Video credit: Lissa Bevins, administrative aide in Dean’s Office
After 22 years of teaching at Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN), Associate Professor Susan Kossman retired in May.
Kossman and her family moved from Texas to the Bloomington-Normal area in 1993. Over the years, she has taught almost all of the programs offered at MCN, including the traditional B.S.N., accelerated B.S.N., online RN-B.S.N., M.S.N and Ph.D. Her research interests included nursing and consumer informatics and simulation in nursing education.
When asked what her favorite memory was while at MCN, Kossman replied, “There are so many and they all revolve around our students and graduates. I love running into them out in the community and especially love when my family or I am receiving care from them—it is very comforting and I know we’re getting excellent care. When my husband had a heart attack years ago, our grads took care of him in the emergency department, cath lab and critical care unit—I was so relieved!
“When my granddaughter was born three years ago, Lynn Kennell’s clinical group took care of her and my daughter, and Caity said she learned more from them than from the staff nurses!” Kossman said. “And it’s really great to see former B.S.N. students finish their graduate degrees and come back to teach with us.”
Being one of the many beloved faculty members, other faculty and students wanted to give Kossman a proper sendoff, so they organized a flash mob in Edwards Hall. Assistant Professor Charlene Aaron recruited faculty, staff and students to participate, and worked with Kossman’s family to make sure she would be there. As the Kossman family walked down to the first floor of Edwards Hall, everyone was in their hiding places, wearing their ISU/MCN red and when the music started they really surprised her.
“I can’t believe so many students, faculty and staff took part in this … and managed to keep it a secret!” said Kossman.
Her plans after retirement include becoming a master naturalist and volunteering in local parks doing conservation and wildlife work, volunteering at the free clinic and learning to play the accordion. She also would like to work more in her garden and with her crafts, and of course being a fantastic GiGi to her grandchildren.
“It was a wonderful 22 years with my MCN family—and while I’m retired, I’m not gone. I hope we all stay in touch!”