A physician, an attorney, but more importantly someone who wants to make a difference, Lynn Fullenkamp ’02 credits Mercy High School in helping to develop her as a person who wants to use her talents to help others.
“At Mercy you have the best of both worlds. The academics and the college preparatory curriculum are second to none. But there is also a focus on becoming a genuine, caring person with finely honed interpersonal skills,” she said.
Although her sister, Beth Fullenkamp Hix ’00 attended Mercy, her parents gave her the choice on which Catholic school she would attend. She shadowed at Mercy and fell in love with the school.
“There is a great sense of community there. You benefit from being exposed to all socio-economic level of students, from every neighborhood. Exposure to those different perspectives broke down barriers and gave you a fuller appreciation of the breadth and depth of society,” she said.
While at Mercy, Lynn was involved in Student Council all four years, was the director of the Mercy Day play her senior year and played Volleyball, Basketball and ran Track. She also participated in the Debate Team her freshman and sophomore year and was a member of the National Honor Society.
“My favorite subject was math. I loved the logic behind it and the process of solving a problem and coming up with a solution at the end,” she said.
She attended Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO where she majored in Math and minored in Communications. After graduating in 2006, she headed to Law School at Notre Dame University.
“The law was another discipline where there was a logic to an argument and an outcome. I wanted to be an advocate for the underserved and use my legal knowledge for their betterment,” she said.
In 2009, the new attorney joined the Legal Aid of Western Missouri and helped clients obtain access to state public benefits. During her tenure, she became intrigued with benefits and health care issues and decided working with individuals through the health care field was her next calling.
Lynn went to medical school at the University of Kansas, Kansas City, Kansas, graduating in 2016. She completed her Pediatric residency at Wake Forest, in Winston Salem, NC, in 2019 and took a job as Pediatric Chief Resident. She will complete this job in June and will return to Kansas City working as a Pediatric Hospitalist, at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.
“I enjoy working with children. What I like is the ability to address an issue, use my skills, solve the problem, and gain closure. At the same time my legal background is an asset as I help patients and their families navigate a complex health system. Making a difference in their lives is very fulfilling to me,” she said.
Mercy High School is pleased to announce that M. E. Adams ’20 has been named a Creighton University Grit Scholar. This half-tuition scholarship is funded by the Heider Foundation. She is the school’s second recipient of the scholarship. Mayela Hernandez ’19 received this award last year.
At Mercy High School, the STEAM curriculum emphasizes innovative thinking, experimentation, and the application of interdisciplinary knowledge to enhance problem solving skills. In this semester’s Fundamentals of STEAM, course students are solving real problems for people using 3-D technology. The problem—where to store a hair crimper when not in use so it doesn’t burn a hole in the counter or burn young children’s hands.
According to Paul Tschudin, Information Technology Director and teacher with this project, the teacher acts as facilitator and the students are the thinkers and doers. To increase class engagement, the problem focuses on something the girls can relate to in their own life. Over several weeks, the students need to define the problem, do research including conducting interviews and asking relevant questions, collect data, brainstorm potential solutions with their team, develop a prototype and refine that prototype based on feedback. At the end of the project, teams give a five-minute presentation highlighting the steps taken to create the 3-D design.
“I really enjoyed the entire process. You work on everything from interviewing, to brainstorming, to designing, to calculations, to computer fabrication. The design process was fascinating because each team developed a different, unique design,’ said sophomore, Lilee Surdell.
STEAM education is crucial to educate and prepare the next generation as a global workforce. Research shows the job opportunities in these fields continues to grow and is critical to our country’s economy.
Twelve students from seven Catholic elementary schools received more than $50,000 in scholarships to attend Mercy High School next fall. Mercy leadership presented the awards on February 11 while visiting the schools the students attend. Scholarships were based on the results from the Scholarship & Placement Exam taken in January.
Education and music have become the heart strings of her life’s journey. Margaret Pesek ’92 is a graphic designer for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, TN, affectionately known as Music City, U.S.A. Her Mercy education was instrumental in leading her to this career.
“I was drawn to this job because it is about educating and informing visitors and hopefully opening them up to a greater understanding of how interconnected we are and how music can bring us all together. My time at Mercy and at college gave me an appreciation of broader education,”she said.
Margaret decided to attend Mercy since the public school near her parents’ farm did not offer the variety of courses she was seeking. When she visited Mercy, she found the community friendly and the smaller class size less daunting.
“I was involved in competitive speech, with drama on set design and in performance as well as art club. I really enjoyed the little creative family that formed with teachers and friends. The art room with teacher Betty Darrell was kind of a second home for me. And the Speech Team with Hersch Rodasky was something I really enjoyed all four years,”she said.
After graduation, she decided to attend the University of Iowa in Iowa City and pursued a degree in English. After a semester, she decided to add Fine Arts to her major. She took a variety of design classes as well as painting, drawing, photography and metal smithing that helped broaden her creative skills. She graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Fine Arts. Her first job was as a graphic designer at a small public relations firm in Omaha where she had interned while in college.
She joined the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 2005. Her job involves any and all graphic design work from creating kids’ worksheets for the education center, to print and digital ads, to exhibits of different sizes.
“Through my formal education I came to realize that all I learned connected to create a greater, more enriched understanding than just studying for the next test,” she said.
She admits it makes her happy when she runs into someone who has visited the galleries and come out sharing a deeper understanding of the roots of America’s musical styles.
Unfortunately, she does not get to come back to Omaha very often. However, she still has lifelong friends she met at Mercy and they keep in contact on social media.