By: Nouran Abdellatif
A mother, wife, teacher, nurse and now the recipient of a Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Jacquie Kummel was “shocked” when she found out that her husband had nominated her for a Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Jacquie is the co-ordinator of specialty nursing and continuing education program and a professor at the School of Health and Community Studies at the college. As a military wife, she has worked all over the country and in small communities balancing her role as a wife, mother of three and a nurse.
“Jacquie has worked for over 30 years as a nurse through good and bad times, often giving all of her time, energy and compassion without any expectation at all of thanks or recognition,” said her husband Steff. “Even her family takes her for granted too often in my opinion, so I was thrilled to learn that was being rectified by awarding her the medal which will forever show her dedication and commitment to family, community and well being.”
With the help of two of Jacquie’s friends who were references for the application, Steff kept the nomination a secret from May until August when Jacquie received a letter from her MP’s office to congratulate her on winning the medal.
“I was just going to throw it out because it’s usually just saying everything they’ve done and it’s actually addressed to me and I thought ‘That’s kind of weird,’ so I opened it up and I was just standing there going ‘What?’ ” said Jacquie. “It was the best surprise.”
One of the few people who were aware Jacquie had been nominated was friend and former colleague Kristine Metcalfe. Metcalfe and Jacquie worked together at Red River College in Winnipeg where they both taught.
“She was a great skills lab instructor and students really appreciated her calm and caring approach,” said Metcalfe. “She was committed to providing the best learning experience possible. I know that she demonstrated that same dedication in her other courses too and always had her eye on the goal – helping to prepare a competent registered nurse.”
One of the students in Jacquie’s foreign trained nurses and refresher class, Francialina Billones, agrees saying that she enjoys Jacquie’s teaching methods and how she encourages participation.
“As foreign trained nurses, we have difficulty adjusting to the system,” said Billones. “She helped us [with that.]”
Jacquie says she’s lucky to be able to combine nursing and teaching through her work at the college. She gets to incorporate her experience as an ER nurse in her lectures.
Her other contributions to the community include volunteering at her children’s schools. She did fundraising for the Grade 8 trips to Quebec, was president of her son’s fencing club, carpooled for team sports and ran lunch programs. All what she calls “normal mom things.”
“I tell my students all the time ‘One piece at a time. You can’t look at the whole big picture of what you’re trying to do. Just little chunks and then you can get through it’,” said Jacquie