KOKOMO, Ind. — Nearly 100 health care professionals earned accolades from the Indiana University Kokomo School of Nursing, at its annual recognition ceremony.
Faculty saluted 12 Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), 52 Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and 26 RN to BSN recipients during the virtual ceremony Thursday (May 6).
Dean Susan Hendricks welcomed graduates and their families with a poem, What It Means to be a Nurse, and encouraged them to embrace mindfulness, be aware of the important moments found in each day and learn from times of challenge.
Dea Kent, assistant professor of nursing and interim director of the Family Nurse Practitioner track, congratulated graduates, saying they were celebrating students’ persistence, commitment and resilience, “not only in the normal pressure of balancing academic life, work, and family, but in the face of a pandemic that turned everything upside down.
“In this unprecedented tide of adversity, you rose above, and despite the turbulence, you find yourself triumphant in this program, and this goal and dream,” she said. “Now it is time to move forward into the next chapter of your journey armed with new knowledge and new skills and a new perspective.”
Graduating student Holly Huneryager, Kokomo, offered thanks to faculty, staff, family, and friends, in addition to classmates.
“As one big extended family, we have all navigated through a unique time in history to successfully complete the nursing program,” she said. “When times were hard, we had the leadership of our professors to mentor us to keep moving forward. Our professors shared their knowledge and experience to help push us, teach us, and ultimately shape us into the nurses we have become. To our professors, we say thank you for supporting us on this journey, and we look forward to now becoming your colleagues.”
Mark Canada, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, read the graduates’ names, and each one had a moment to share a few words of thanks during the ceremony.
In addition to recognizing the graduates, faculty also presented special honors, including the Daisy Award and outstanding student awards.
The Daisy Award for extraordinary faculty recipient was Naomi Jones, lecturer in nursing, while the extraordinary nursing student awards were given to Elora Klepinger, Kokomo; Kendal Williams, Edinburgh; and Benjamin Walker, Westfield.
Outstanding student award winners were Margaret Sposato, Noblesville, MSN; Monica Graves, Kokomo, RN to BSN; and Nolan Deboy, Mulberry, BSN.
Haley Bitner, Tipton; and Elora Klepinger, Kokomo; also were recognized for completing IU Kokomo’s honors program.
Sammie Feltner, Flora, led the recitation of the Nursing Pledge
Additional faculty speakers included Mary Bourke, associate dean of graduate programs; Erin Doss, honors program director; Sonya Green, clinical assistant professor of nursing; Angie Heckman, assistant dean of the RN to BSN track; Carolyn Townsend, assistant dean of the prelicensure BSN track; and Leigh Swartzendruber, clinical assistant professor of nursing.
Student speakers included Nolan Deboy, Mulberry; Elora Klepinger, Kokomo; Carli Jones, Marion; and Cheri Shively, Logansport.
Honorees are listed by degree and hometown. They include:
Master of Science in Nursing
Fishers: Kristina Lynn Roberson, Ema Toke
Kokomo: Nancy J. Anderson, Raymond Santiago Candelaria, Denese L. Davis, Rachel Diane Irwin, Leigha Marie Murphy, Alisha Ann Perryman
Logansport: Cheryl Lynn Shively
Peru: Jocelyn Azbell
Valparaiso: Mildred Mukorombindo
West Lafayette: Ashley Nicole O'Shields
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Alexandria: Aliyah Weaver
Amboy: Jessica Crome
Arcadia: Cassidy Clifford
Burlington: Kimberly Keihn, Cameron Langston
Carmel: Madison Simmons, Meliah Wray
Clayton: Megan Bridges
Elwood: Delaney Savage
Greentown: Taylor Hendrix, Jamie Honchell, Cole Walker
Indianapolis: Ramsey Bates, Samson Bosede
Kokomo: Chelsea Bagley (Tedlock), Briana Bartrum, Conner Buck, Grant Gaylor, Catherine Hale, Holly Huneryager, Kelsey Jackson, Emily Jarvis, Elora Klepinger, Sierra Langley, Naomi Leuck, Tatum Manton, Shelby Myers, Jaylan Polk, Dalton Ryan, Rabia Ummad, Sharrie Wright
Lafayette: Kristin Cavaletto
LaFontaine: Mary Guisewhite
Lapel: Mackenzi Crosley
Logansport: Allison Molencupp, Arianne Vargas, Valeria Zarate
Marion: Alicyn Gary, Kaylee Kierstead, Jasmin Reed
Mulberry: Nolan Deboy
Peru: Anna Boyer
Plymouth: Joshua Anders
Rochester: Brittany Walker
Russiaville: Chelsea Howard
Sheridan: Andrea Stephan
Tipton: Haley Bitner
Walton: Emily Donovan, Kassi Hardy
Westfield: Alison Hittle
West Lafayette: Brianne Abrahamson
Winamac: Tiffani Shorter
RN to BSN
Albany: Emily Dalton
Avon: Nehaben Rakeshkumar Patel
Burlington: Aleighia Dawn King
Carmel: Brittni Gray
Fishers: Kiran James, Allison Poffenbarger
Flora: Sammie Feltner
Frankfort: Jennifer LeeAnne Mink
Galveston: Melissa Dawn Cohee
Indianapolis: Suliat Olabisi Badmus
Kokomo: Monica Renee Graves, Shanna Marie Mannion
Lafayette: Jennifer Rebecca Baute, Dolores Dondle, Maggin Cherrel Webb
Logansport: Paige Johansen-Schrum, Alyson D. Shoemaker
Marion: Carli Lee Jones
Morristown: Amy Catherine Sidebottom
Muncie: Jessica C. Howlett, Jenna Renee Winters
Noblesville: Tyler David Horner
North Manchester: Aaron S. Wilson
Rossville: Anna Marie Winn
Sharpsville: Shannon Leigh Pickett
West Lafayette: Angie B. Halvorson
Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.