At the end of the 2017-18 academic year, three gifted and long-standing School of Behavioral Health faculty retired: Dr. Douglas Huenergardt and Dr. Cheryl Simpson, both Professors in the Department of Counseling and Family Sciences, and Dr. Viola Lindsey, Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work and Social Ecology. Dr. Simpson has served the University for over 38 years and Dr. Huenergardt for over 18 years. Professor Lindsey was a graduate of the MSW and PhD program in the Department of Social Work & Social Ecology, and subsequently began her teaching career in 2011.
Receptions were held for each in their departments at the end of May and beginning of June. Friends, family, colleagues, and former students came to celebrate the careers of all three, as well as to thank them for their impact on numerous lives—professionally, academically, and personally. Several touching testimonials were spontaneously presented about each of the retiring faculty, who also shared their memories of years of dedication to the university, the School, and their students.
Dr. Simpson’s 43-year-long education career as a professor, educational psychologist, and Trauma Team member "has involved a rich mix of diverse individuals and experiences" and has taken her to a number of countries (including, among others, Brazil, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Russia, and Thailand) and numerous states. Wherever she has traveled she has found that "we are all sisters and brothers bonded by the love of God and our desire to serve." One of Dr. Simpson’s true passions has been mentoring students: "They have been the heart of my work throughout my career. As I’ve grown older I have envisioned my career as running a marathon in which you pace yourself. Now that I can see the finish line, I cherish 2 Timothy 4:7 even more. He wrote, 'I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.' Most important, I continue to be grateful to God for leading me into a work that I’ve loved and guiding me through to the end as I’d hoped."
As Dr. Lindsey reflected on her departure from Loma Linda University, she found herself "vacillating between exhilaration and uncertainty" and appreciating how incoming students and graduates might be feeling the same as they venture out into new life experiences as social work learners, or as graduates into their chosen professional social work careers. She was reminded of the following words from Nelson Mandela: "It always seems impossible until it is done" and "live life as though nobody is watching and express yourself as though everyone is listening." Professor Lindsey’s expertise, particularly in the area of child welfare, significantly contributed to student success.
We are so grateful to all three of these matchless faculty for their many years of dedication to their students, the university, and their global community.