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SON Convocation Celebrates Start of 2021-2022 Academic Year

  By Ivy Burruto
  Friday, September 3, 2021

The University of Rochester School of Nursing kicked off the 2021-22 academic year at its convocation ceremony on Tuesday. 

Students, faculty, and staff gathered in the auditorium in Helen Wood Hall to celebrate the new year—a familiar and welcoming sight after last year's ceremony was held virtually due to concerns for COVID-19. This year, attendees donned face masks to maintain safety precautions. 

The convocation ceremony began with remarks from University of Rochester President Sarah Mangelsdorf, University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) CEO Mark B. Taubman, MD, and UR School of Nursing Dean Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP

In her address, Rideout encouraged students to consider their classmates as part of their support team, making a connection between the recent Tokyo Olympics and health care professionals.

"Health care has frequently been characterized as a team sport—we are in this together. We work as a team—with the common goal of promoting health, preventing illness, and treating the sick. We are an interdependent team of health care professionals," she said.

The ceremony also recognized the achievements of several returning students. 

Austin Williams, an Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses student, was awarded the Clare Dennison Prize for his outstanding proficiency in nursing. 

Ashley Milliken, a student in the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program, was honored with the Eleanor Hall Award—Class of 1965 in honor of Elsje Planje Higgins. The award is given to a student in a master's program who demonstrates the ability to work with others, inspire and listen, and be a leader with integrity.  

Stephanie Chalupa, a student in the Leadership in Health Care Systems program, was honored with the Michele Unger Leadership Award for her ability to establish collaborative relationships with physicians, leaders, and staff, and for leading several cultural, operational, and financial transformations throughout her career.   

Tiffany Basamon, a student enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, was honored with the George Spencer Terry Jr. B’49 Endowed Fund in Nursing for developing innovative solutions to challenges facing nurses, health care providers, and patients. 

Nasim Hurd, received the Loretta C. Ford Fellowship, which is given to a full-time student who is entering the doctoral program in nursing and demonstrates the highest potential for academic and professional success. 

Dillon Dzikowicz, a doctoral student, was awarded the Jill Thayer Dissertation Award for his research and commitment to personalizing health care encounters and enhancing access to health care.

Faith Lambert, who received the Katharine Donohoe Scholarly Practitioner Award, which is given to a doctoral student prepared as a nurse practitioner who has undertaken research focused on improving the well-being of the population served. 

Martez Smith, another doctoral student, received the Student Diversity Engagement Award for his commitment to diversity and inclusion through work within URMC and the community. 

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