By Kerry Miller Share Del.icio.us
Chaminade University president Sue Wesselkamper sends out a special thanks to the people working for Kaiser Permanente, because it was their care and support that helped her get back on her feet recently, and back at the helm of the school she loves.
“I had a major illness. I have recovered from that. I’m happy to be back at work. It’s thanks to a lot of people at Kaiser,” says Wesselkamper.
These days, the MidWeek cover girl from April 2003 continues to help foster positive growth and change at the Kaimuki campus.
“We’re moving around very nicely since 2003. Enrollment continues to grow, financials are improving,” she says.
Wesselkamper adds that the most exciting thing happening at Chaminade right now is the construction of a $14 million library/information center. Once completed, the 30,000-square-foot facility will be named the Sullivan Family Library. Other additions to Chaminade include the new master’s degree program in criminal justice, including the option for a specialization in homeland security, the MBA program for persons working in the non-profit sector, and courses in pastoral theology.
“For the past several years we’ve been renovating our science labs,” she adds. “As we got more students we had to upgrade those labs. We renovated buildings built in the 1920s.”
The number of students taking online courses is also on the rise at Chaminade, Wesselkamper says. The university offers programs at local military bases and at Catholic parishes. Students, particularly those in the military, are taking advantage of the online classes. “The fastest growing and most popular form of instruction is the online courses. Students deployed to Iraq have been able to complete instruction,” explains Wesselkamper.
Since the school celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, Wesselkamper is active in Chaminade’s commitment to have its students, faculty and staff become engaged citizens through various kinds of community service projects. Each is committed to performing at least 50 hours, and the hours of service have continued to grow since April 2006, now totaling 42,580.
“That’s really great, being able to help students participate in community service projects here, as well as in India and Mexico,” she says.
When she’s not at work, Wesselkamper enjoys spending time with family, which includes her husband Tom and their 7-year-old grandson.
“I just returned from Ireland,” she says. “My father’s side is Irish.”
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