Web Feature Posted July 2, 2013
Remembering Cynthia Fitch-Steenson
Cynthia Fitch-Steenson, former associate professor of biology at Seattle Pacific University, died June 13, 2013, at the age of 50.
Known for her leadership of SPU’s Pre-Professional Health Sciences program, Cindy was a dedicated advisor of students who sought careers as doctors, dentists, physical therapists, optometrists, and other careers in health care fields.
Cindy was born in Amarillo, Texas. She attended McMurry University and earned a doctorate in genetics from Iowa State University. She then moved to Seattle to do post-doctoral work at the Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute at the University of Washington. Cindy served as a member of the SPU faculty from 1994 to 2012. Because of her careful advising, SPU pre-med students achieved exceptionally high acceptance rates to medical school and other professional health programs.
Cindy was advisor to the SPU student group Ivy Honorary and president of the Western Association of Advisors for the Health Professions. In her area of study, genetics, she encouraged students to think deeply about biomedical ethics from a Christian perspective. She was honored with the President’s Award for Excellence in 2004 and named a top pre-med advisor by the Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation in 2009.
“Our love for her and deep appreciation for her many contributions to our community continue on,” says SPU Provost Jeff Van Duzer.
“There are countless decisions I have made that I can trace back to Cindy’s guidance, and I know I am not alone in this,” says Cara Wall-Scheffler, associate professor of biology. “Her good opinion was worth having, and her high standards worth fighting for. She was a mentor, a friend, a colleague, and a fellow lifelong-learner.”
Cindy is survived by her husband, Andy Steenson, and three sons.
The Cynthia L. Fitch-Steenson Endowment
Through the generous support of two of Cindy's earliest advisees, a scholarship fund in Cindy's name has been established to benefit pre-professional health science students at SPU to honor her legacy.
To make a gift online, visit advance.spu.edu/giving/giftnow/, and please specify “For Cynthia L. Fitch-Steenson Endowment” in the comment box.
To make a gift by mail: Make checks payable to Seattle Pacific University, for the Cynthia L. Fitch-Steenson Endowment. Mail to SPU Gift Processing, Office of Development, 3307 3rd Ave W., Seattle, WA, 98119-1997.
Any questions about the endowment can be directed to Bryan Jones, SPU development officer, at 206-281-2250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.