A Lifetime of Achievement Influenced by Mercy
Linda Walsh Fell ’65 received the 2016 Member Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society for Clinical Pathology recently. Not surprising for the Mercy graduate who feels the school taught her to be inclusive and to care for others which helped advance her career through work with patients, students and colleagues.
When looking for a high school, Linda wanted to go to a large school and Mercy was the largest all-girls school at the time. She also was familiar with the educational focus of the Sisters of Mercy having attended St. Bernard’s Grade School.
Although, she was involved in many clubs while in high school, Journalism became a passion and she served as the yearbook editor in 1965.
“I was very shy when I enrolled, but Mercy gave me confidence and helped me become a leader and comfortable in almost all situations. I credit Mercy with giving me confidence to purse opportunities that I have had in my career. For example, I went on to be yearbook editor when I attended Creighton,” she said.
Linda graduated from Creighton in 1969 with a Bachelors of Science in Medical Technology. She worked in the laboratory at Bergan Mercy Hospital for almost 23 years and then took a position in education in the Medical Technology Program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC).
As the Director of the Clinical Laboratory Science Program (CLS), she was responsible for helping the program to become a leader in distance education. In addition to developing clinical sites across Nebraska, Wyoming and South Dakota she expanded efforts by initiating contracts with five universities to provide CLS education for their schools.
While at UNMC, she became involved in one of the professional organizations representing laboratorians—the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). She served on the Board of Directors, chaired several committees and led collaboration efforts with other laboratory organizations. The group boasts more than 100,000 members representing pathologists, technologists, technicians and other laboratory personnel.
Inclusivity and caring for others were important lessons learned at Mercy. She put these traits to good use when she became active in the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief initiative while at ASCP. ASCP contracted with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to work with Africa and other continents to enhance their knowledge and laboratory skills in the diagnosis and treatment of AIDS. Linda worked with laboratory schools, developing curricular materials in hematology and she traveled to several African countries to work with faculty. She also visited China as part of her director duties at UNMC.
“This work was very rewarding and I believe was an opportunity I would not have sought without my Mercy experience,” she added.
Linda is an active alumna and she tries to attend alumnae events and gathers often with her class for dinner or brunch.
“ I loved my time at Mercy. The experience has literally lasted a lifetime through friendships and professionally,” she said.