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Cookies of Thanks, Healing: MSU & U-M nursing students deliver treats to Sparrow Hospital staff


Moments of true healing can happen at the most unexpected of times. It can also be offered from the most unexpected people. Michigan State University College of Nursing students experienced this firsthand during an excursion to Sparrow Hospital on March 3, 2023 with students from the “school down the road.”


Brenna Gordon, a junior in the MSU BSN program, turned to action during her healing process after the tragedy of Feb. 13th. In the days immediately following the attack, a long-term friend of Gordon’s reached out to check in on her. Madelyn Szczechowski is also a junior BSN student, but she attends the University of Michigan.


Gordon was amazed at the selfless response of Sparrow healthcare providers in the days following Feb. 13th. “We knew we wanted to do something for Sparrow workers. They did so much for the students that night without being asked,” said Gordon. She and Szczechowski knew they had an opportunity to pay kindness forward after seeing the outpouring of support between the MSU and U-M communities.


As representatives of their respective school’s student governing bodies, Gordon and Szczechowski created an opportunity for their organizations to make meaningful relationships with Sparrow staff members.


“We wanted this to be more of a ‘thank you’ than a networking event,” Gordon said. How would the students’ appreciation be shown? Through a sweet treat, of course.


The student organizations agreed on collecting funds for MSU Bakery cookies, desserts highly sought after in East Lansing, MI. In collaboration with Dr. Kathleen Poindexter, the CON’s Interim Associate Dean of Academics, and Carol Vermeesch , MSU’s BSN Program Coordinator, all of the students involved in the exchange of sweets showed the power of putting aside rivalries for good. Gordon received assistance from MSU junior BSN student Mabel Phillips, and Szczechowski brought along Colleen Verla, U-M junior BSN student.


Gordon explained that this may not be the last time MSU and U-M nursing students work together to improve the community. “Through this tragedy we were able to connect and bridge the rivalry of our schools. We now are looking at more opportunities to collaborate as future colleagues in nursing.”