Jacksonville University is mourning the loss of a talented young member of our community, Stephanie Bloom, who passed away on Sunday, August 19, just two days after giving birth to her third child. She leaves behind her husband John and their children Audrey (age five), John Preston (18 months), and their newborn son Benjamin. Stephanie served as the Assistant Director of Enrollment & Advising for the Graduate Nursing programs in the Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences (BRCHS), Keigwin School of Nursing.
Stephanie graduated in 2004 from Eastside High School International Baccalaureate in her hometown of Gainesville, FL. She then attended the University of Florida and graduated in 2007 with a degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism. In 2011, she married John Bloom, who later graduated from Jacksonville University with a Master of Business Administration degree in 2015.
In July 2010 Stephanie was hired at Jacksonville University as an advisor for students enrolled in the RN BSN online program. She transitioned to the role of Enrollment Coordinator for the Undergraduate Nursing program the following year. Her intellect, drive, and ability to see the big picture allowed her to continue to advance in her responsibilities, eventually overseeing the enrollment and advising for the entire BRCHS graduate programs. In 2016 she requested to return to supporting the graduate nursing students. She expressed her desire for flexibility in her work schedule to support her growing family to whom she was fully devoted. Her close friend Dr. Lindsay Wolf, a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Keigwin School of Nursing, describes her commitment to her family in this way, “she loved her family and that was evident in the way she always talked about them and how they were always on her mind. She made careful decisions for her children and always had their best interest at heart. After talking about our children and comparing stories, we often would end our morning talks by saying to each other “let’s go change the world.”
“Over the last eight years, Stephanie has served our nursing students with kindness and passion. She was an amazing woman, known by faculty, staff, and many years of students for her great intellect and warm heart,” said Dr. Christine Sapienza, Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Sapienza, who previously served as the Dean for BRCHS, added “we feel her loss keenly. Stephanie was “the backbone” within the College of Healthcare Sciences, and the depth of her loss is difficult to process.”
Dr. Cheryl Bergman, Interim Dean for BRCHS, describes Stephanie as “brilliant, innovative, determined, and above all else, a true student advocate.” Stephanie always remained focused on her primary goal, “to identify admit and retain the highest quality nursing students possible.” When serving as the Undergraduate Nursing Director, Dr. Bergman describes how she and Stephanie were “lock step” with one another.” Stephanie knew what I needed before I could ask, it was uncanny. We were a team in every sense.”
Stephanie worked closely with Dr. Hilary Morgan, Director, Graduate Nursing Programs for BRCHS. Morgan said, “Stephanie could coordinate course times, faculty load and student schedules in a school that offers over a hundred course sections each semester. She was a wonderful problem solver. However, it was her interactions with students where she shined most brightly. She loved challenges and figured out ways for students to obtain the education they desired without making their load burdensome. She always supported the students’ desires and needs first and foremost.” Dr. Wolf added, “Stephanie gave her time to every student. With her, it was personal, and she knew this was not only their education, it was their lives.”
Dr. Elaine Borne, Nurse Practitioner Program Coordinator had this to say about Stephanie. “It is impossible to fully describe the impact Stephanie’s passing will have on our school of nursing. What she brought to our graduate program is absolutely irreplaceable.”
Amber Santos, nursing faculty and Undergraduate Director from 2014-2017 comments, “Stephanie was always there for our nursing students and cheered them on during hard times. When some of our students wanted to give up, she was the one that gave them hope. She spent hours talking to them in her office and genuinely cared. The positive impact she had on our students will never be forgotten.”
Stephanie undoubtedly changed the lives of countless people. Her legacy lives on in her three beautiful children, family and the lives of every single student she helped reached their goal and dreams.
Stephanie loved quotes, and these quotes were two of her favorites. In the end, they sum her up the best.
“To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” – Dr. Seuss
“I’d rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.” – from the movie Steel Magnolias
A service for Stephanie will be held at the Quinn-Shalz Family Funeral Home, 3600 3rd St S, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250, on Saturday, August 25, at 3:00 pm. All are welcome to attend.
Stephanie’s family has created a scholarship to honor her legacy and love for nursing education. Donations may be made to the Stephanie Bloom Memorial Scholarship Fund.