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Convocation Celebrates SON's New Academic Year

  By Patrick Broadwater
  Thursday, September 5, 2019

rideout addresses convocation audience

The University of Rochester School of Nursing ushered in a new academic year at its opening convocation ceremony on Sept. 3.

Nearly 200 guests filled the auditorium in Helen Wood Hall and more watched from an overflow classroom as the school officially kicked off the fall semester with an event welcoming its students and celebrating some of its top scholars.

New University President Sarah Mangelsdorf opened the ceremony highlighting some of the school’s achievements from the past academic year and the diversity of the new incoming class of students in the Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses (ABPNN). She was followed by Medical Center CEO and Dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry Mark B. Taubman, MD, and University of Rochester Medical Center Vice President and Dean of the School of Nursing Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, who shared their welcome remarks.

SON Associate Dean for Education and Student Affairs Lydia Rotondo, DNP, RN, CNS, then presented awards to six nursing students for their remarkable academic and community achievements.

kyle kameika

Among the winners were:

  • Kyle Kameika, an ABPNN student, who received the Clare Dennison Prize for his outstanding proficiency in nursing care and promise of continued excellence.
  • Ann Dahlkemper, a student in the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program, who was given the Eleanor Hall Award, supported by the Class of 1965 in honor of Elsje Planje Higgins, as a master’s level student who demonstrates the ability to work with others and be a leader with integrity.
  • Patricia James, a student in the Health Care Organization Management and Leadership program and longtime operating room nurse, who was presented the Michele Unger Leadership Award for her ability to establish collaborative relationships with physicians, leaders, and staff.
  • Lynn Cole, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Pediatric Nurse Practitioner student, who received the George Spencer Terry, Jr. B’49 Endowed Fund in Nursing, given to a DNP student who is actively engaged in developing innovative solutions to challenges facing nurses and health care providers.
  • Lindsey Batek, who was awarded the Loretta C. Ford Fellowship, presented to a student entering the PhD program who demonstrates the highest potential for academic and professional success.
  • Mary Starks, a Post-BS to DNP Family Nurse Practitioner student, who received the inaugural Student Diversity Engagement Award for exemplifying the school’s vision of leading the national agenda of transforming the discipline of nursing.

The School of Nursing begins the 2019-20 academic year with a booming enrollment, welcoming 235 new students for the start of the fall semester, an increase of 73 percent from the previous year. Among them, a supersized class of 80 in the highly competitive ABPNN, which drew students from eight countries and 13 different states across the U.S. Representative of the diversity that is a hallmark of the School of Nursing, 38 percent of the students are from underrepresented groups in nursing and 21 percent are males, a figure more than two times the national average of men in the nursing workforce.

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