Mount Saint Mary College honored nearly 80 graduates of its prestigious Nursing program at a pinning ceremony on Friday, May 19.
As per Mount tradition, the nurse pinning is a prelude to the college’s annual Commencement ceremony. The next day, Saturday, May 20, the Mount awarded degrees to nearly 500 graduates, including the newly-minted nurses.
Fr. Gregoire Fluet, chaplain and director of Campus Ministry, blessed the pins, which were presented to the graduates by chosen family members and friends. The Mount nursing pin displays the college seal and motto, “doce me veritatem,” which translates as “teach me the truth.”
“The journey to become a registered, professional nurse is not an easy one,” said Linda Kelly, assistant professor of Nursing, as she welcomed the Class of 2023 and their families. “These students have just reached a milestone…and are prepared to make the transition from student nurse to graduate nurse.”
Dr. Jason Adsit, president of the college, discussed the impact that nurses have had on him and his family. Dr. Adsit’s youngest son, Ronin, experienced a medical emergency only three days after his birth. The nurses taking care of the young boy helped to save his life, all while keeping the Adsit family calm and informed.
Ronin is now 11 years old and in great health.
“Whenever a nurse gets their pin, an angel gets their wings,” Dr. Adsit said to the new Nursing grads. “I am so unbelievably proud of you. Go out and be angels.”
Lynette DeBellis, Nursing instructor, chair of the School of Nursing, and Mount alumna, congratulated the students on a job well done.
“I know that I speak for my Nursing faculty colleagues when I say that we are so very proud of your accomplishments. You met the challenges of a rigorous program,” said DeBellis. “I personally would like to congratulate and honor you not only as a member of the School of Nursing faculty, but I would like to welcome you into the family of Mount Saint Mary College Nursing alumni.”
Andria Camporese of Hopewell Junction, N.Y., president of the Mount’s Student Nurses Association, offered her reflections on the group’s journey to becoming nurses.
“Nobody saw the late nights and early mornings we spent studying. They didn’t see the painstaking care we put into our work,” Camporese said. “Every day you’re doing things nobody sees, investing your energy into this passion you’ve always dreamed of…but on a day like today, you can look back on these moments and know this is why you made it. You weren’t lucky. It didn’t just fall into your lap. You chose nursing. You sacrificed for it. You succeeded on purpose.”
The ceremony’s keynote speaker was Kimberly Sullivan, assistant professor of Nursing at the Mount. Sullivan discussed how COVID-19 changed the landscape of education and healthcare for the Class of 2023, giving them unexpected challenges to overcome.
“I could not be any prouder of this cohort,” Sullivan said. “Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, our incredible graduates demonstrated grace and resilience despite the challenges, to be here today.”
The graduates were thankful for the mentoring of the Mount’s nursing professors. Michael Anson of Washingtonville, N.Y., applauded his professors for their tireless dedication: “Thank you to my professors for providing me with a great education which will make me a great nurse,” he said.
The graduates were also full of praise for their families. Vanessa Alexis of New City, N.Y. was pinned by Naphtaline and Alphonse Alexis, her cousin and uncle respectively.
“I want to thank my cousin and uncle for supporting me after I lost my mother in 2019,” she said. “The truth is, without you guys, I don’t know where I would be today. Thank you so much for never giving up on me. I hope I made you guys proud today.”
DeBellis recognized several students for excellence. In addition to Camporese, who earned the Spirit of Nursing Award, the award recipients were: Andria Sabina Modugno of Cornwall, N.Y., who was given the General Excellence in Nursing Award; Madison Burke of Kingston, N.Y., who received the School of Nursing Clinical Excellence Award; Constance Taibi of Astoria, N.Y., who got the School of Nursing Leadership Award; Daniella Cucuzza of Staten Island, N.Y. who (along with Camporese) earned the Spirit of Nursing Award; Shannon Orr of Mineola, N.Y., who received the Perseverance Award; and Isabella Coley of Levittown, N.Y., who received the Sigma Theta Tau Leadership Award.
To close out the ceremony, the proud graduates recited “A Nurse’s Prayer,” which speaks of dedicating one’s life to helping others.
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