (left)
Theresa Goodwille, a graduate of the class of 2008, has chosen social work as her career, which is living Serviam every day; however, giving to others has always been a part of her nature. While a student here at Ursuline, she started the Whole Kids Outreach Christmas toy collection for the less fortunate which still continues today. Now she is doing it again by starting a Christmas gift collection for the children she serves in the Chicago foster care system and even created a Facebook posting requesting donations so that these children will have gifts at Christmas. Theresa works as a Child Welfare Advanced Specialist doing casework for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Her initial work responsibilities involved facilitating adoption cases, but now she also works with children where the goal is family reunification. She has commented that both aspects are challenging, yet very gratifying. As a social worker her job is about helping others but Theresa goes beyond the requirements. She also goes out of her way to ensure that the children have sibling visits. This is not always an easy task, as she needs to coordinate multiple families and organize outings; but this allows much-needed time with the children’s siblings. She recently started volunteering as a tutor as well. Theresa does so many other unassuming acts of service and never seeks attention or reward for all of the good deeds she provides. She is a wonderful example of Serviam and her efforts touch many children, parents and families in the Chicago area. As her classmate and friend, I am proud of the living example of Serviam that Theresa is. --Mrs. Susan Doyle
2015 Young Alumna Serviam Award: Michelle Treese '08 (right)
A professor of English literature or a spelling bee champion couldn’t come up with words that accurately describe Michelle Treese’s level of greatness. Ursuline was just the beginning for her, she didn’t stop doing good things and she didn’t stop helping people when she left these halls. Throughout her four years at Truman, she tutored at-risk youth; she was a publicity coordinator at her Newman Center, and she was involved in Awakening Retreats. Upon graduation, she returned to Holy Infant Parish where she began to serve high schoolers and assist them on their walk with God. She logs five-plus hours a week into Holy Infant Youth Ministry while she holds down a full-time teaching job. She has chaperoned countless Steubenvilles, Luke 18’s, LifeTeen Leadership Conferences, Fall Retreats, and Pro-life pilgrimages. She has made mission trips to Haiti twice, working long hours without complaint.
Michelle’s dad, Mike Treese, passed away on August 26, 2010, after battling ALS for two brave years. I was often around Michelle when Mr. Treese was sick and after he had passed, and I didn’t ever hear her complain or say, “Why me?” I still haven’t heard her ever play the victim or throw in the towel, even for a day. Michelle has two younger brothers, and that is what was and is important to her, being a solid and faithful example to Chris and to Connor. Service isn’t always hard labor; sometimes it is taking time out of your day to simply be present for those who need to talk or need help with a simple task. I often walk into youth group meetings and see a small army of students needing Michelle to run through a math problem or two. No task is too big or too small: she just wants to help.
Tim Claudin, the youth minister at Holy Infant, said the following: “Michelle Treese has a zeal and passion for serving others in Christ that is inspiring. She served in college at her Newman Center and with the Upward Bound program. She served after college at her local parish in youth ministry. She has served in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti she truly follows the model Jesus has set forth for us. James 1:22 says, ‘Be doers of the word and not hearers only.’ Michelle is a doer and has humbly shown others the face of Christ.” Tim is right, she reaches everyone. Jack Kelly, a junior at SLUH, said, “Her presence alone is impactful, she is always striving to serve God as well as the needs of others.”
An ancient poet, Hafez, once said, “Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.” Every Day, Michelle makes Saint Angela, Mr. Treese, and God very proud. She has helped me find my passions, my understandings, and my faith. Michelle has helped me to become the young woman I am today.
Simply by knowing Michelle I am rewarded with constant inspiration and hope. Michelle will never stop changing the world through service, but she deserves this recognition because when I sit in class and speak the words of the Ursuline prayer, “Give us the grace to model the Ursuline values of service, courtesy, loyalty and courage by attitude and action”. I am 100 percent assured that Michelle is out somewhere in this world, living it out. --Miss Hannah Banker '16