By showcasing incredible perseverance and bravely joining the medical field during a global pandemic, 25 students recently graduated from the Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES Practical Nursing program.
In a socially distance, outdoor pinning ceremony, Andrea Ruff, Coordinator of Healthcare Occupations at Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES, provided opening remarks and said the graduates collectively performed more than 600 hours of practice. These hours were spent performing hands-on, in-person care along with practicing their care on virtual patients in simulated environments.
“All of you had the courage to dream big, to imagine yourself as a nurse providing care in countless ways. Now that you’ve reached your dream, dream bigger,” said Ruff.
Members of the Practical Nursing faculty read poems and gave remarks to the graduates. John Henry, class instructor reminded students to employ all their skills throughout their nursing careers.
“Nursing is your gift,” said Henry. “You’ve earned it. You’ve worked hard for it.”
During the ceremony, several students were honored with awards. Recipients of the Phyllis Peduto Memorial Award were Ana Farmer, Kristen Panus and Kathryn Ryan. The Marion Corrigan Memorial Award was awarded to Marian Foster and Katelyn Franceschelli. Grace Donalds was awarded the Auburn Community Hospital Auxiliary Award. Grace Donalds, Marian Foster, Katelyn Franceschelli, Anna Mahunik and Susan Pitcher were recognized for perfect attendance.
Tyler McCann then delivered a student address. He touched upon the class being like family, which was especially important during the trials that this school year has seen. He told his fellow graduates, “You know more than you think you know,” and, “Have some fire. Be unstoppable. Be a force of nature.”
As the graduates were honored with a red rose as a symbol of their respect, admiration and dedication to the nursing profession, Andrea Ruff closed the ceremony with these words:
“Have faith in yourself. Have faith that you have been trained well. Have faith that you have been prepared and have the knowledge to succeed.”
The graduates of the Class of 2020 that received their nursing pins are: Mary Elizabeth Barnes, Cathy Louise Brown, Alyssa Joann Campbell, Meranda Marie Curtis, Grace Ann Donalds, Ana Patricia Farmer, Marian Ethel Foster, Katelyn Patricia Franceschelli, Enjoli Marie Janus, Janee Rayonna Maryann Joyner, Anna Lee Mahunik, Tyler Eric McCann, Mya Jade Taylor Shinade Milewski, Kimberly Denise Morgan, Jonelle Taylor Murphy, Zylina Marie Ostrander, Kristen Michelle Panus, Susan Ann Marie Pitcher, Alexandra Ariel Reed, Kathryn Grace Ryan, Marissa Elizabeth Saurini, Marissa Darlene Sharp, Mariah Lynn Slobe, Shannon Marie Souther and Laurin Torres-Ortiz.