Ursuline News

Exceptional Years of Service: A Series

The Exceptional Years of Service wall outside of Haggerty Library features Ursuline faculty and staff members who have been employed by The Academy for over 20 years. Over the next few months, we will be featuring those on the wall in a series. This week, we are pleased to introduce Ms. Maureen Sullivan.

Ursuline’s Science Department welcomed Maureen Sullivan in August of 1997.

Science Department Chair at the time, Father Jack Deeves, gave Maureen the initial call offering her a position at Ursuline.

“Someone told him that I loved to teach physics, so he called me,” she said. “I was not available for a full-time position at the time, so he offered me two Physics classes - to which I said yes!”

Fr. Deeves would often participate in her lessons, a special memory she looks back on fondly.

“His desk was in my classroom, so he would often be there while my classes were in session,” she said. “He certainly loved his Physics and he loved spending time with students!”

Her passion for teaching stemmed from her time as a high schooler offering tutoring services in Algebra I and II. Physics was not offered in her high school, so her first introduction to it was in college.

“I went on to take courses in Physics for my Master’s Degree,” she said. “One summer, I took a course “Project Physics,” which was similar to how we teach Physics with the Modeling pedagogy now.”

To her, the most impactful part of being a teacher is when the students discover a love for Physics and start to see it all around them.

“I get so excited when I hear of former students who have gone on to pursue a career in a STEM field,” she said. “I remember hearing the story of one former student who was heard talking in her sleep, saying ‘F = ma.’”

Over the years, Maureen has noticed several changes to technology in the classroom. To name a few:

  • 1997 was the first year for laptops, so there were not as many virtual labs yet.
  • Students could take Physics their junior or senior years. In 2012, it was introduced to the freshman curriculum.
  • Modeling had not yet been introduced, as a method for more student interaction and presentations, based on an introductory experiment in each unit.
  • All science classes at the time were held beneath Haggar, where Journalism is located now. The Science Department officially moved to The French Family Science, Math, and Technology Center in 2009.

She hopes her students take away a love for science and an open mind from her class, “There’s so much more to learn!”

“It is an amazing journey to welcome students as freshmen and see them leave as strong, independent young women of Serviam,” she said. “It all happens in the blink of an eye…”

Maureen celebrates 24 years this school year.