Featured Alumni

Dr. James Dufek, C’81 &
Suzanne (Reisch) Dufek C'81 & C'84

Karla Nygren
For James and Suzanne (Reisch) Dufek, attending Mount Marty College seemed like a natural fit. Jim had three sisters that attended MMC prior to his attendance, and Suzanne loved the fact that MMC was a small Catholic college with an excellent Nurse Anesthesia program.

Jim Dufek graduated from Mount Marty College in 1981 with B.A. degrees in Communication and Business Administration. When he first started at MMC, this was not the path that he was planning to take. "I had always had a passion for TV, film, photography, and radio, but it wasn't until my first classes with Dick Reddy that changed my career path." The MMC radio station, Radio MMC-Radio 620, was a great teaching tool for Jim, and his experience with Mr. Reddy was instrumental in his life. Sr. Marie Helene also had a great influence over Jim. He worked for her as a student production supervisor for activities in Marian Auditorium. "I grew up with a strong work ethic and she reinforced the importance of working hard and doing your best-which I believe makes you a better person. I still believe that. She was my mentor and friend; I just didn't know it then."

Working on "The Moderator" student newspaper, the radio station, and attending the cultural events that came to the Mount, are some of the memorable experiences that Jim had while at MMC, but the most memorable was making lifelong friendships. Jim married his college best friend- Susie Reisch.

Suzanne (Reisch) Dufek chose Mount Marty College because she was interested in becoming a CRNA. She received her BSN in 1981, and her CRNA in 1984. Sr. Arthur became a mentor for Suzanne, but the most positive impact on her life was meeting and marrying Jim.

The most memorable experience at MMC for Suzanne was during the January Interim of her senior year. She worked with Sr. Marie Kranz to set up an independent study with a CRNA in Madison, SD. "The experience 'sealed the deal' for me as to what I wanted to 'be when I finished MMC.'"

Jim and Suzanne have both been following their dreams since leaving Mount Marty. Jim received a Master's degree from USD in Vermillion, and a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University. He has been working as a professor at Southeast Missouri State University for 33 years. Suzanne has been practicing anesthesia in Cape Girardeau, Missouri since graduating from MMC in 1984. She has been at Southeast Health since 1988, before that she was at St. Francis Hospital.

Both are very active and involved in their professions and community. Jim is the Operations Manager for the TV & Film option and the PJames Dufekroduction Director for the University programming that is broadcast on his local CBS and FOX affiliates. He is also the production manager for the "live" webcasting of all of the Southeast Missouri State University sporting events on the Ohio Valley Conference Digital Network. Jim holds the office of President of the Media Communications Association International; on the Board of Directors for the Missouri Motion Media Association; Broadcast Educators Association, and College Media Advisors. Jim was also inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation in Los Angeles for contributions to the Academic profession. While also serving on various committees for his department, he is the President of the Notre Dame Regional Catholic High School Foundation, the Vice President of the Southeast Missouri Hospital College of Nursing and Health Services, and Secretary/Treasurer of the Board of Directors for Southeast Missouri Hospital.

Jim has an impressive collection of production work as well. This has included NFL Monday Night Football, CNN, 60Minutes, ESPN, ABC, Dick Wolf Productions, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and several independent films and productions. "I recently worked with director David Fincher on 'Gone Girl' serving as coordinator for the local casting, locations, props, and an extra in the movie.

Suzanne has been a very influential person in Anesthesia for many years. She has been very involved in the Missouri Association of Nurse Anesthetists (MOANA), and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA). She has served on the MOANA Board of Directors for many years, including two different years as President. She has served on the Practice Committee, Continuing Education Committee, and the Political Action Committee for the AANA. Suzanne is presently the Federal Political Director for MOANA.

Both Jim and Suzanne believe that Mount Marty College prepared them fully. "My didactic and clinical education and experience from MMC was exceptional. My clinical experiences in St. Luke's Hospital in Sioux City, IA were extensive. I was able to develop by skills and apply my knowledge there, and was a confident provider of anesthesia when I graduated," commented Suzanne.

The couple resides in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. They have three children, Joseph, Jacob, and Madeline. Their son Joseph and his wife Rachel have a six month old named Lucy. Jim says it the best, "My greatest achievement is our marriage and the raising of our children. My wife is an inspiration for me and she is the foundation for our great family. Raising children to be good spouses, good people, and hard-working and productive professional is a great accomplishment- everything else is part of your job."

They plan to continue mentoring others, spending time with family, and traveling the world together.