Honoring the Legacy of Cheryl Swinehart Dariushnia – Nurse, Counselor, Loving Mother

From Touch Point Online Magazine, Fall 2021 - Vol. V, Issue 3

Cheryl Swinehart Dariushnia graduated from the Kent State School of Nursing (as it was referred to at the time) in 1977. As was the case for many students of her generation, Cheryl’s journey to become a nurse was not always easy. With limited scholarships available, she was forced to work over 30 hours a week while attending Kent State. However, as nurses do, Cheryl persevered and pushed forward.

In the summer of 1977, she graduated with her BSN and began her work at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, Ohio. Within six months, she realized that her passion was in providing care to psychiatric patients at the hospital. This began her thirty-year career as a psychiatric nurse and counselor. As a lifelong student, Cheryl went back to school in 1994 and received a master’s degree in counseling. Through her work, she touched and changed the lives of countless people in northeast Ohio.

Cheryl’s focus on providing genuine warmth to those in our community who need it most was a testament to her character. She dedicated her life to serving others and always believed in paying it forward. She always sought to help and was known for providing compassionate care not only her patients, but to all those around her. Sadly, Cheryl passed away in October of 2020, yet her desire to help others and improve the world around her never wavered.  

Inspired by the amazing woman his mother was, Ali Dariushnia, who also graduated from Kent State, made the decision to honor her with the creation of two scholarships to support nursing students. Recognizing that his mother’s experience would have been vastly different had more scholarship support been available, Ali decided to live up to the values his mother instilled in him daily and pay it forward to help the next generation of nursing students.

The Cheryl Swinehart Dariushnia Palliative Care Memorial Scholarship and the Cheryl Swinehart Memorial Scholarship provide support to nursing students who are interested in palliative care and those who are forced to work over twenty hours a week to supplement their income. These scholarships allow our future nursing leaders the opportunity to focus less on their finances and more on their studies. Not only will future nurses receive the tuition support from these scholarships, but they will also learn what it means to be a caring and empathetic nursing leader as they learn about Cheryl’s life and career.

Throughout her life, Cheryl devoted countless hours and an amazing amount of energy on improving the lives of others. As was noted in her obituary, “[Cheryl] impacted many lives through her selflessness, altruism, generosity, tenderness, championing the rights of the needy, and always carrying a smile, even when times were tough.” In a true testament to her philanthropic and generous nature the obituary also noted, “In lieu of flowers, Cheryl would like you to celebrate her life by performing a random act of kindness, as she would, in her name: providing someone a compliment, buying the person near you a meal, offering up your seat, visiting the sick, speaking only of others in a way that edifies and builds them up, and expressing compassion even to those who have done you wrong.” Cheryl Swinehart Dariushnia was truly a remarkable woman. We are honored to have had her as an alumna and to now have two scholarships in the College of Nursing bearing her name.

If you are interested in creating a scholarship to honor someone in your life, please reach out to Corey Hukill at 330-672-8753 or at chukill1@kent.edu

POSTED: Monday, September 20, 2021 - 4:50pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 2:25pm
Corey Hukill