The Kielkucki Family

Marcel Kielkucki ’02 and Katie Kielkucki ’06 grew up in Winsted, MN, where their family attended and worked for a close-knit Catholic school.

When Marcel decided to attend Mount Mercy in 1998, he didn’t realize at the time that his little sister would decide to follow in his footsteps just a few years later.

“I wasn’t afraid to look at colleges beyond home in Minnesota,” says Marcel. “It just felt right when I came for my visit.” He majored in secondary education, and was active on the Hill, participating in student government, campus ministry, and more.

 “It just felt right when I came for my visit.”

Marcel Kielkucki '02
Secondary Education
Director of High School Completion Programs
Kirkwood Community College
Manchester, Iowa

Just as he was getting ready to graduate, Katie was researching colleges, getting ready to enroll as a freshman in 2002.

“I didn’t really want to go to the same school he did,” says Katie. “I didn’t want to be known as his little sister forever. But Mount Mercy has a great nursing program, and that’s what I wanted to do.”

She kept Mount Mercy in mind as she looked at other schools, finally narrowing it down to three options. To help her make her final decision, Marcel suggested that she connect with other siblings on campus who had attended at the same time—even participating in the same program.

Talking to the Schueller sisters helped, says Katie. “Visiting the inside of the chapel also confirmed my decision. There’s just something about it that resonates with you.”

Much like her brother, she became very involved on campus, becoming a resident assistant, and participating in student government and campus ministry. For the first few years, she was sometimes known as “Marcel’s sister.” But, by the end of her four years at Mount Mercy, Marcel became known as “Katie’s brother” instead.

“There’s just something about it that resonates with you.”

Katie Kielkucki '06
Nursing
Staff Registered Nurse
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN

Although they weren’t on campus together, they both have fond memories of their time at Mount Mercy, and agree that their education prepared them well for life in the real world.

As a nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, Katie works closely with nursing students who are just beginning their careers—and it makes her realize how lucky she was to study nursing at Mount Mercy. “We’re a Catholic University, so we could focus on the entire person as a patient—not just their health problems. You can go a little bit deeper. Not only did the professors teach us to care about the whole patient, but they also personally cared about each student. Oftentimes, they would give out their phone numbers; if you had a question, you could always call.”

Marcel appreciates the one-on-one interactions he had with faculty throughout his college years. “Still today, Dr. Jan Handler takes an interest in what and how I’m doing. She always made sure we had good opportunities to do what we wanted.”

When he was looking for student-teacher placements in secondary-education settings, he says that Dr. Handler was instrumental in making sure he found what he was looking for: placement as a government teacher. His experiences led him to his current role as Kirkwood Community College’s director of high school completion programs.

Since graduating, both Marcel and Katie display their MMU pride by volunteering and attending events; they are currently members of the alumni board as well.

They also continue to practice servant leadership by volunteering in a variety of ways. Marcel is a member of the Knights of Columbus and serves on the St. Mary’s school board in Manchester, IA. Katie leads her high school’s youth mission trip every year in Winsted, IA, with her 16th trip coming up this summer.