Sister Candyce C. Chrystal, OSB, Ph.D., Grad ’89, ’91
When her religious community encouraged her to pursue an advanced degree, Sister Candy, was not sure she felt called to do it. She went on to earn a master’s and doctorate from the School of Education and is now a beloved teacher, mentor and education department chair at Mount Marty College in Yankton, S.D.
Sister Candy, a Benedictine sister of Yankton’s Sacred Heart Monastery, is known at Mount Marty for her sense of humor, high expectations and “tough love” approach. She’s also been recognized with a Distinguished Service Award by the college, acknowledging her many hours spent mentoring education majors, her role in designing the freshman advising program, in which she still participates as an adviser, and her work in attaining accreditation for the college from the Higher Learning Commission.
Sister Candy is helping Mount Marty design and launch a program in Benedictine leadership. “Students will address who they are, who they are in community, who they want to be and who they are within their chosen career or vocations,” she says. She is also working to make sure each of the aspiring teachers in her program are able to work with an English language learner student.
Sister Candy believes all educators need a servant’s heart and strives to impart this to her students. She says success is “becoming who we were created to become, being a servant leader in whatever walk of life we find ourselves.”
Regarding her initial uncertainty about the necessity of her advanced degrees, Sister Candy says, “In hindsight, I see the many ways my education has helped me be of service to my community, our college, to the students and to my local city and school districts.”
Fun fact: A bit of wisdom Sister Candy picked up from her former Marquette professor Dr. Albert Thompson: “Never solve a problem too soon because they often solve themselves.”