2011 alumna is 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award winner

Sara Landsee, class of 2011, with her Distinguished Alumni Award. The event was to be held in September, but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sara Landsee, BSN class of 2011, was selected as the recipient of this year’s Bellin College Distinguished Alumni Award. She was nominated by classmate Jennifer Zernzach, who said of Landsee, “In addition to her lengthy clinical accomplishments, Sara is a kind compassionate nurse who truly cares for her co-workers, patients, and community.”

After graduation, Landsee followed her dreams to Texas, where she was accepted into the emergency department residency program at the Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas. After her time there, she transitioned to a position closer to her home at Texas Health Resources Plano, also working in the emergency department.

She has held various positions during her nursing career. Most recently she seized another opportunity to become a trauma program director at Texas Health Frisco, which was recently built.

“Never did I imagine that I would have the opportunity to be part of a facility from the ground up,” Landsee said. “It has been an unbelievable learning experience, and I feel honored to be part of the leadership team at this facility.”                    

“She has helped shape the trauma care in her community through her outstanding work as a frontline nurse in the ER, trauma coordinator, and now trauma program director,” Zernzach said in her nomination. “As her nursing peer from the 2011 graduating class, I am sincerely impressed and inspired by her accomplishments and continual determination to be the best.”

Landsee may be across the country, but the values she learned at Bellin College have never been far from her mind when assisting others.

“I am forever grateful for the values the Bellin College faculty instilled in me during my time at the college,” Landsee said. “Excellence, Community, Integrity, and Caring remain pillars in my nursing practice. I hope that winning this award will inspire others, especially those at the beginning of their career, to be empowered to make a difference.”

She offered some advice for fellow nursing students and graduates.

“Always be willing to take chances in order to follow your dreams,” she said. “We all know that change is scary, but no one has ever grown without it. Challenge yourself to do better not only for yourself but your patients.  If I wouldn’t have taken a chance by moving across the country at 22 to take my first nursing job, I can’t say I would be where I am at today.”

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