Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Charles Whaley returned to college to gain career opportunities.

Nursing Recognition Ceremony Spring 2013Nursing Recognition Ceremony Spring 2013

Along the way, he also gained confidence in his own abilities.

"I wasn't sure I could do everything I needed to do to be a nurse," he said. "Now that I've accomplished it, I feel like I can do anything."

Whaley, from Alexandria, was among the 39 Bachelor of Science in Nursing and 59 R.N. to B.S.N. graduates honored at the Indiana University Kokomo School of Nursing's annual recognition and pinning ceremony, celebrating entrance into their professional field.

The Division of Allied Health Sciences recognized 15 Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging Technology and nine Associate of Science in Radiography graduates at its recognition and pinning ceremony.

Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke congratulated the graduates in both programs, and wished them the best in their careers.

"We couldn't be more proud of you. We know you will carry our name and exemplify what you have learned at IU Kokomo," she said.

At the nursing recognition the graduates, all color coordinated in black and white, celebrated the end of long days and nights of studying, participating in clinicals, and preparing for exams.

Addessa Baity, Marion, was thrilled to finally graduate, but is already planning ahead for more education.

"You don't know how much relief I feel right now," she said with a laugh. "Now I plan to work a year or two before I go back to become a nurse practitioner."

Radiography Pinning CeremonyRadiography Pinning Ceremony Spring 2013

Guest speaker Mary Zody, clinical associate professor, urged the nursing graduates to take risks in their careers.

"Always be willing to take a chance," she said. "Keep one eye on the floor, to keep you grounded, but keep one eye looking ahead. With your degree, you can take any road you want."

Hollie Boyles, Galveston, who earned an Associate of Science in Radiography degree, said it feels "amazing" to complete her degree.

"I've been working towards this for a long time, and it is great to be done," she said, adding that she will start working on her bachelor's degree in medical imaging technology in July.

Her classmate Kenzie Daniel, from Yorktown, also plans to continue in the bachelor's degree program.

Daniel, who won the Mallinckrodt outstanding student award, praised the faculty and staff for their excellence and dedication to students.

"This has been such a positive experience for me," she said. "I've realized this is what I was meant to do."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.