During the 38th Annual Professional Advancement and Pinning Ceremony in May, Cayuga Community College honored 34 graduates of the A.A.S. nursing program and presented Commencement awards to 15 graduates.
The Nursing Class of 2013 entered the Irene A. Bisgrove Community Theatre, holding a lit candle to represent the bedside lamp that Florence Nightingale carried in the Crimean War.
The graduates were congratulated by several speakers, including the mistress of ceremonies, College Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Anne Herron, who said that the pinning ceremony is one of the highlights of the year for her. She mentioned the remarkable success of the previous two graduating classes in achieving a 100 percent passing rate on the national nursing licensure exam and said she challenged this class to be equally successful.
College President Daniel P. Larson also commented on the students’ successful completion of one of the most rigorous programs at the College and congratulated them on their unwavering hard work to become registered nurses. Cayuga County Legislature Deputy Chairman Joseph L. Runkle light-heartedly said he and his wife would be the direct beneficiaries of the students’ hard work and education, as the couple seems to need more health care services as they age.
Board of Trustees Chairman John Camardo ’84 shared a story about a nursing professor who quizzed students about the name of a custodian at the school to help students realize the importance of each individual that crosses their paths throughout the day. He encouraged them to always remember the soft skills of patient care and personal interaction as they enter their careers in nursing.
Nursing Program Director and Professor Linda Alfieri repeated a similar message in her remarks to students. “For centuries, nurses have touched the lives of patients, lifting the spirit as well as healing the body,” she said. “Despite the technological advances over time, this remains an essential core element of our profession.”
Amy L. Updyke ’13 was selected by her peers to deliver the class address, which focused on the importance of the graduates’ family and friends in helping them succeed in the program. She spoke of the missed family events, late dinners, cancelled weekend plans, and stressful times that she and her classmates’ families experienced over the past two years. She also discussed the strong lifelong friendships that were developed among the graduates during late-night study sessions and test-prep coffee breaks.
Following Updyke’s remarks, the name of each graduate was called to receive a nursing pin, a tradition that dates back to the crusades when a symbol on knight’s armor identified those who protected the sick and dying. After the graduates were pinned, they read the international pledge in unison. “I will do my utmost to honor the international code of ethics applied to nursing and to uphold the integrity of the nurse,” they said.
During the ceremony, several nursing graduates received special recognition:
- Erin E. Reed of Auburn, Madeleine Alfieri Memorial Nursing Award
- Greta C. Burghdurf of Red Creek, Barbara Dove Memorial Award
- Katie M. DeRonde of Mexico and Sarah J. Holzhauer of Camillus, Ethyl W. Mapes Nursing Award
- Emery L. House of Port Byron, Dr. George Sincerbeaux Award
- Jeffrey M. DeFelice of Auburn, Wilfred “Sonny” Taylor Memorial Award
- Amy L. Updyke of Auburn, Shirley Vargason Memorial Award
- Jillian M. Emerson of Auburn and Allison B. Peck of Auburn, Joan Post Worden Memorial Scholarship
- Erin E. Reed of Auburn, Herbert P. Ward Memorial Award
- Sharon R. MacKay of Auburn and Maggie E. VeVone of Auburn, William J. Painter Memorial Award
- Jennifer M. McCullough of Syracuse, Dorothy M. Rooker Award
- Samantha J. Howley of Seneca Falls, Vicki Cook Condie Nursing Excellence Award
- Benjamin C. Williams of Jordan, William Komanecky Memorial Science Award