Linda Ulak, Ed.D, RN has always been a Pirate. She grew up only seven minutes from campus, she had a father who was an avid Seton Hall basketball fan and has two older brothers who attended Seton Hall–there was no doubt in her mind that she would officially become a Pirate herself. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree from the College of Nursing, Ulak set forth into the clinical environment working as a surgical intensive care nurse at St. Elizabeth Hospital (Now Trinitas Hospital), in Elizabeth, New Jersey. In 1986, Ulak followed her roots and came back to teach at Seton Hall.
Q: What are some highlights of your professional nursing career?
A: I could talk about awards that I have received, but that’s not a highlight. We always say how nurses touch people's lives; however the patients truly touch our lives in very special ways. Somehow, highlights to me have been the nitty-gritty in dealing with patients. One that sticks out to me is the night a mother with a stillborn baby was on my nursing unit. The mother requested to see her baby –none of the other nurses would aid the mother in her request, but my education at Seton Hall enforced that I had to care for the entire health and well-being of this mother, which included helping her during the grieving process.
Q: Do you have any advice for current students?
A: The last line of the Seton Hall Alma Mater is, "O sing her praise to the highest skies, and be ye faithful in her eyes, for she will foster all your dreams, and her name is Seton Hall." I know that Seton Hall has helped me foster more than I could have ever dreamed—and then it brought me back here, so I can impart that into current and future students. My advice is to get to know your faculty, stay in communication and most importantly to be proud of Seton Hall!
Q: What is your favorite "Seton Hall" thing to do?
A: Attend the basketball games! I am a season ticket holder! I have been going to the basketball games since I was in diapers. I used to ask my father 'when is the real basketball game?!' since we used to watch every freshman, J.V., and then eventually every "real" game that the men's basketball team played.
Q: Beyond working at Seton Hall I like to…
A: Recently I have been competing in what I like to call "walk marathons." There is an initiative that if you complete a certain number of marathon/runs in the New Jersey area, a donation will be made to help restore the Jersey Shore. I also love gardening and being a mother to my pets. (Ulak is an avid animal rescuer and advocate)
Q: What motivates you to donate annually to the institution you work for?
A: All gifts go towards what Seton Hall can provide to their students. Whether that's new faculty, better facilities or scholarships, it all comes back one way or another because tuition only goes so far. It's not the amount; everybody can kick in just a little bit—it could be two dollars or five dollars, it still shows your commitment to Seton Hall.
At the College of Nursing commencement in December, a graduating student presented Ulak with an American Flag, flown in her honor by the United States Air Force over enemy territory for impacting this veteran’s nursing education so immensely. This very special woman does not think twice of the many efforts that she does for the students and the greater good of Seton Hall.
You can find Dr. Ulak counseling countless nursing students as the Associate Dean of Learning Outcomes and Assessment at the College of Nursing, which has served as her second home for the majority of her life. Ulak is a prestigious graduate, tenured faculty member, and an annual donor to the institution that made it all possible for her.
Join Linda and pledge your support to Seton Hall with an annual gift to the Seton Hall Fund or any area that sparks your interest.
To give online visit www.shu.edu/giving, or to give by phone, please call (973) 378-9826.
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