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CCC Rising Sophomore Nursing Students Receive Scholarships at Award Ceremony May 10

DATE: 05-11-2012

A 2003 graduate of Cayuga Community College’s nursing program, Katie M. Socci was thought by many to be a wonderful nurse, friend, and mother. Her untimely death at age 29 last June inspired close friends and family to develop the Katie M. Socci Memorial Scholarship in her memory. Attendees of the 2012 Nursing Moving Up Ceremony, held on May 10 in the Student Lounge, shed many tears as professors, students, and Katie’s parents spoke fondly of her.

“We’ve been told by so many staff, patients, and co-workers that what made Katie so loved was the way she treated her parents,” said John Socci, father of Katie. “She wasn’t the greatest student, but I believe that she was probably the greatest type of nurse.”

The scholarship’s inaugural recipient, Sharon R. MacKay, demonstrated Katie’s compassion for patients and a wide-ranging interest in the multiple settings in which nurses practice their art. “Nursing is a noun and nursing is a verb, and Katie was both,” said Professor Linda Alfieri, director of the nursing program.

MacKay was one of several students to receive scholarships at the Moving Up Ceremony. Those that attended enjoyed chicken, salt potatoes, baked beans, and brownies for lunch as the awards were presented. Alfieri and special guests awarded the following scholarships to these rising sophomores:

$750 Katie M. Socci Memorial Scholarship to Sharon R. MacKay of Auburn$500 Alfieri and McColgin Nursing Excellence Scholarship to Allison B. Peck of Auburn$312 Claudine B. Babiarz Memorial Scholarship to Benjamin C. Williams of Auburn$1,136 Ann Drancsak Gallager Memorial Scholarship to Samantha J. Palmer of Seneca Falls$268 Maureen Mahany Scholarship to Erin E. Reed of Auburn$400 Nancy McGohan Memorial Scholarship to Jeffrey M. DeFelice of Auburn$790 Elizabeth Payne McQueeney Memorial Scholarship to Allison B. Peck of Auburn and Maggie E. VeVone of Auburn$250 Linda A. Rooker Nursing Scholarship to Erin E. Reed of Auburn$806 Nataline Dulles Seymour Scholarship to Jennifer M. Volles of Syracuse$360 Lisa A. McLoud White Memorial Scholarship to Sarah J. Holzhauer of Camillus$500 Thomas J. Wiggins Sr. Memorial Scholarship to Joanne S. Burcroff of Port ByronJoseph W. And Margaret G. Pine Memorial Scholarship $748 to Jillian M. Emerson of AuburnJosephine A. Stephen Memorial Nursing Scholarship $554 to Rachel Kingston of WaterlooSarah Elizabeth Thurston Nursing Scholarship $200 to Emery House of Port Byron (sponsored by the Thurston family)

Alfieri read The Path to a Dream, written by Nancy Callaghan, as an opener to the ceremony to congratulate the students on their half-way mark in the program. “Along the way, you may have to confront doubts, setbacks, and unfairness, but when the path comes to an end, you will find that there is no greater joy than making your dream come true,” she said.

Cayuga nursing graduates have a promising future. In recent years, graduates from the program have had a nearly 100 percent placement rate, meaning the nursing graduates who seek employment find employment, and last year, the Nursing Program's Class of 2011 achieved a 100 percent passing rate on the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX), surpassing the national passing rate by 12 points and the state passing rate by 15 points. The average RN starting salary in the Syracuse area ranges from $17.75 to $27 an hour or approximately $36,920 to $56,160 a year, according to To learn more about the College nursing program, contact Linda Alfieri at 315-255-1743, ext. 2384 or

The scholarship awards are made possible through the College Foundation. “I give people the opportunity to do what they wanted to do anyway, which is to make the world a better place,” said Executive Director Jeffrey Hoffman.

For more information about supporting Cayuga Community College students, contact Hoffman at 315-255-1743, ext. 2327 or