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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

A heart of a giver, she is a survivor

Rama+Ajlouni%2FThe+Collegian+Stuewe+has+been+awarded+the+Outstanding+Division+Department+Chair+Award+for+the+spring+in+2023.
Rama Ajlouni/The Collegian Stuewe has been awarded the Outstanding Division Department Chair Award for the spring in 2023.

FOUSIA ABDULLAHI
campus editor
fousia.abdullahi@my.tccd.edu

In a quiet, dimly lit classroom in NSCW, a handful of students gathered to present their final project for English 2311 with NE professor Stacy Stuewe. Each group or solo presenter picked something about TCC they would like to see changed or fixed. 

These topics ranged from extending the hours of the school gym to having more classes available on each campus, so students don’t have to travel between campuses because it affected their ability to be on time and saved money traveling back and forth. 

Stuewe took a genuine interest in what the students had to say and encouraged them to find solutions to these issues. 

“She’s always been one of those types of faculty members and colleagues that is willing to go above and beyond for anybody, whether it’s students or whether it’s additional faculty,” said graphic communications instructor Sean Fousheé. 

That sentiment is shared by students as well, like NE student Ian Kong who notes how kind Stuewe is.

“The first thing I noticed when I first walked in is that she’s expressive, and she’s very supportive of people working. Definitely more flexible with their schedules,” Kong said. 

Stuewe is originally from Tennessee, where she attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and graduated in May 1991. She later got her master’s from Middle Tennessee State University in August 1996 and earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Arlington in May 2010. 

In May 2018, Stuewe became the English department chair, managing a department with an English faculty of 59, 27 full-time and 32 part-time. 

She has three kids: an 18-year-old daughter at Texas Tech, two sons aged 20 and 23, and two stepsons in their late 20s, one who lives in Seattle and one who lives in Fredericksburg. She and her husband just celebrated their 10th anniversary. 

In November 2022, Stuewe was diagnosed with Tonsil cancer. After chemotherapy and radiation, she is in remission, though she still has scans every three months. She recently celebrated one-year of being cancer free. 

“My husband was just invaluable,” she said. “He was such a strong support, and my colleagues are so supportive. I just had well wishes from so many people, and that helps a person get through as well.” 

According to the American Cancer Society, some studies have shown that a positive attitude improves a person’s chance of survival throughout their disease. 

“I really value those times when, especially over the holidays, when we can all get together,” Stuewe said. “Over Thanksgiving it was just thrilling because I had every room filled while everybody was together. I think my husband and family and friends really helped me get through some challenging times this year and it’s really important to make time to spend with all with friends with family in addition to work.” 

She radiates optimism and spoke about the importance of having a strong support system in the form of family and friends. 

“You know, someone of her age having to deal with such a diagnosis was a shock. But at the same time, you wouldn’t have known it just by being around her, Fousheé said. That’s kind of a testament to just her mindset and the way that she approached it.” 

Stuewe has become passionate about cancer prevention, and she hopes her experience can help others. 

She has learned from her oncologist to be more aware of her body and to take a proactive approach to her health if there’s something that’s different, notice it and get to a doctor and be an advocate for yourself to get in as soon as possible.

“If they find cancer early, and thank goodness, they found mine very early. If they find it early, then they can get rid of it, more easily, and the treatment is more effective. It’s very hard when you get to the later stages,” she said.

Along with that, she advocates against the increase in young people becoming addicted to vaping and its adverse health effects, as well as the risk factor for cancer. 

“My oncologist mentioned to me that if it weren’t for alcohol, for smoking and for the HPV virus, that we would not have 80% of the cancers that we have today,” said Stuewe. “So, I think it’s very important, especially for young people in their 20s. There’s an HPV vaccine that prevents six different types of cancer.” 

In her 13-year career teaching at TCCD, Stuewe has worked closely with her students and staff advocating for the well-being and success of those she teaches and works with. 

Fousheé describes Stuewe as having the heart of a servant.  

“She doesn’t shy away from an opportunity to help students, first and foremost, but then also her colleagues,” he said. “She puts others first. In much everything that she does, and that to me is the defining characteristic of somebody who has the heart of a servant.” 

Stuewe also held various leadership roles serving the Texas Community College Teachers Association, the Faculty Senate NE Campus and the NE Faculty Association. 

“Professor Stuewe is organized and responsive and leads with passion and conviction,” Michelle York said, the academic foundations department chair and English instructor. 

One of the things Stuewe is proud of is that when she was president of TCCTA, a when a statement on academic freedom was approved unanimously. The statement said that TCCTA strongly opposes any legislation that seeks to limit open inquiry and discussion on any academic issue, either explicitly or implicitly.

including legislation forbidding consideration of subject matter, political tests for faculty or institutions or attacks on faculty tenure. 

“If we don’t have that academic freedom, we can’t do our job,” said Stuewe. “You can’t do service to teaching certain types of literature if you can’t talk about the themes that are in that literature. And so, sometimes those themes are controversial, but we can handle that. Students can handle that, and faculty can handle that in a diplomatic way and cover those topics.” 

While Stuewe continues to support her students, fellow faculty and staff on campus and statewide, she stays upbeat and supportive. 

“You can’t get really stressed out about the small stuff,” said Stuewe. “It makes you. It helps you to put things in perspective about what’s important, like family, friends, having a job where you feel like you are making a difference, because you just never know how much time you have.” 

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