Twenty-two Keigwin School of Nursing (KSON) Spring 2020 graduates took part in the University’s first-ever pinning parade on Saturday, June 27, to commemorate their entry into the nursing profession.
“We wanted to celebrate with our graduates and their loved ones as we always have while ensuring everyone’s health and safety in these unprecedented times,” said Michelle L. Edmonds, PhD, FNP-BC, CNE, KSON Interim Associate Dean. “This is usually a very meaningful and eloquent ceremony that takes place on the stage of Terry Concert Hall at the end of every semester.”
The pinning parade is the first of three planned to celebrate the 52 2020 KSON graduates. The remaining pinning parades are scheduled for August 29 and November 20, tentatively.
“(This crisis) has truly solidified what an amazing establishment JU truly is,” graduate Eric Acosta wrote in his statement of thanks, which was read during the pinning ceremony by KSON Director Bethanie Simmons-Becil and live-streamed over the Mixlr app, which was provided by JU Athletics. “Watching the amazing critical thinking skills of a faculty full of seasoned nurses and the perseverance of my fellow classmates was inspirational.
“I feel more prepared than ever to enter the Navy Nurse Corps with a new sense of optimism and pride to be a JU Alum. Thank you all!”
The celebration took place in the front parking lot of the University’s recently constructed Health Sciences Complex at the north end of campus.
Graduates and their loved ones arrived in vehicles and received their pins and letters of congratulations through contactless delivery. They proceeded to a separate area where they were photographed being pinned while their personal statement of thanks was read and live-streamed.
KSON faculty and staff participated while observing both social distancing and cloth face covering safety precautions.
The graduates plan to pursue careers in the US armed forces, local health care facilities including Baptist Health, Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital, Mayo Clinic and University of Florida Health, or continue their education in graduate programs.
The full list of Saturday’s pinning parade graduate participants includes:
- Eric Acosta, member of the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Society & Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
- Abby Addison, member of the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Society
- Emily Avera
- Mikayla Bosley
- Deanna Dinh
- Rachel Henry, member of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Society & Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
- Victoria Hernandez
- Rachelle Jillson
- Faith Keener
- Janine Menjivar, member of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Society
- Michele Miner, Medical Enlisted Commissioning Program; member of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Society; recipient of the Laura Lee Wold Award for Clinical Excellence
- Rubylocci Ola
- Kayla Rego, member of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Society
- Jasmine Stull, member of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Society
- Rachel Swanson, member of the JU Honor Student Association, Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Society, & Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society; recipient of JU Nursing Departmental Honors; recipient of KSON Director’s Award
- Kaitlin Tillman, winner, Dolphinurse NCLEX fund
- Brendon Toothman, recipient of KSON Richard H. Malone award
- Rachel Vaught
- Natalie Wehner, member of the JU Honor Student Association, Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Society, & Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society; recipient of JU Nursing Departmental Honors
- Whitney Williams
- Serena Yesenofski, Medical Enlisted Commissioning Program; member of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Society
- Zoe Zinis, member of the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Society