Mount St. Joseph University

Impacting Alumni

Academics

Associates of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati are women and men who strive to live the Gospel values. Called by God, they choose to be in a mutual relationship with the Sisters of Charity, committing themselves to participate in its mission through their individual life situations. Here we spotlight two Mount alums who have impacted our communities through their service as associates.

Many Mount graduates choose to become Associates of Charity, continuing to support the Sisters of Charity’s mission throughout their lives. We talked with Nicki Veldhaus ’92 & ’11 and Dr. Gloria Cordova ’61 to gain insight into life as an Associate

Nicki Veldhaus (shown left) received her bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1992 and then her master’s degree in religious studies—pastoral counseling in 2011. She joined the Mount’s Office of Admission in 2002 and served as the assistant director of admissions, counseling adult students who were either beginning or completing their degrees. She also taught a professional development course for traditional-aged students. After nine years in this position she served as director of alumni relations for two years.

When did you become a Sisters of Charity associate and what inspired you to do so?
I became an associate in 2011. That was a big year—receiving my MA and becoming an associate. The idea and inspiration was an awareness of the Charity ministries and the work they accomplish. Through my studies and my final thesis, I interviewed and worked with many Sisters I now call friends. I was always overwhelmed by their loving kindness.

What ministry do you serve and what are some examples of the impact this has had on you and others?
Since I retired from the Mount (Jan. 31, 2013) I have more time to serve in areas that are significant and meaningful in my personal life. I work with the Drop Inn Center in downtown Cincinnati—big changes are happening right now with a new site being prepared. I also serve on the Seton Enablement Committee, which is one of the Sisters of Charity organizations that offers low-interest rate loans to small non-profit companies.

What would you say to someone who is considering becoming a Sisters of Charity associate?
The commitment is based on the level of involvement that appeals to you, the time commitment you have to offer. If you have the desire to be part of the group, men and women who have a love for the mission and work of the Charities, it is a wonderful, loving way to serve and have an impact.

After graduating from the Mount with a major in chemistry and a minor in mathematics in 1961, Dr. Gloria Cordova earned her Ph.D. from Fielding Graduate University with a specialization in Latina consciousness development. She lives in Los Alamos, N.M. and is a retiree from the Los Alamos National Laboratory. She was honored by the Mount in 2011 with the Loretta Richards Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of achievement in vocation, dedication in community service and loyalty to the Mount.

When did you become a Sisters of Charity associate and what inspired you to do so?
I made my commitment as an associate last summer on June 27, 2013. I am a former Sister of Charity (1957-1969) and as such always remained close to my friends in the SCs. We would gather every five years for a reunion. One of my SC friends described me as ‘always having been an associate by association.’

What ministry do you serve and what are some examples of the impact this has had on you and on others?
I describe my ministry as being in the world. I feel called by the SC vision statement: “Choosing to act justly and to build loving relationships.”The impact of this way of
being in the world is manifested in my relationships with the many people of the different communities to which I belong, including my home neighborhood, my town, my family, the women’s groups to which I belong, and my doctoral school colleagues.

What would you say to someone who is considering becoming a Sisters of Charity associate?
The Charism Statement of the Sisters of Charity is a perfect way for women’s voices as agents of change to be effective in the world. If a woman is moved by the humility, simplicity, and charity of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, she will find herself right at home with the hundreds of women who are currently Sisters of Charity and associates of the Sisters of Charity.