John Mikovits ’08 G’15 is effusive when he talks about his colleague, mentor, and former professor Susan Scholtz, who is an associate professor of nursing at Moravian. “As a student, I saw the passion she has for education and how much she cares about students. And not just in the classroom—she would come to my soccer games,” says Mikovits who played for Moravian.
“She was instrumental in opening my mind to think beyond nursing as just a professional practice that is clinically based,” adds Mikovits. “Every day, the modeling behaviors she exhibited in the classroom encouraged me to consider nursing education.”
Today, an assistant professor of nursing, Mikovits sees how Scholtz’s genuine concern for students and their success extends to Moravian’s entire nursing department. “She’s always there for us regardless of what we need whether we want to discuss teaching philosophy or have questions about completing evaluations. She fosters collaboration in the department,” says Mikovits. “In the way she interacts with us and her students, she sets the tone and standards as to what it means to be a good nurse educator.”
Scholtz also dedicates herself to scholarship. Her research and presentations have included such weighty topics as faith and reason, euthanasia, palliative sedation, and minimizing stress in clinical education. She is published in numerous nursing textbooks and is a regular contributor to the nationally recognized Brunner & Suddarth’s Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing.
It comes as no surprise that Scholtz is the recipient of this year’s Nightingale Award for Nursing Education in Academia, awarded by the Nightingale Awards of Pennsylvania (NAP), a statewide nonprofit organization that promotes and supports nursing by recognizing exceptional nursing practice and providing scholarships to deserving nursing students. According to the NAP, recipients of the Nightingale Award for Nursing Education in Academia must meet the following criteria: create a supportive learning environment, demonstrate an ability to inspire students and set them on a path of pursuing “the knowledge and skills needed to practice nursing compassionately and effectively,” engage in research and disseminate their findings through education.
“I can’t think of anyone who deserves this more than Sue,” says Donna Keeler, assistant clinical professor of nursing. “She was my peds faculty when I was in the diploma program…when I was struggling during that time and not sure if I would make it through the program, it was Sue who counseled me and gave me the assurance that I needed. And then just a few years later, she encouraged me to apply for a faculty position at Moravian. With her guidance and mentorship, I am able to be successful in this career.”
Mikovits speaks for so many of Sue’s colleagues when he says, “She’s wonderful, she really is.”