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UR School of Nursing Kicks Off Academic Year with Convocation Ceremony

  By Patrick Broadwater
  Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The University of Rochester School of Nursing welcomed new and returning students at its opening convocation kicking off the academic year.

Nearly 200 students, faculty, staff, and guests attended the Sept. 4 ceremony, which featured welcome remarks from University of Rochester President Richard Feldman, Medical Center CEO and Dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry Mark B. Taubman, MD, and School of Nursing Dean Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP.

Rideout, addressing the school’s future alumni, highlighted the impact of the school’s graduates and the institution’s stellar reputation in the community. She recalled a recent visit from a group of high school students in which the teacher gushed that, “If you graduate from the University of Rochester School of Nursing, you will have a golden ticket to your future. You’ll be able to go and do anything you want.”

“She was absolutely right. We see it over and over again,” Rideout said. “You are receiving an education that is second to none. Enjoy your time here and let us know where your golden ticket takes you.”

"Enjoy your time here and let us know where your golden ticket takes you.”

Among the new students entering this semester is a fresh cohort of 66 in the Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses (ABPNN).

The class is characteristic of the school’s commitment to preparing a diverse workforce for tomorrow: Thirty percent of the class come from groups underrepresented in nursing and 21 percent are male. Students come to the program from as far as away as Hawaii, California, Cameroon, Belarus, and England and enter nursing school with a varied backgrounds chock full of educational and athletic accomplishments. A sampling of the cohort’s student body includes a former All-American football player, a pharmacist, an ultramarathoner, the co-founder and CEO of a non-governmental organization, active and retired military members, an accountant, and a two-time Olympic athlete.

The school also recognized some of its most exceptional returning students at the ceremony. Associate Dean for Education and Student Affairs Lydia Rotondo, DNP, RN, CNS, presented awards to six graduate students and one undergraduate for their distinguished scholarly achievements. Winners included:

  • Kaydean Harris, a 2018 family nurse practitioner graduate and current Doctor of Nursing Practice student, who received the George Spencer Terry, Jr. B ’49 Endowed Fund in Nursing, given to students actively engaged in developing innovative solutions to challenges in health care.
  • Mia Gesel, a student in the Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program, who was honored with the Eleanor Hall Award as an outstanding master’s degree student.
  • Lisa Pilato, a student in the Health Care Organization Management and Leadership program, who received the Michele Unger Leadership Award.
  • Nathalie Dougoud, a student in the PhD program, who was honored for the second time with the Katharine Donohoe Scholarly Practitioner Award in recognition of her research focused on improving the well-being of patients.
  • Maxine Fearrington, a PhD student, who was awarded the Loretta Ford Fellowship, given to the doctoral student demonstrating the highest potential for academic and professional success.
  • Sue Stanek, a PhD student, who received the Jill Thayer Award, given to the doctoral student whose research demonstrated a commitment to personalizing or enhancing access to health care.
  • Elizabeth Bonaccorso, an ABPNN student, who received the Clare Dennison Prize for her remarkable proficiency in general nursing care.

Special recognition was also given to Javauni Forrest, a 2018 ABPNN graduate and student in the Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program, who was presented with the Future Nurse Leader Award from the American Nurses Association of New York. The award is given to outstanding undergraduates who have demonstrated leadership, embody the ethics and values of nursing, and positively contribute to the overall excellence of their school.

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