Though the Scott Community College new Health Sciences Center in Bettendorf is not due to open until the end of this month, the Theresa (T.J.) Sheil Lecture Hall was showcased at a student commons and center grand opening last week.

“This is the first named room in the Health Sciences Center, one of many we hope,” said Lysa Hegland, SCC Director of Operations and Resource Development. “Theresa had a dynamite energy and her memory will live forever in these walls.”

Sheil (1951-2022) was an alum of the SCC Nursing program and upon her passing last year, she left a monetary gift to the college to support the health programs at Scott Community College, which is being honored with the naming of this lecture hall, Hegland said.

Theresa Sheil left a gift in her will to support health programs at Scott Community College.

The new center includes a new Simulation Lab, Skills Lab, Lecture Hall, Dental Operatory, Dental Materials Lab, Surgical Technology Lab, Radiology Lab, Sonography Lab, and eight classrooms, as well as several group meeting spaces. In addition, still not complete is the connector building that will provide soft seating student gathering spaces, an elevator to connect all the floors, and handicapped parking access, Hegland said.

When you enter the new Sheil Lecture Hall, upon the wall in large vinyl lettering, you can read the quote “You’re not your disability,” which Theresa believed and would often say.

Mock patients at the new SCC Health Sciences Center on the Bettendorf main campus on Belmont Road.

“She credits Scott Community College for giving her the confidence she needed to overcome her limitations with dyslexia,” Hegland said. “It was SCC that provided her the tools she needed to go on and achieve her many academic and professional successes, but truly it was Theresa’s tenacity as she was a woman on a mission to make the most of her opportunities.

“She was a master educator, the recipient of several coveted American Red Cross awards for her 9/11 and post 9/11 service in New York City, and she was even a boat captain,” she said.

Theresa worked in a school in New York the day the Twin Towers were hit during the 9/11 attacks in 2001 and she responded to try and help as many people as she could, according to her bio.

In 2022, she was the recipient of the Red Cross’s Clara Barton Award for the Greater New York Region. In retirement, Sheil pursued her passion for the seas and Marine Conservation.

She was a PADI Master Diver trainer, and she held a USCG 100-ton Captain’s License.  She traveled the Caribbean to facilitate the safe release of billfish during international tournaments. 

An inspirational plaque honoring SCC alum Theresa Sheil (1951-2022).

Posted just outside the SCC lecture hall is a beautiful photo of Sheil and her legacy biography for all to read. “Theresa believed in opportunities,” Hegland said. “She said, ‘You will never know how strong you are until you help someone else.’ Well now Theresa’s legacy is here to help and inspire thousands of future Health Science students at Scott Community College.”

The SCC Foundation is currently conducting a fundraising campaign for Health Sciences, appropriately named “Supporting A Healthier Tomorrow.”

A classroom in the new Health Sciences Center.

For individuals like Theresa wishing to leave a lasting legacy, the college has naming opportunities for Nursing, Dental, Surgical Technology, Radiology, Sonography and general classrooms/labs as well as a simulation lab, skills lab, dental operatory, and a group study and conference room.

If you wish to learn more about naming opportunities or other ways to support the Health Sciences students through scholarships or student assistance, contact Lysa Hegland at 563-441-4062.