Alumni Spotlight: Tricia Hoffman-Simanek ’98

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Tricia Hoffman-Simanek ’98
BA English/Criminal Justice

Alumni Spotlight: Tricia Hoffman-Simanek ’98

Tricia Hoffman-Simanek here. Class of ‘98 just celebrated 20 years!

Since then…

Alumni Spotlight: Tricia Hoffman-Simanek ’98

I applied and got accepted to Notre Dame Law School. I spent 3 years in South Bend, becoming a huge football and basketball fan. I even got to experience the 2001 Women’s NCAA Championship team return with the trophy!

How and why Notre Dame? My criminal justice professor believed in me and when I said I wanted to go to a Top 25 law school he encouraged me to apply.

Alumni Spotlight: Tricia Hoffman-Simanek ’98

Where to after law school? I knew I wanted to return to Cedar Rapids and practice law. I was fortunate to have a job experience my first and second summers during law school at Shuttleworth & Ingersoll - all because another MMU grad helped get my resume to the right people! The MMU Alumni network is amazing in that way!

S&I offered me a position after graduation. I’ve been at S&I 17 years. My work centers around health law - helping organizations with HIPAA compliance and other health law matters, as well as defending physicians, nurses, mid-level providers, and other health care providers in malpractice cases.

Shuttleworth is a multi-specialty law firm with more than 50 attorneys providing services in Iowa and around the world. We opened a second location in August - in Coralville - to enhance our services to our clients.

Alumni Spotlight: Tricia Hoffman-Simanek ’98

While at MMU (to me MMC), I was a Resident Assistant. First to the ladies on 4th Regina, who were totally awesome and rocked the school spirit all the time, and then later at the good ‘ol Monterrey.

Did you know that the average Mt. Mercy student has $28,500 less debt than state school students?! Scholarships and the RA opportunity allowed me to go to my dream law school because I wasn’t already knee-deep in student loans from undergrad. I try to tell people private education can be more affordable than state schools.

Alumni Spotlight: Tricia Hoffman-Simanek ’98

I met my husband, Brad, while I was at Mt. Mercy and have to credit my friends for having me go out with him.

We married right before I started my job. Our honeymoon to London/Paris was supposed to start 9/12/01 but was postponed due to the 9/11 attacks.

We started our family 6 years later and are proud parents of these three kiddos! We just celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary but 22nd year together.

Alumni Spotlight: Tricia Hoffman-Simanek ’98

I had many influential professors during my time. Two are: Zinnia Lim and Jim Grove. I actually began in 1994 as a double major in biology and chemistry, and was a work study for two years.

My sophomore year I changed majors to English and criminal justice, because of a conversation with Jim Grove my second semester Freshman year. He asked: “Have you ever thought about becoming a lawyer?” That was the turning point for me. Jim didn’t need to care about me - I was just taking his class as a required gen ed - but he did. That’s the Mount Mercy difference.

Bill Engvall, Mary Vermillion, and Mary Ducey were all influential in my growth and development (not to mention their letters of recommendation for law school at NDLS)!

Alumni Spotlight: Tricia Hoffman-Simanek ’98

I’ve had a lot of fun in the last 20 years still being a part of Mount Mercy. From nominating and supporting alums for alumni awards to serving on the Board and being present for groundbreaking ceremonies to volunteering as a family to package food with Campus Ministry.

Alumni Spotlight: Tricia Hoffman-Simanek ’98

Our family likes to get out, have a lot of fun and make memories! Huge Mets fans (husband and firstborn got to see them play in the World Series). We are frequent volunteers for #ZJFC (I am the first female president of Elmcrest Country Club). We love local festivals and farmers markets (especially when they involve Kolaches and sweet corn!). We enjoy Kernels games and concerts (Ben Folds rocked our suburb!). The kids have gotten swept into the “Doctor Who” craze (and loving the first female Doctor!). And of course, a Notre Dame football game now and again.

Alumni Spotlight: Tricia Hoffman-Simanek ’98

What’s my one thing instilled in me by Mt. Mercy? Volunteering and community!

Over the years, we have supported Waypoint through their 1911 Society, Gentlemen’s Ride, and Winter Wonderland. We helped during both floods with sandbagging and mucking. Delivered Meals on Wheels. We love ringing the bell at Theisen’s. Volunteering each year at the Sweet Corn Festival (come see us in the bingo tent!). Waypoint went to the Capitol to have their voice be heard about childhood education issues. For over 10 years, I served as my firm’s Adopted Family Coordinator at Christmas.

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