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SON Convocation Celebrates Academic Achievement

  By Patrick Broadwater
  Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The UR School of Nursing celebrated student achievement and formally launched the 2020-21 academic year at its convocation Tuesday.

For the first time, the event was held virtually this year due to safety concerns stemming from COVID-19. Rather than packing the auditorium in Helen Wood Hall, students, faculty, and staff joined from their homes and offices via Zoom. Attendees heard welcoming remarks from University President Sarah Mangelsdorf, Medical Center CEO Mark B. Taubman, MD, and SON Dean Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP.

The convocation ceremony marks the beginning of the fall semester and a new academic year. The School of Nursing opened its semester in late August with approximately 800 registered students, a record high enrollment despite the challenges of recruiting and processing student applications during a global pandemic. Official enrollment figures for the fall semester will be tallied in a few weeks.

The convocation also recognizes the academic achievement of the school’s top returning students. Five students were honored in six categories Tuesday, including:

  • Jassel Glanville, an Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses student, who was awarded the Clare Dennison Prize for outstanding proficiency in general nursing care.
  • Linzie Marie France, a student in the Family Nurse Practitioner program, who received the Eleanor Hall Award – Class of 1965 in honor of Elsje Planje Higgins. This award is given to an outstanding student enrolled in a master’s program who demonstrates the ability to work with others, to inspire and listen, and to be a leader with integrity.
  • Lavern Sleugh-Sharpe, a student in the Health Care Management and Leadership program, who received the Michele Unger Leadership Award for her ability to establish collaborative relationships with physicians, leaders and staff, and the Student Diversity Engagement Award for her commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • Michele Baker, who received the George Spencer Terry Jr. B’49 Endowed Fund in Nursing Award, given to a Doctor of Nursing Practice student engaged in developing innovative solutions to challenges facing nurses, health care providers, and patients.
  • Shelby Przybylek, who was awarded the Loretta C. Ford Fellowship, which is given to a full-time student entering the doctoral program in nursing who demonstrates the highest potential for academic and professional success.


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