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Newly-minted teachers, health care professionals lauded

May 7, 2018

KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo saluted nearly 150 members of the Class of 2018 in the fields of nursing, allied health sciences and education.

Faculty honored 86 graduates in the School of Nursing, 19 in the Division of Allied Health Sciences, and 37 in the School of Education, at the schools’ annual recognition ceremonies.

Leah Nellis, dean of the School of Education, said the faculty and staff are “beyond proud” of the graduates, and honored to have aided in their development as teachers.

“Recognize and celebrate how far you have come. You have reached both an ending and a beginning,” she said. “You have chosen a critical profession. Without teachers, there are no other professions. This phrase captures the critical nature of the work we do to mentor, inspire, and lead children and youth towards happy and fulfilling lives.”

“It’s just something you’ve been hoping for forever to happen, and it’s finally here,” said Meikayla Miller, Frankfort. “Seventeen years of school, and we’re going to be teachers forever, always in school.”

Division of Allied Health Sciences

Christine Rassel, clinical assistant professor, encouraged graduates to take a moment to reflect on their accomplishments, as they enter the health care field.

“Now, as you embark on your professional journey, may you continue to be inspired, passionate, and dedicated to our profession, and to your patients,” she said. “Know the faculty and staff from allied health sciences at IU Kokomo are proud and look forward to hearing of your accomplishments. It is with great honor we call you our professional peers.”

Mindy Puckett looks forward to using her skills as she’s completed her associate degree. She will return for her B.S., focused on ultrasound, this fall.

“I’m super excited to be able to move on and work in my field,” she said.

School of Nursing

Amanda Leffler, assistant professor of nursing, shared “Leffler Life Lessons” with the graduates, with advice that included “doing the right thing all the time leaves no regrets,” “excellence is non-negotiable,” and “the key to success lies within you.”

“I encourage you to find your people, to walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, and the cheerful, and walk with the forward thinkers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds, and their feet firmly on the ground,” she said.

Austin Keen, Wabash, said graduating is the culmination of a lot of hard work and effort.

“It’s a dream come true, to be able to serve other people, and help them become better, both physically and mentally,” he said. Keen hopes to work as a nurse in orthopedics or mental health care.

Students honored included:

School of Education       

Bachelor of Science in Education

Brookston: Laura Blume

Delphi: Summer Sutton

Flora: Bailey Worl

Frankfort: Emily Impson, Meikayla Richelle Miller

Greentown: Christopher Johnson

Kempton: Tyler Wyrick

Kokomo: Elizabeth Barber, Kelley Cottingham, Karah Glass, Alyssa Hawkins, Chrystal Hinshaw, Cailyn Kessler, Kelcey Lucas, Caty Murphy, Logan Seidel, Rebekah Thomas, Brooke Runyon, Courtney Wilson

Lafayette: Paige Heeb

Lebanon: Thor Turner

Logansport: Jessica Brazzle, Mariah Hood

Macy: Bailey Briggs

Marion: Sarah Sharp

Monticello: Tiffany Black

Noblesville: Trent Welbaum

Peru: Madisyn Gray, Brittany Parkman, Brianne Poor

Royal Center: Brooke Harmon

Russiaville: Hannah Rushing

Sharpsville: Drew Godby

Tipton: Lela Crawford

Wabash: Heather Amos

Westfield: Elyse Clark, Jonathan Rogers

Division of Allied Health Sciences

Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging Technology:

Delphi: Lindsay Nelson

Fishers: Courtney Hamilton

Knightstown: Ciara Dellinger

Kokomo: Abby Berghoff, Amber Graves

Macy: Damon Hoffman

Noblesville: Keri Gascho, Taylor Hicks

Peru: Delaney Pitts Abigail Stuber, Thomas White

Roann: Tori Quillen

Winamac: Stephanie Shorter

Associate of Science in Radiography

Hagerstown: Melinda Puckett

Michigantown: Courtney Cole, Chelsea Fields

Russiaville: Ashley Hawkins

Twelve Mile: Meggan Adcock

Westfield: Kristen Shoemaker

School of Nursing:

R.N. to B.S.N.

Amboy: Dustin Heath, Julie Heath

Anderson: Nicholas Stohler

Arcadia: Gail Poe

Burlington: Angela Scott

Burnettsville: Natasha Benedict

Delphi: Cynthia Bruce, Diana Jargstorf

Forest: Rachael McDaniel

Francesville: Olivia Huber

Kokomo: Rachel Irwin, Allison Jarvis, Alexis Lawhead, Tori McAninch, Alisha Perryman, Alena Richard, Anne Schneider, Tamara Shaw,

Lafayette: Natalie Sims

Logansport: Brook Crist, Nicole Heckard, Laura Hipsher, Alicia Justice, Cheryl Shively

Macy: Amy Blakely

Marion: Bryan James, Heather McElhaney, Christal Moneer

Muncie: Ashley Patton

Peru: Jocelyn Azbell, Sheila Briner, Hoplen Starkey

Rochester: Taylor Dobbins, Andrea McIntire

Sharpsville: Tasha Cohee

Wabash: Lyndsay Purdy

Walton: Michelle Skinner

West Lafayette: Ashley O’Shields

Whitestown: Phoebie Dubreus

Winamac: Erin Bonnell, Angie Fox

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Alexandria: Heath Davidson

Amboy: Marissa Oldfather

Andrews: Sidney Reed

Bringhurst: Bailey Maxwell

Carmel: Jacquelyn Davis, Colin Davenport,

Crawfordsville: Shelby Delp

Delphi: Morgan Baxter, Whitley Lehr, Rachel Thompson

Forest: Tabitha Hall

Frankfort: Maricruz Garcia

Gas City: Dylan Bryant

Indianapolis: Amanda Hudson

Jonesboro: Debora Zehner

Kokomo: Jessica Green, Whittni Hayes, Katherine Lindley, Caitlyn Perkins, Hannah Smith, Meredith Steward, Michaela Walters, Stephanie Williamson, Brendan Windt

Logansport: Morgan Kline, Kaitlin Wickersham

Marion: Katee Pierce, Alyssa Woodbridge

McCordsville: Erin Wetzold

Miami: Nancy Dawson

Michigantown: Clarissa Wessel

Monticello: Tomi Simms, Brynn Tyner

Muncie: Ashleigh Smith

Noblesville: Shelby Farmer, Angela Henz, Alexa Middlesworth

Parker City: Lindi Thomas

Peru: Brandi Lowe, Kayla Meeks

Russiaville: Rachel Coombs

Wabash: Austin Keen

Zionsville: Katherine Johnson

Master of Science in Nursing:

Logansport: Michele Ream

Walton: Kelly Moor

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 05/07/2018