Meyer theater was filled with emotion as a nominee turned into an outstanding faculty of the year.
Grace Yackee, vice president of instruction remained composed after an emotional announcement for the outstanding adjunct faculty award, but like a wave, the tears came back.
“You’re gonna make me cry too,” Yackee said after she awarded this year’s outstanding full-time faculty recipient Nicholas Prush the director of respiratory therapy.
Prush had no clue he was being awarded, but his family kept the secret until it became obvious at the ceremony.
“When I saw my wife walk into honors night I was like, ‘hmmmm,’” Prush said. “And then I started thinking…”
Prush is praised and recognized for working endless hours to ensure students receive high quality instruction on and off campus.
“Shane and I are usually the last on campus,” he said. “Thank my wife for putting up with the long work hours.”
His dedication to the students is apparent and their success is what continues to motivate him.
“They’re the only thing that gives me the drive,” he said. “My success is their success.”
Recently at a conference in Kalamazoo, Prush saw graduates, some being managers and directors, which gave him pride to see them moving forward.
“To see them successful means the world to me,” he said. “They have my upmost respect to see them doing this.”
Board of trustee member Mary Kay Thayer congratulated Prush after the ceremony with tear filled eyes and sincerely thanked him.
Thayer’s granddaughter, Katherine Luceralli graduated in respiratory therapy under Prush.
“When they were down, he would bring them back up,” she said. “Thank you, truthfully.”
Prush lives by the quote on the front of MCCC’s student handbook and tries to engrain it into his students.
“When they’re in their first year or I get them in their second year,” he said. “The way you think influences the way you feel, and the way you feel influences the way you act.”
Every day we have a choice and Prush challenged everyone to take advantage of that free will.
“We wake up every morning, we have a choice, and we can make the difference,” he said. “I challenge each of you today, that’s in this room, to go out and make a difference any way you can.”
Prush is a registered respiratory therapist, certified in basic and advanced life support, neonatal recitation, and pediatric life support.
He started at Henry Ford community college where he received an associate’s degree in respiratory therapy. Continued to Sienna Heights university where he earned his bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy, and finished his master’s degree in health administration at Eastern Michigan university.
“In addition to completing his masters just a couple short years ago, he will complete his course work for a PHD in health administration this spring, and will be beginning his dissertation this summer,” Yackee said.