O'Hara Society Profile: Sandra Eisele

Author: Jim Cunningham MBA '13

Sandra A. Eisele, MD, FACS, MBA, CPE
Program of study: EMBA
Graduation year: 2009
JCOS member level: Traditional


Sandra Eisele was already an established physician working when she decided to enroll in the Notre Dame Executive MBA program. “I wanted to become a more completely educated person, able to approach the business of health care with a more practical and insightful perspective,” she says.

“The business of taking care of my fellow human beings’ welfare has changed dramatically in 36 years. Notre Dame has instilled in me not only an understanding of the business aspect of this endeavor, but also has emphasized the tremendous opportunity I have to continue to serve my community, demonstrating the grace of God every day in my life. For this I am eternally grateful.”

In this Q&A, Eisele explains what Notre Dame and the John Cardinal O’Hara Society means to her.

Why did you choose Notre Dame?

The ND reputation is outstanding, and at the time I was a student, there was a classroom in Cincinnati. With the opportunity to be an ND student and benefit from the excellent professors and program, all from my hometown — I could not pass it up!

Why is Notre Dame important to you?

Notre Dame has high standards, so high that everyone has to work hard to gain the most benefit from their education. You get the most out of the endeavors that require the most of you, and I have always been committed to learning. I knew that the time, effort, and financial commitment to complete the program were well worth it.

How is your life different because you chose to attend Notre Dame? 

I appreciate the expertise of the organization in developing ways to keep alumni involved, and I treasure the times I come back to campus and meet my classmates. I did not have time to attend events or football games while a student (I also worked full time during the program) but I now attend the Medical Ethics meeting yearly (in Rome this year — a real experience!), attend several football games every fall, and I have an additional connection with many of my patients who are also ND fans. “Go Irish!” is a common parting comment in my office.

The insight into how to do business for the greater good is an emphasis at ND, and this is the foundation of my chosen profession, medicine, as well. My emphasis is on service to others, and a background in how to not only serve others’ needs, but also how to deliver this service, has enriched my professional life.

Who is your favorite professor and why?

There were so many great professors. I have to say the professors I had in the fall of the second year were especially helpful. I had some medical issues and several surgeries that semester, and I am grateful to have made it through. John Affleck-Graves [finance] is brilliant, and with my background in biology and science, his class was a real challenge. I made it through that semester with grace from above, and I appreciate all the help from my study group in Cincinnati (Jeremy Shubert, Bill Gawkins, Kristy Meyer, and Jenelle Wyzgowski) and the professors. 

Why did you decide to become a member of the O’Hara Society?

I am blessed in many ways, and I have the financial ability to support the program that means so much to me and my family. When I commit to an organization or group, I am not just a member, but I personally support and actively participate in the mission. 

What would you like to say to your fellow O’Hara Society members?

I believe that one needs to support whatever and whoever has had a positive influence on your life, and lead by example. ND continues to give back to me in so many ways, and I appreciate everyone who feels the same and leads by example by supporting the O’Hara Society.