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SOURCE: News release from Indiana University Kokomo

KOKOMO, Ind. — Nearly 100 health care professionals earned accolades from the Indiana University Kokomo School of Nursing, at its annual recognition ceremony.

Faculty saluted 12 Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), 52 Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and 26 RN to BSN recipients during the virtual ceremony Thursday (May 6).

Dean Susan Hendricks welcomed graduates and their families with a poem, What It Means to be a Nurse, and encouraged them to embrace mindfulness, be aware of the important moments found in each day and learn from times of challenge.

Dea Kent, assistant professor of nursing and interim director of the Family Nurse Practitioner track, congratulated graduates, saying they were celebrating students’ persistence, commitment and resilience, “not only in the normal pressure of balancing academic life, work, and family, but in the face of a pandemic that turned everything upside down.

“In this unprecedented tide of adversity, you rose above, and despite the turbulence, you find yourself triumphant in this program, and this goal and dream,” she said. “Now it is time to move forward into the next chapter of your journey armed with new knowledge and new skills and a new perspective.”

Graduating student Holly Huneryager, Kokomo, offered thanks to faculty, staff, family, and friends, in addition to classmates.

“As one big extended family, we have all navigated through a unique time in history to successfully complete the nursing program,” she said. “When times were hard, we had the leadership of our professors to mentor us to keep moving forward. Our professors shared their knowledge and experience to help push us, teach us, and ultimately shape us into the nurses we have become. To our professors, we say thank you for supporting us on this journey, and we look forward to now becoming your colleagues.”

Mark Canada, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, read the graduates’ names, and each one had a moment to share a few words of thanks during the ceremony.

In addition to recognizing the graduates, faculty also presented special honors, including the Daisy Award and outstanding student awards.

The Daisy Award for extraordinary faculty recipient was Naomi Jones, lecturer in nursing, while the extraordinary nursing student awards were given to Elora Klepinger, Kokomo; Kendal Williams, Edinburgh; and Benjamin Walker, Westfield.

Outstanding student award winners were Margaret Sposato, Noblesville, MSN; Monica Graves, Kokomo, RN to BSN; and Nolan Deboy, Mulberry, BSN.

Haley Bitner, Tipton; and Elora Klepinger, Kokomo; also were recognized for completing IU Kokomo’s honors program.

Sammie Feltner, Flora, led the recitation of the Nursing Pledge

Additional faculty speakers included Mary Bourke, associate dean of graduate programs; Erin Doss, honors program director; Sonya Green, clinical assistant professor of nursing; Angie Heckman, assistant dean of the RN to BSN track; Carolyn Townsend, assistant dean of the prelicensure BSN track; and Leigh Swartzendruber, clinical assistant professor of nursing.

Student speakers included Nolan Deboy, Mulberry; Elora Klepinger, Kokomo; Carli Jones, Marion; and Cheri Shively, Logansport.

Honorees are listed by degree and hometown. They include:

Master of Science in Nursing

Fishers: Kristina Lynn Roberson, Ema Toke

Kokomo: Nancy J. Anderson, Raymond Santiago Candelaria, Denese L. Davis, Rachel Diane Irwin, Leigha Marie Murphy, Alisha Ann Perryman

Logansport: Cheryl Lynn Shively

Peru: Jocelyn Azbell

Valparaiso: Mildred Mukorombindo

West Lafayette: Ashley Nicole O’Shields

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Alexandria: Aliyah Weaver

Amboy: Jessica Crome

Arcadia: Cassidy Clifford

Burlington: Kimberly Keihn, Cameron Langston

Carmel: Madison Simmons, Meliah Wray

Clayton: Megan Bridges

Elwood: Delaney Savage

Greentown: Taylor Hendrix, Jamie Honchell, Cole Walker

Indianapolis: Ramsey Bates, Samson Bosede

Kokomo: Chelsea Bagley (Tedlock), Briana Bartrum, Conner Buck, Grant Gaylor, Catherine Hale, Holly Huneryager, Kelsey Jackson, Emily Jarvis, Elora Klepinger, Sierra Langley, Naomi Leuck, Tatum Manton, Shelby Myers, Jaylan Polk, Dalton Ryan, Rabia Ummad, Sharrie Wright

Lafayette: Kristin Cavaletto

LaFontaine: Mary Guisewhite

Lapel: Mackenzi Crosley

Logansport: Allison Molencupp, Arianne Vargas, Valeria Zarate

Marion: Alicyn Gary, Kaylee Kierstead, Jasmin Reed

Mulberry: Nolan Deboy

Peru: Anna Boyer

Plymouth: Joshua Anders

Rochester: Brittany Walker

Russiaville: Chelsea Howard

Sheridan: Andrea Stephan

Tipton: Haley Bitner

Walton: Emily Donovan, Kassi Hardy

Westfield: Alison Hittle

West Lafayette: Brianne Abrahamson

Winamac: Tiffani Shorter

RN to BSN

Albany: Emily Dalton

Avon: Nehaben Rakeshkumar Patel

Burlington: Aleighia Dawn King

Carmel: Brittni Gray

Fishers: Kiran James, Allison Poffenbarger

Flora: Sammie Feltner

Frankfort: Jennifer LeeAnne Mink

Galveston: Melissa Dawn Cohee

Indianapolis: Suliat Olabisi Badmus

Kokomo: Monica Renee Graves, Shanna Marie Mannion

Lafayette: Jennifer Rebecca Baute, Dolores Dondle, Maggin Cherrel Webb

Logansport: Paige Johansen-Schrum, Alyson D. Shoemaker

Marion: Carli Lee Jones

Morristown: Amy Catherine Sidebottom

Muncie: Jessica C. Howlett, Jenna Renee Winters

Noblesville: Tyler David Horner

North Manchester: Aaron S. Wilson

Rossville: Anna Marie Winn

Sharpsville: Shannon Leigh Pickett

West Lafayette: Angie B. Halvorson

Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.