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Release Date: 
Tuesday, May 26, 2009

HFCC degrees tradition for Dearborn family

To the Shunkwiler family, Henry Ford Community College is more than just a college, it is a tradition. Not only is Dearborn resident Susan Shunkwiler, an HFCC nursing instructor, a graduate, but two of her sons and her husband are as well. Her two sons, David and Sean, graduated earlier this month with associate degrees from HFCC.

At the commencement ceremony, Shunkwiler was on stage to greet them as they were awarded their degrees. Sean received his associate degree in business. David received his associate degree in nursing, and his mom had the privilege of placing a nursing pin on his commencement robe, the same pin she wore when she graduated from HFCC in 1980.

'I was a little choked up,' said Shunkwiler about the ceremony. 'It brought back memories of my nurse pinning ceremony. I look at both of my sons and think about how great it is that they both have great futures ahead of them.' David and Sean, the two 2009 graduates, do have ambitious goals. David plans to find a nursing job and eventually go back to college for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist. Sean plans to attend Wayne State University’s business school in the fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

David and Sean’s father, Charles Shunkwiler, was an Eastern Michigan University graduate with a degree in written communications before going to HFCC to receive his associate degree in nursing. He is now a registered nurse on the orthopedics unit at Oakwood Hospital.

Susan feels that the rigorous programs that HFCC provides is well worth the hard work. As a nurse at Oakwood Hospital for 26 years before becoming a full-time member of the Nursing program faculty at HFCC, Shunkwiler has met many nurses throughout her career, and she firmly believes that 'HFCC nursing school graduates are the best of the best.'

Susan’s enthusiasm for the HFCC Nursing program is also what helped her earn the Women’s Recognition Award earlier this year, sponsored by the Focus on Women (FOW) program at HFCC. The purpose of the Women’s Recognition Award is to honor women who have made an outstanding contribution to the lives of women at HFCC. As an instructor, she was nominated for the award for her innovative teaching methods, using a variety of games, movies and small group discussions, and other traditional and non-traditional methods of teaching.

Her enthusiasm has also had an impact on her sons.

'My folks had always said that they felt HFCC had given them the start they needed in life and was directly responsible for the careers they had,' says Sean. 'It was great that David and I could follow in their footsteps and graduate in front of my whole family like that.'