St. Joseph’s College celebrated the second graduating class of its four-year nursing degree program over the weekend with a special pinning ceremony for 34 graduating seniors from SJC Brooklyn.
Unable to gather in person for commencement or a traditional pinning ceremony due to the ongoing pandemic, the new nurses were honored by faculty and administrators during a 45-minute virtual ceremony Saturday afternoon.
The one fringe benefit of conducting the event in a Zoom meeting was that many of the graduates had the opportunity to enjoy the moment — receiving pins with an emblem of the nursing profession — with family members seated alongside them at home.
“Before you are individuals of character, integrity, passion and maturity,” said nursing department Chair Maria Fletcher, Ph.D., who hosted the ceremony. “Their experiences during the past four years have changed them, as they have changed all who have had contact with them.”
St. Joseph’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Robert Riley, Ph.D., told the graduates why the nursing profession is near and dear to his heart, sharing that his mother and grandmother were nurses.
“One of the first people I go to when I have a loved one in the hospital or nursing home is the nurse,” he said. “You’re going to do excellent work. You’re going to do important work. Congratulations!”
SJC Brooklyn Interim Executive Dean Raymond D’Angelo, Ph.D., praised the nurses for weathering the storm of a final semester marred by the coronavirus pandemic, and for entering the field at such an important time in history.
“We all drew upon our culture of teaching and learning,” he said. “Rather than focus on the negative, students and faculty focused on what was possible. We were guided by our mission.”
Dr. Fletcher during the event held up a nursing pin and announced the name of each graduate. Later, nursing instructor Rae Winklestein led the graduates in reciting The Nightingale Pledge, a statement of the ethics and principles of the nursing profession.
The department announced five awards during the event:
Director’s Award: Gabrielle Bodskiy
Given to the student who has achieved the highest GPA in the graduating Class of 2020. Bodskiy earned an incredible 3.99 GPA.
Award for Social Responsibility and Service: Lubna Batool
Given to the student who has actively engaged in voluntary service at the college, local and/or global community level and in developing partnerships to improve health and/or the environment.
Award for Spiritual Values and Integrity: Jenny Candelario
Given to the student who has demonstrated extraordinary behaviors that reflect spiritual values and exemplifies dignity, respect and honesty
Leadership Award: Michelle Ricketts
Given to a student whose participation and leadership in the life of the nursing department and broader college or communities reflect the values of the college and the Department of Nursing as evident in the College’s motto: Esse non Videri — “To be, not to seem.”
Nightingale Student Nurse Award: Katelynn Doyle
Recognizes a student who not only excels academically, but also demonstrates the values and dedication to the nursing profession espoused by Florence Nightingale.
Rory Shaffer-Walsh, St. Joseph’s vice president for Institutional Advancement, congratulated the nursing school graduates and invited them to “stay connected with the college.”
The following is a list of the four-year nursing graduates in SJC Brooklyn’s Class of 2020: