At Augsburg’s June commencement ceremony, Rochester graduate Stacy Schmitt received the Richard J. Thoni Award. The award is presented to a graduating student whose actions, commitments, and future aspirations most profoundly demonstrate a commitment to Augsburg’s motto of “Education for Service.”
Stacy, a mother of two, began her college career at Augsburg in 2006 and completed her program, graduating with highest honors, in just over 2 years. She not only moved through the degree program with unusual swiftness, she did so while maintaining the roles of full-time employee at Mayo Clinic, mother, wife, and community leader.
In the last couple of years, she has worked to develop an active neighborhood association in Rochester. When first out of high school and living on her own, Stacy experienced a series of break-ins and robberies that heightened her sensitivity to the issue of personal safety. Given, as she observed, that close neighborhoods produce safe neighborhoods, she got involved in starting and leading a neighborhood association.
She serves today on the Meadow Park Neighborhood Association board as its marketing director. Last year, she developed a neighborhood newsletter and then the business plan that allowed the newsletter to be printed, folded, and distributed in exchange for ads by local businesses.
Identified by the Post-Bulletin newspaper as the city’s largest, most informative neighborhood association, Meadow Park received Rochester’s “Project of the Year” award for its neighborhood newsletter. Several Post-Bulletin articles have included pictures of Stacy and quotes from her, one in which she named Augsburg College’s Rochester location as the place where she developed ideas for the organization’s projects.
In her responsibilities at Mayo Clinic, Stacy is involved in developing an integrated supply chain system to increase efficiencies and contribute to the viability and strength of healthcare providers. The goal is to have a uniform international code, allowing all providers to compare and contrast vendor products with regard to quality, availability, and price.
This spring, Stacy completed an internship related to this project. She began a process where six regional Luther Midelfort hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies will be included in Mayo’s electronic resource program, thereby integrating them with Mayo’s supply chain, disbursement, accounts payable, travel, and human resources functions.
Stacy cited Augsburg business courses as beneficial to the project. “I was able to complete this large task within an aggressive timeline with skills learned in computer application and project management courses at Augsburg. Furthermore, using skills learned in management, I designed a plan to standardize and add the remaining 17,000 Luther Hospital items to the Mayo platform.”
As a requirement for graduating summa cum laude, Stacy completed a paper and oral examination. During her summa interview, Stacy was asked what she envisioned herself doing in 10 or 20 years. Though she said she felt a bit embarrassed about it, her response to the committee was that she had begun to look at being the president of Mayo Clinic as a worthy objective.
Karl Wolfe, director of the Rochester program, said, “After she left and the committee discussed her interview, we agreed that president of Mayo may be shooting too low. We think president of the country may be an attainable goal for Stacy.”