Professor VanKuren was sure that she wanted to be a nurse when she was in high school. In 1991, she began working at Kankakee's St. Mary's Hospital (now Presence St. Mary's) and continued working there until 2012. She began on a medical-surgical floor, and then worked in the pediatric unit and the outpatient infusion center after earning her associate's degree in nursing in 1995.
In 2010, she began teaching at Kankakee Community College. Initially, she was an adjunct professor in the licensed practical nursing program. Then she joined the full-time faculty in the registered nursing program. She taught in both classroom and clinical settings.
Joining Olivet's full-time faculty in 2013, she combines her 20-plus years of nursing experience with a genuine love for helping students learn the art of nursing. She is excited to be doing this in the same places where she began and continued her career.
For relaxation and exercise, she is passionate about running. She also enjoys walking with her husband, Dale. Or playing a game of one-on-one basketball with her son, Jacob. Or taking a step and cycle class with her daughter, Emily. An active member of Maternity BVM parish in Bourbonnais, she has often participated in the church's Camp M*O*S*H *(Maternity Outreach Service for Humanity) program.
One of the most important verses in the Bible for Professor VanKuren is Luke 11:9, "Jesus said, ‘So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.'"