Retro Cartoon Comics Background with text: Lourdes Heroes, #LourdesStrong

Lourdes University alumni, students, faculty and staff are incredible people. During this unprecedented time in our lives, the University wants to celebrate Lourdes Heroes – the individuals who today are making a tremendous impact.

Lourdes community members: Whether you are a health care worker, first responder, a social worker, an educator who has transitioned lessons to an online format, an employee who has provided needed food and supplies, handed communications during these last few weeks, or are an owner or employee of a business preparing PPEs or other needed items during covid-19 – please share your story. What are you and your colleagues doing on the front line? What inspires you? What message do you want to impart?

Please send your stories to Heleen Sheets, Director of Marketing & Communications, at Please include a photo of yourself if at all possible.

It’s time to step up and be honored as Lourdes Heroes!

We are #LourdesStrong

Lourdes Heroes

Hero: Alia Akl, ’15

Nominator: Ellie Sharkey, ’14 & Tarell Cox, ’15

Photo from left: Alia Akl, Tarell Cox and Ellie Sharkey

“Alia Akl graduated from Lourdes University BSN program in 2015. While at Lourdes University, she was involved in the TRiO and TRiO Bridge programs. Alia has used her degree extensively working in step down units, trauma, LTACH, and travel nursing. Alia is extremely passionate about her current position working in the ICU at St. Lukes Hospital.

Alia is generous, creative, funny and compassionate. She exemplifies what is means to be a friend and a hero! Alia, we are so proud of you and all that you do!”


Hero: Emily Arnold, ’19

Nominator: Gregory Arnold

Alumna Emily Arnold on the job at the hospital

Emily earned her BSN in 2019. She also was a member of the Gray Wolves volleyball team where she was named to the WHAC All-American Team in 2018 and was a 2017 Second Team All Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference selection. She is now working as an RN in the Emergency Room at St. Vincent Hospital. During her education at Lourdes, Emily had experience in cardiac ICU, a cardiac step-down unit, mental health and on medical/surgical floors.

Photo of Emily as a Gray Wolves volleyball player

She says she has gained many skills while working at St. Vincent including patient centered care, time management, team work and critical thinking skills. Emily is definitely putting all those to use. Thank you for all you are doing Emily!


Heroes: Biology, Chemistry and Nursing Labs

Nominator: Kate Beutel

Drawing of various PPE

Lourdes Biology, Chemistry and Nursing labs donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Rosary Care, a nursing care facility and sponsored ministry of the Sisters of St. Francis. A total of 109 goggles, 87 face shields, 42 face masks, 16 safety glasses, 13 boxes of gloves, 2 boxes of alcohol wipes and 1 box of sterile cotton swabs.


Hero: Doug Boston, ’98

Nominator: Ruthi Mitchell, ’16, ’13

Image of Douglas Boston at a Lourdes event in 2014

Doug is still working during the pandemic “doing emergency surgeries. We are on a limited schedule. We are also doing visitor screenings. I am my father’s primary care giver. He is doing well. He is good about staying home. The beginning of February we went to the Bahamas and then I was in Germany to visit several past exchange students that I hosted. Fabian, who is now a doctor took me to his hospital and we talked about the differences in the health care systems.”


Hero: Alexis Cano, ’18

Nominator: Sister Rebecca LaPoint, OSF

A photo of Lexie Cano working as a RN in the hospital

A proud Lourdes BSN graduate, Lexie also represented the Gray Wolves on the soccer team. She is currently working as a registered nurse at Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn.


Hero: Bailey Denoyer

Nominator: Meghan Sipsma

Bailey is a second semester student in the Lourdes BSN program. She works at St. Luke’s Hospital in ICU with senior BSN student Meghan Sipsma. Their unit has been designated for covid-19 patients.


Hero: Oxana Grinevich

Nominator: Kate Beutel

Oxana Grinevich photo

Chair of the Math Department Oxana Grinevich, participated in the iWolf program beginning last summer. She has been using iPads in some of her classes. Over spring break, when Lourdes announced the first shift to online classes (and before stay-at-home recommendations), Dr. Grinevich assembled all math faculty, bringing them pizza, a loaned iPad for each, and a crash course in using the iPad for remote instruction.


Hero: Abby Groll, ’18

Nominator: Jackie Donovan

Photo of Abby Groll working in the hospital

Abby earned her BSN degree from Lourdes and played for the Gray Wolves soccer team. She is currently working at Promedica Bay Park Hospital, a designated COVID hospital.


Hero: Sarrah Hubbel, 19

Nominator: Sister Barbara Vano, OSF

Sarah works as a RN at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY where she works with cancer patients. “Covid-19 is making treatments harder to do. Our staff is getting sent to covid units when we’re over staffed. We also test a lot of our patients since they’re at high risk! I’m doing okay though!”


Hero: Sara (Sawicki) Jordan, ’16

Sara Jordan photo

Sara Jordan is a Lourdes University College of Nursing BSN graduate. She continues her work in New Jersey as a Registered Nurse working in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU). She says, “We take each day, each shift, day by day and do the best we can. We are a team and we believe in serving the community to the best of our ability. We will get through this and come out strong. Not much to say about myself as a frontline healthcare worker other than that!”


Hero: David Killian, ’17

Nominator: Amanda Killian

David Killian, a BSN graduate works as a Surgical ICU nurse at ProMedica, Toledo Hospital and has selflessly volunteered to work at ProMedica, Bay Park- the designated COVID-19 hospital.

“David may be my husband and I may be biased, but he is the reason I strive for better healthcare practices. During this unprecedented time, he selflessly volunteered to stand side by side with other courageous healthcare providers, that continuously work tirelessly to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He’s become an innovator, a researcher and most of all an amazing leader full of positivity. I am proud of you! And thank you to all the incredibly dedicated medical teammates, the supply chain teams, EVS, pharmacy, and other support staff.”


Hero: Theresa Konwinski

Nominator: Sara Jordan

Theresa Konwinski photo

I want to highlight Theresa Konwinski (Lourdes graduate professor) who an individual that is contributing and helping frontline workers. On Facebook I have witnessed Theresa making masks for the frontline healthcare workers and donating those masks at no charge. She has worked tirelessly and remains diligent in serving her community by making sure she can lend a helping hand wherever needed.

Masks Made By Lourdes Instructor Theresa Konwinski

Above is a picture of some of the masks she has made for the various hospitals in the area. I admire her generosity and want to make sure she is highlighted as someone who has TRULY stepped up to help others in this scary time.


Hero: Courtney Loomis, ’14

Photo of Courtney Loomis

“Just wanted to send a message about my service during this difficult time. I am a Residential Manager III at Mountain Valley Developmental Services in Colorado. I run 2 group homes and 4 apartments for adults with developmental disabilities. The staff and clients are struggling being quarantined in the house day in and day out. The normal routine, which many of these clients do not understand and rely upon, no longer exists.

Behaviors, depression and anxiety are through the roof. Many of my clients who typically have community jobs think they got fired, lost their jobs and are extremely sad and confused.

The changes are hard on staff who are working long hours. At one of the group homes, we’re down to only 4 staff and it take 6 full time staff to run that house. People are scared, depressed and confused, but my staff members are amazing, learning new ways to help the clients stay busy and active!

I cannot express my gratitude to all people in this type of service for this population! Thank you for all you do!”


Heroes: Lourdes Art Students

Nominator: Kate Beutel

Artwork created by a Lourdes student. A rose with a spring like background and the words: Tomorrow, there'll be more of us"

Lourdes art students who had been signed up for service learning activities which could no longer happen in person instead created cards with their original artwork and sent to nursing home residents.


Hero: Crista Lutz, ’19

Nominator: Kelly Conkle

Crista Lutz photo while at the ASC

Just a year after graduation, Crista is working as a RN at St. Charles Mercy Hospital. You are definitely making a difference!

Crista Lutz On The Job In The Hospital


Hero: Erica Marvaso, ’17

Nominator: Sister Sandra Rutkowski, OSF

Photo of Erica Marvaso with a mask while at work as an RN

Erica earned her BSN degree in 2017 and played for the Gray Wolves softball team. She is a Lourdes Hero for her work as a RN at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital in Michigan.


Hero: Karla Mendoza, ’12

Nominator: Ivonne Mendoza, ’17

Photo of Karla Mendoza in the workplace during covid-19

Karla is a proud Lourdes graduate. She currently works as a Clinical nurse manager at DaVita Dialysis clinic. Thank you Karla for all you do!


Hero: Hannah McLaughlin, ’16

Nominator: Sara Jordan

Hanna McLaughlin In Blue Scrubs

I would like to highlight Hanna McLaughlin. Hanna has always maintained a positive attitude and helps her coworkers wherever needed. I still stay in touch with her and we have been staying in contact over the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has been affecting us as Registered Nurses. I admire her willingness to help out (signing up for extra shifts) and her ability to push forward in these uncertain times. She works at St. Luke’s in Maumee, OH in the ICU.


Hero: Noelle Miller, ’15

Nominator: Chelsea Leis

Photo of Noelle Miller taking a selfie on break and dressed in scrubs

Noelle Miller is working in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit at St. Vincent Medical Center. Thank you Noelle!


Hero: Rachel Moos

Nominator: Anonymous

Rachel Moos photo

“Rachel Moos graduated in 2019 from Lourdes with her BSN in Nursing and is currently working as an ICU nurse at one of the member hospitals of a large, international, hospital system in Ohio.  Rachel was very involved with Campus Ministry during her time at Lourdes and treasures the extensive, and loving, relationships she developed as a result of her experiences.

Rachel’s duties, as an ICU nurse, currently include the daily care of Covid-19 patients.  In fact, she just finished a stretch of five, 12 hour (plus) days in a row caring for these very ill patients.
What stands out about Rachel is not simply her desire to be the best nurse she can be. It is her willingness to accept the most challenging patients; night after night.  It takes a special person, someone who is both willing and able;  to put themselves in harm’s way to care for the sickest among us. As you may know, these same patients pose an extreme risk to the health of those who are caring for them.
ICU nurses care for those who are the most ill, and are thus most likely to die.  ICU nurses encounter death at a very high rate.  Rachel, and her fellow ICU nurses, are to be commended for their drive to save life, their advocacy for their patients,  and their compassionate care in the face of the extreme.
Rachel is one example of the great nurses that Lourdes produces.  There are many more Lourdes nursing graduates, Lourdes heroes, like her.”

Hero: Sergey Ostrovskiy, ‘15

Nominator: Sister Barbara Vano, OSF

Sergey works as a mental health and substance use counselor in the Cleveland/Akron area. During the covid-19 pandemic, he is working usual hours “as an essential part of the health care field. Our agency constantly implements new changes to keep our staff and clients safe. Stress levels became much higher for everyone lately. Yet thanks to our teamwork, we are doing ok. I often remind myself that Lourdes and my grad school prepared me. God won’t put anything on my shoulders I can’t deal with. Lourdes prepared me well, more than I could imagine. Sister Barb taught me through example how to be calm when the time is tough. Thank you a billion!”


Hero: Lauren Poslaiko

Nominator: Meghan Sipsma and Heleen Sheets
Lauren Poslaiko wearing PPE in the lab at ProMedica Toledo Hospital
Lauren works in the ProMedica Toledo Hospital, South Campus Lab. While completing her studies and doing her part during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Honors Biology major (Class of 2020) has also accepted a position in the Physician Assistant School at South College – Knoxville.
Lauren Poslaiko Taking A Selfie

Hero: Kaela Rechtenwald

Nominators: Erin Gibson, Jodi Speweik
Kaela Rectenwald graduated with her BSN in December 2019. She passed her NCLEX and is already off of orientation on a medical-surgical unit at Mercy St. Charles. Kaela’s unit has 19 beds devoted to caring for COVID-19 patients. She is a true hero on our frontline and we are so proud of her!

Hero: Heather (Greenley) Rendall, ’96

Photo of Heather Rendall

“I received a call from Tracy at Lourdes and she had asked that I submit some information for the hero page. As a nurse since graduating in 1996, I have worked at a family practice office, inpatient psych, skilled home care, and currently as a case manager for Carestar for individuals with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness as well as chronic conditions (cancer, HIV, ESRD).

My family and I have made masks and donated them to health care workers recently. We are also preparing to take in a foster teenager who we plan to adopt, and we are so excited!

Heather Rendall wearing a homemade mask with red white and blue

May we rely on the grace of God for guidance, and pray for ongoing strength for those on the front lines today.

Thank you for taking the time to honor all of the hard working Lourdes graduates!”


Hero: Tracy Rodriguez, ’14

Photo of Tracy Rodriguez and her husband Trinidad near fireplace with Happy Easter sign

Lourdes alumna and Alumni Association Board Member Tracy Rodriquez and her husband Trinidad are supporting each other through this health challenge. “Trinidad and I have been married for more than 30 years. We are the proud parents of two young men and are blessed and thankful that over the years we have always adjusted our schedules (my ICU shifts and Trinidad’s Toledo Fire schedule) to accommodate family events, school events, and social activities. Now, we are adjusting our work schedules to minimize exposing others to what could be a deadly disease. Both of us have cared for COVID-19 positive patients, so we are taking extra precautions before, during and after our shifts. Completing my MSN at Lourdes University in 2014 allowed me to advance my career in the medical device field and to become the Senior Medical Education Manager prior to the company being acquired in May 2019. I returned to patient care and have been loving every minute until recently. The hospital has PPE and the management team is wonderful. The hardest part is a lot of nursing is personal touch and right now that is something we have to limit or avoid. Try to learn something new everyday, you never know when you might need that nugget of knowledge. Stay positive and look for the good. May God bless each of you and your family.”


Heroes: Marc, ’98 and Emily Rozek, ’02

Nominator: Jodi Speweik

Photo of Marc And Emily Rozek

Marc Rozek is a Lourdes BSN alum and now working as a CRNA at UTMC. Emily did her diploma to BSN at Lourdes and is now a co-Program Director in Lourdes University’s undergraduate Nursing program. Emily has a long history of taking caring of patients in the ICU, and as a Nurse Educator preparing future nurses in the critical care Nursing course.


Hero: Tyler Sanders, 14

Nominator: Kelly Conkle

Tyler Sanders Photos On Job And Relaxing

Tyler Sanders works as a Registered Nurse at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center. Thank you for your service!


Autumn Sharp, ’08

Photo of Autumn Sharp, a 2008 Lourdes graduate

Autumn Sharp, a Lourdes BSN graduate, has worked for 12 years at the University of Michigan (Michigan Medicine) Main Operating Room as a General Surgery/Transplant Nurse. “Our teams are either redeployed to Covid-19 floors or working in the OR. We are slowly starting to get back to normal. But how we intubate patients is a big process for every patient now. Everyone is treated like a Covid patient. But as far as our care goes, nothing’s changed. I’m still in the operating room and have not been redeployed. I love my job an all my co-workers.”


Hero: Jessica Shelton, ’18

Nominator: Jeff Shelton and Family

Photo of Jessica Shelton at the hospital with a mask and head covering with a floral motif

“I would like to take some time to show some appreciation to my wife and wonderful mother of our 4 children, Jessica Shelton! Jessica is a proud Lourdes 2018 BSN graduate and proud nurse in Labor and Delivery at Baypark Hospital but currently working on the front line! She is a true hero in our eyes. Not only is she a full time parent but she also puts her well being on the line daily as a nurse at Baypark Hospital! Jessica is one of many currently on the front line putting her life on the line to help save other lives! We are so very proud of her and all she does on a daily basis!”


Hero: Meghan Sipsma

Nominator: Greg Kneser

Meghan is an rising senior in the Lourdes BSN program. She works at St. Luke’s Hospital ICU as a nursing assistant. Their unit is now covid designated. “What inspires me is seeing my patients get better from our care and going home to be reunited with their families again. I want to encourage others to stay home and stay safe!”


Hero: Taylor Tafelski, ’19

Nominator: Sister Sandra Rutkowski, OSF

Taylor Tafelski In US Arm uniform

“Taylor earned a bachelor’s degree in education last year and today works as an early childhood education teacher . While attending Lourdes, she worked in the Duns Scotus Library for four years and played softball for the Gray Wolves softball team while maintaining Dean’s List honors and completing her student teaching. A member of the Ohio National Guard, she always wanted to serve others. Last year, she was deployed to Afghanistan.”


Hero: Rebecca Taylor

Nominator: Sara Jordan

Rebecca Taylor photo

My Lourdes University MSN instructor Rebecca Taylor (also works as a Chief Operating Officer at a health center) messaged my MSN class to let us know that because of the COVID-19 crisis she is willing to work with us on due dates and and projects. She recognizes that as healthcare workers, we will be working a lot to serve others and she wants to make sure we are being taken care of as well. She also works in administration at a small community hospital during the day and I know she is working as hard as she can to help her hospital stay afloat. She genuinely cares about the well-being of others and I know as her student I appreciate her generosity.


Hero: Sarah Thomas, ’06

Nominator: Jodi Speweik

Photo of Sarah Thomas smiling and holding an iPad during iWolf training for the Lourdes Nursing department

Sarah is a BSN alumna of Lourdes who worked as a Rapid Response Nurse, a Lourdes Nursing Lab Teaching Assistant, and with the University’s CRNA team prior to becoming the full-time Coordinator of BSN Nursing Advising and Enrollment Management where she assists future nurses through nursing school.


Hero: Daniel Waters, ’11

Nominator: Jill Fishman, ’11

Photo of Daniel Waters (pictured on right)

“It is an honor to be asked to share some of my story and be included here. I am not a hero by any stretch! I am a hospital Chaplain and a Deacon. I’ve been ordained for almost 14 years, Board Certified as a Chaplain through the National Association of Catholic Chaplains and the Manger of Mission & Spiritual Care at Mercy Health St Charles Hospital in Oregon, Ohio.

My daily pastoral work as a Chaplain is grounded in the solid Theology and Franciscan tradition I received at Lourdes. Chaplains listen compassionately, connect immediately and love unconditionally. Our work during this COVID-19 crisis provides spiritual and emotional support to patients and families who are dealing with experiences they could have never imagined. We provided that same support to our staff who are on the front line of this marathon of a journey that is changing our world.”


Hero: Kendall Williamson, ’18

Photo of Kendall Williamson wearing a mask as a RN

Kendall graduated in 2018 with her BSN from Lourdes University. She works as an Oncology RN at ProMedica Toledo Hospital but has been “working the front line at BayPark to care for the covid-19 patients. I couldn’t be prouder to be a Lourdes alumna at this time with all the wonderful front line workers.”


Hero: Matt York, ’18

Nominator: Heather Bachmayer

My son Matt York is a 24 year old RN working in the ER at St. Vincent’s Hospital. He is definitely a frontline warrior.

Matt York in the field doing triage

Matt has been taking it day by day and giving the best care to those in need. A couple of weeks ago he said things had slowed down at the hospital and he knew it was the calm before the storm. Well, as of 2 days ago the storm is getting stronger and stronger. It is a real worry that he too might be exposed by working so close to others and we pray daily that he will stay protected and healthy.  He is a hero for doing what he does and he makes me so very proud.

Matt York in his Gray Wolves baseball uniform

Above photos: Matt working triage earlier in the week as a Lourdes senior where he was a pitcher for the Lourdes Gray Wolves baseball team.