UA Students Learn about Service in Haiti
Posted 02/13/2012 03:23PM
Last Friday, the Ursuline Academy community learned about the empowering effect of service in Haiti.
Donna Cullinan
Donna Cullinan, a practicing nurse practitioner and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Boston College School of Nursing, came to UA with three of her nursing students from BC on Friday morning.  Cullinan has traveled to Haiti many times over the past ten years to offer her nursing services to those in need.  She is also in charge of the Community Health program for senior nursing students at BC, and through this program brought ten of her students to Haiti in January 2012.
Cullinan and her three students shared stories and photos from their week of service in Haiti, emphasizing the sense of hope in the country as it continues to recover from the devastating earthquake in January 2010.  Cullinan and the students said that their philosophy was to enable the people of Haiti and to help them help themselves.  “Don’t just do, teach,” Cullinan said when describing their approach.  “Respect their culture and traditions and work with them to do it their way, not your way.”

The nursing students emphasized the importance of making a connection with the people, noting that even though they were just students and not certified nurses, they still felt they were able to make a difference by listening and showing that they cared.  In addition to offering medical services and a helping hand, the group also raised money to bring medications like Tylenol(c) and Advil(c) with them to Haiti.

Sue Lawler P '13. '15 '16, Principal Mary Jo Keaney

Ursuline students, the BC Nursing students

and Donna Cullinan

The UA students enjoyed the presentation and were eager participants when Cullinan opened the floor to questions.  They asked whether children or adults in Haiti needed more help ("both," the BC nursing students said), and why we don’t hear more about the hardships in the country.  Cullinan left the students with an inspiring message: “All of you can effect change in a positive way,” she told them.

Cullinan is the sister of Bill Lawler P ’13, ’15 ‘16 and Robert Lawler P ’11 ‘15.  Special thanks to Sue Lawler P ’13, ’15 ‘16 for her help organizing these speakers!