Mount Saint Mary College awards nursing pins to more than 30 students

December 16, 2017

 Mount Saint Mary College pinned more than 30 nurses on Saturday, December 16.

Mount Saint Mary College pinned more than 30 nurses on Saturday, December 16.


Mount Saint Mary College held a pinning ceremony for more than 30 graduates of the college’s accelerated nursing program on Saturday, December 16. 

Associate Nursing Professor Susan Schulmerich, co-chair of the Mount’s School of Nursing, led the ceremony and offered the graduates words of encouragement.

Fr. Gregoire Fluet, director of Campus Ministry and campus chaplain, blessed the pins, which were presented to the graduates by chosen family members and friends. 

Michael Olivette, vice president for Academic Affairs, congratulated the graduates on a job well done.  

“As accelerated students, getting to this point has been particularly challenging, especially given all the other obligations many of you have had to deal with concurrently with your studies,” said Olivette. “For that, you really should be extra proud.”

He added, “You are about to embark on one of the most important journeys of your life.” 

Keynote speaker Dianne Murphy, Mount nursing professor emerita, gave the graduates advice for their upcoming nursing careers. 

“The best way to predict your future is to create it,” she said. “I advise everyone to eventually continue your nursing education, whether it be for specialty certification or master’s degrees in nursing administration, as a nurse anesthetist, a nurse practitioner, or in nurse education.”


Florence Ostagne of New Windsor, N.Y. was pinned by her parents and her son, Lawrence.

Florence Ostagne of New Windsor, N.Y. was pinned by her parents and her son, Lawrence.


Caroline Geraci of Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y., recipient of the Sigma Theta Tau Leadership Award, credited the group’s professors with molding them into the confident nurses they are today. 

“Thank you for sharing you knowledge and your expertise with us,” she said. “You helped shape us into critical thinkers…Our education at the Mount has prepared us to go out into the nursing field, where we will continue to be lifelong learners. Down the road, as we become senior nurses, I hope we will always remember our beginnings and will impart our knowledge to educate others.”  

The students were full of praise for their families. Lisa Caldwell-Moskowitz of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. thanked her loved ones “who have been on this ride with me from the start. Thank you to my son, Mason, and daughter, Rebecca, for…giving me the motivation to never give up on this dream.” 

Nursing award recipients were Liza Ferrante-Murphy of Highland Mills, N.Y., who was given the General Excellence in Nursing Award; Parminder Bhangoo of Wappingers Falls, N.Y., who received the School of Nursing Clinical Excellence Award; Theresa Muschett-Diaz of New Windsor, N.Y., who earned the School of Nursing Leadership Award; Marissa Dixon of Saugerties, N.Y., who earned the Spirit of Nursing Award; and Christina Fitzula of Shohola, Pa., who got the Perseverance Award. 

To close out the ceremony, the proud graduates recited “A Nurse’s Prayer,” which speaks of dedicating one’s life to helping others.

Additional Mount graduates who received their nursing pin on December 16 are: Jennifer Gagliardi of Monroe, N.Y.;  Susmitha Nallur of New Windsor, N.Y.; Kayla Butler of Newburgh, N.Y.; Paige Gennarelli of Monroe, N.Y.; Breana Negersmith of Wappingers Falls, N.Y.;  Florence Ostagne of New Windsor, N.Y..; Lindsay Campbell of Bloomingburg, N.Y.; Brittany Gilligan of Kingston, N.Y.; Malgorzata Potocka of Newburgh, N.Y.; Sean Carroll of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Allison Gordon of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Lisa Ryan of Montgomery, N.Y.; Jeanette Castillo of Marlboro, N.Y.; Daniel Graff of Lagrangeville, N.Y.; Ashley Sanda of Pawling, N.Y.; Lori DeFreitas of Poughquag, N.Y.; Brittney Jones of Monroe, N.Y.; Jennifer Skeats of Highland, N.Y.; Alexandra DeLuca of Westwood, N.J.; Cereka McPherson of New City, N.Y.; Heather Swart of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Jadia Mincey of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Cara Walsh of Marlboro, N.Y.; and Meghan Murphy of Montgomery, N.Y.