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Caldwell, N.J., May 30, 2017 –   – The Caldwell University Nursing Department held its annual convocation and professional pinning May 19. Graduating seniors received their pins showing that they graduated from Caldwell University and symbolizing pride and accomplishment that unites nurses all over the world.

Pinning ceremonies celebrate the achievement of meeting the high standards of the nursing curriculum. The nursing pin was designed by representatives from the first graduating class of Caldwell University in 2012. The centrally located Nightingale lamp is a symbol of care and comfort to the sick and suffering. The cross represents the institution’s Dominican commitment and Judeo-Christian tradition. Laurel leaves encircle the pin and symbolize success, peace and life.

At this year’s ceremony Professor and Director of Nursing Theodora Sirota PhD, APRN-BC, CNL said the faculty prepared the graduates with a strong educational foundation to meet the challenges ahead.  “You have been taught by gifted and passionate nurse educators who have constantly modelled excellence in all nursing activities.  The education you have received here will serve you well as you enter nursing practice in a climate of ever-expanding health care possibilities and novel roles for professional nurses.”

The keynote address was given by Dr. Wendy Silverstein, manager of clinical education and nursing research at Morristown Medical Center. She encouraged the students to engage in lifelong learning including considering getting an advanced degree and certifications, joining a professional organization and getting involved. “Be passionate about striving for the best possible outcomes,” and represent the profession proudly, she said.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Barbara Chesler explained that the pinning ceremony brings together the art and science of nursing.   “The pin represents the badge of courage nurses wear, for every day they are on the front lines of health care – birthing babies, fighting death, disease” and showing “the courage and commitment to the patient when everyone else might have given up hope and gone home.”

The valedictorian was Rebecca Susan Welsh.  Samantha Ann Coghlan, president of the CU Student Nurses Association, received the peer mentor award; Emma Marie Nicholas and Cassandra Nella Venditti received professional promise awards; Angel May Henry received the positivity and perseverance Award.

Nan Childress Orchard, DMA, chair and professor of music, provided music by  Jeremiah Clarke, Johann Sebastian Bach and Felix Mendelssohn for the ceremony.

The graduating seniors were:

Christen Marie Ardito

Ame Ariana Arriaza

Michael Cahn

Michaela Ciriak

Samantha Ann Coghlan

Ines Coppola

Meagan Curcio

Michael Andrew D’Antico

Karissa Marie DeGennaro

Lovena Frazil

Angel May Henry

Manoucheka Jean

Karen Jeri

Hava Kraja

Alexa Lubrano

Ruthzar Mercier

Emma Marie Nicholas

In Ju Oh

Christina Ann Orleanski

Jaimie A. Peter

Brielle E. Reighn

Gabriella Marie Rosko

Amanda Paige Schuren

Stephanie Lynn Silva

Amber Laye Smith

Lindsay Francine Truan

Casandra Nella Venditti

Rebecca Susan Welch

Tamara Anna-Kay Wong

Magdalene Woznicki