Release Date: 
Wednesday, September 29, 2021

HFC welcomes Teena Culhane – and her daughter

Teena Culhane and her daughter, Finnley Culhane
Teena Culhane (left) and her daughter Finnley (right) began their first semester at HFC on opposite sides of the classroom.

Not only does the Fall 2021 Semester mark HFC alumna Teena Culhane’s first term teaching at her alma mater, it also marks her daughter Finnley’s first term at HFC. Finnley will study political science, with an eye toward going to law school eventually.

“I’m very proud of my daughter. It’s a pleasure to see her continuing her education at HFC. We also enjoy commuting together twice a week,” said Culhane, who lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two children.

New Director of Clinical Education of the Respiratory Therapy program

The new Director of Clinical Education of the Respiratory Therapy program, Culhane is teaching the following classes this semester:

  • RTH-195: Introduction to Clinical Therapeutics
  • AH-100: Medical Terminology
  • RTH 292: Clinical Practicum

“Everyone warned me that the first semester of teaching would be the most difficult, and they were not kidding! I have to say that everyone at the College has been so helpful – from the folks in HR to the other instructors in the School of Health & Human Services. I feel very supported,” said Culhane.

A native of Canada and the youngest of two daughters, Culhane graduated in 1991 from L’Essor Secondary School in Tecumseh, Ontario. All classes at L’Essor are conducted in French. She earned her associate degree in RT from HFC (then Henry Ford Community College) in 1998.

“I have always been interested in the medical field,” said Culhane. “My best friend’s sister who is a physician suggested I look into respiratory therapy. As there were no programs offered close enough to Windsor, I explored the programs in Michigan, which led me to HFC.”

Culhane transferred to the University of Windsor, where she graduated with honors with her bachelor’s degree in movement science. She is a certified CPR instructor through the American Heart Association, as well as registered respiratory therapist. Culhane is fluent in French.

Teaching made sense

Culhane has been in the RT field for 23 years. Prior to returning to teach at HFC, she spent 20 years as the manager of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation program at Beaumont Health in Royal Oak. She spoke about deciding to teach future generations of respiratory therapists.

“I have been involved with RT students throughout my entire career within the hospital and within our state professional affiliation, the Michigan Society for Respiratory Care (MSRC). I have also been a lifelong educator – and learner – so it just made sense,” said Culhane.

Being an alumna attracted Culhane to return to HFC.

“I really love the flexibility of the variety of course sections with various dates and times to really promote a work/school/life balance,” she said. “I enjoy witnessing the ‘aha!’ moments on a student’s face or hearing it in their voice over Zoom when they say, ‘Oooh, I get it now!’”

When asked what her long-term goals at HFC are, Culhane laughed.

“At this point, I can't think that far ahead,” she said. “My goal is to be at least 1-2 days ahead of the game!”