Graduating nurse practitioners recognized at Mount’s ‘White Coat’ ceremony

May 14, 2018

Nearly 40 students received their white coat at Mount Saint Mary College.

Nearly 40 students received their white coat at Mount Saint Mary College.


Nearly 40 students of the Mount Saint Mary College nurse practitioner program were honored at a White Coat Ceremony on Friday, May 11.

The ceremony reflected the transition of the novice nurse to the professional nurse practitioner role. Nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses who provide high quality healthcare services. They can diagnose, treat, and prescribe across a wide range of health problems. 

According to Christine Berté, assistant professor of Nursing, director of the graduate Nursing program, and chair of the college’s School of Nursing, Mount nurse practitioner graduates began their journey as registered nurses in a variety of settings and can now enter primary care practices, including family health and internal medicine. They may also practice in acute care settings, such as hospital positions and urgent care/fast track health access points. 

“Coupled with the compassion and experience in nursing that they already possess, advanced practice nurses have become one of the most valued groups of healthcare providers in today’s society, and are continually making a significant impact on the nursing profession,” she said.

Dr. David Kennett, president of Mount Saint Mary College, congratulated the white coat recipients on a job well done. 

“Being surrounded by so many accomplished professionals fills me with a deep sense of security,” he said. “I’m happy to send you all to the frontline to practice medicine, drawing on your fine education.”

He added, “A huge thank you to the families and friends, to the mothers, the fathers, the spouses, the partners, the children – all of whom have had to make sacrifices in order for these people’s dreams to be realized.”

Anne-Marie Uebbing, associate professor of Nursing, emphasized the importance of the nurse practitioner in today’s healthcare system. 

“As new NPs, you’ll be participating in the critically important role of providing care to thousands of patients a year,” she explained. “Do not forget that your professional training…was just the beginning.” 


Susan Agugua-Anyene of Montgomery, N.Y. receives her white coat from her husband, Christian, at the recent Mount Saint Mary College ceremony.

Susan Agugua-Anyene of Montgomery, N.Y. receives her white coat from her husband, Christian, at the recent Mount Saint Mary College ceremony. 


Just moments after receiving his white coat, Thomas Powell of New Paltz, N.Y., who earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the Mount in 2006, offered his reflections on the college’s rigorous graduate program. He thanked the Mount Nursing faculty for their aid in molding him and his classmates to the professionals they are today.

Two students were recognized for excellence in their studies and skills: Brittany Mustakas of Beacon, N.Y. received the 2018 Sigma Award, and Cynthia Delavalle of Rock Tavern, N.Y. was presented with the Sr. Leona DeBoer Graduate Nursing Award. 

Fr. Gregoire Fluet, chaplain and director of Campus Ministry at the Mount, closed out the ceremony with the Blessing of the Hands. 

In addition to Powell, Mustakas, and Delavalle, the graduating nurse practitioner students are: Susan Agugua-Anyene of Montgomery, N.Y.; Terrie Armbruster of Ellenville, N.Y.; Naomi Biviano of Milton, N.Y.; Latoya Byfield of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Elisha Colandrea of Newburgh, N.Y.; Zhanat Colotti of Wappingers Falls, N.Y.; Louise Eaton of Warwick, N.Y.; Carrie Fijal of Marlboro, N.Y.; Samantha Fiorentino of Carmel, N.Y.; Jennifer Flaherty of Brewster, N.Y.; Laura Guerra of Florida, N.Y.; Nicole Harrison of Hopewell Junction, N.Y.; Marion Hayes of Pine Bush, N.Y.; Jennifer Hoben of Modena, N.Y.; Amir Islam of New Hampton, N.Y.; Jeanne Jeanlus of Nyack, N.Y.; Wendy Johnson of Catskill, N.Y.; Zelina Jones of Goshen, N.Y.; Mary Kallmeyer of Wappingers Falls, N.Y.; Nicole Kraese of Chester, N.Y.; Velesha Lera of Warwick, N.Y.; Maryanne Lyons of Gardiner, N.Y.; Tara Mainieri of Boiceville, N.Y.; Abigail Mensah of Newburgh, N.Y.; Michael Motise, V of Jefferson Valley, N.Y.; Kristina Olang of Poughquag, N.Y.; Eric Paolilli of PLACE; Christian Plaza of Newburgh, N.Y.; Nicholas Powell of Walden, N.Y.; Maria Pryluck of Fishkill, N.Y.; Lucia Ribeiro of Salt Point, N.Y.; Erin Tondini of Goshen, N.Y.; Jessica Velez of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Juliet West of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; and Rebecca White of Highland Mills, N.Y.

Mount Saint Mary College will celebrate its 55th annual Commencement on Saturday, May 19, graduating about 600 students.