Paying It Forward
Alumna honors husband with Dream Makers donation
Kate and Tim Schickedanz met as Army medics. Tim continued to serve while Kate was a stay-at-home mom to three boys.
Between deployments, Tim worked as a firefighter and medical tech. He also wanted to pursue his longtime career goal of being a nurse and enrolled in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation’s BSN program.
“It was a challenge for him, working full-time and going to school while helping raise three little boys,” Kate says. “But UTA really worked with us. They took care of us.”
For example, he was able to get a $500 scholarship to help buy books.
“Getting that help was huge for us,” Kate says. “With trying to pay tuition and day-to-day living expenses, I don’t know how we managed to pay all the bills, but we did.”
After one last deployment, Tim was able to earn his nursing degree in December 2007. He went to work in the emergency room at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.
Then, in late August, he received a devastating cancer diagnosis. He died weeks later.
Kate, a grieving widow who now had four children, worked to rebuild her life. She had also dreamed of being a nurse and knew it was Tim’s goal to help her earn her degree.
“There was never any question where I would go to school,” she says. “I don’t think I applied anywhere else but UTA.”
She earned her degree in May 2014 and has been a working nurse ever since, currently at Baylor All Saints Medical Center. Now remarried, Kate Schickedanz Leino and her family donate each year to the Dream Makers scholarship fund in memory of her first husband.
“When we were receiving, as a young family, it meant so much to us,” she says. “Now we want to help someone who needs extra money to get through their education.”
Throughout nursing school and her everyday life as a nurse, she has worn her late husband’s UTA pin on her badge.
“He was a great nurse and the best person I ever knew,” she says. “I take him with me every day.”