On June 26 when Sandy Maier is inducted into the Alpha Eta Society (the National Allied Health Honor Society), it will mark a new beginning as well as the end of a long road with her family always at her side. With a 4.0 her final semester in the nursing program, Sandy received her master’s degree at Stony Brook’s Commencement on May 22, the same day two of her children, Samantha and James, received degrees from the University.
“Stony Brook is in our blood,” said Sandy.
The Maier’s story started in 1972, when Bruce Maier (Sandy’s future husband), already interested in computers and physics, decided to attend Stony Brook — the place where his father worked. Bruce’s dad was on the original construction crew at the University, and he was a carpenter shop steward during the building of Stony Brook University Hospital. When it came to time to apply to college, Bruce found that Stony Brook was one of only three schools that offered computer science as a major, and he became a student at the University.
Bruce then married Sandy, a recent music education graduate of SUNY Fredonia. But her career took a different path. After Sandy watched several nurses heroically revive a church parishioner, she entered Stony Brook’s intensive nursing degree program. Her three children were aged 3, 8 and 10, and she managed to graduate summa cum laude with straight A’s.
During the last four years, Sandy completed a master’s in Health Technology and Management, while at the same time her daughter Samantha — who was born in the hospital her grandfather helped build — completed her four years of undergraduate study at Stony Brook with a double major in biology and psychology. Following the family tradition, Samantha has already been accepted into the highly competitive basic baccalaureate program in Stony Brook’s School of Nursing.
Meanwhile, her brother James completed his undergraduate degree in psychology at Stony Brook and went directly into a combined master’s/doctorate program. His interest is in protein folding, and he has worked extensively with Chemistry Professor Carlos Simmerling, his mentor in computer modeling. James’ wife, Grace, is also a Stony Brook graduate.
Stony Brook is clearly in the Maier blood.