Nursing graduates welcomed to profession at time-honored pinning ceremony

April 26, 2024 Fran LeFort

The first Reading Nursing Scholars to graduate

Reading Nursing Scholars will graduate in May 2024. Left to right: Amber Hurry, Anna Smith, Stephanie Holdampf, Alainna Sepulveda, Desiree Oliver, Danielle Hartshorn. Photo by J.D. Scott


The 69-member Winter graduating cohort of the WCC Nursing program was celebrated Friday by hundreds of family, friends and faculty who’ve supported them throughout their journey.

With a near-capacity crowd at Towsley Auditorium and those watching via a live stream (view replay), graduates were encouraged to bring joy, along with their nursing skills, and to continue lifting up each other as well as new nurses coming up behind them.

Nursing Department Chair Dr. Theresa Bucy, who gave the faculty address, said she was humbled by the group’s spirit of unity and appreciation.

“Your faculty have the utmost respect and appreciation for your willingness to adapt. Change is hard, and you’ve endured a lot of change. You’re not alone, although at times you may feel alone. I challenge you to find a way to stay in touch with each other and continue to support each other through the transition of beginning nursing practice,” Bucy said.

The graduating class was taking a giant step closer to joining the nursing profession by participating in the pinning ceremony, a time-honored tradition dating back to the 1880s that represents an initiation into the profession.

WCC’s nursing graduates have been educated and trained in a nationally recognized program. Last year the college was named a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing, the only community college and one of just nine nursing programs nationwide to earn the honor this year.

Their paths forward will be “immense,” Dean of Health Sciences Dr. Shari Lambert told them.

“You are entering absolutely the most amazing profession,” said Lambert, in her 30th year of nursing. “You will have so much variety. How many professions can you say you worked at a steel mill as a plant nurse, you’ve delivered babies, you’ve been with people as they were dying or when they needed you the most? There are just so many opportunities that you can do as a nurse.”

Program graduates Jason Terrasi and Yusr Elkhoja were selected by their peers to give student addresses.

The ceremony also marked the graduation of six Reading Nursing Scholarship recipients. The Reading Nursing Scholar program provides full-ride scholarships to 20 nursing each year thanks to a $2 million gift from Agnes and Stephen Reading, Ann Arbor philanthropists.

Up next for the group is passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become a licensed Registered Nurse.

The ceremony also included a congratulatory greeting from Interim Vice President of Instruction Dr. Brandon Tucker.

Meet the Graduates

Members of the Winter 2024 WCC Nursing Graduating Class include (in alphabetical order):

Naia Amison
Sarah Andrade
Sydney Atkins
Verneta Austin+
Frank Barnes
Joel Bobier
Michael Brown+
Rachael Brown
Jaclyn Buehrle
Lisa Burlingame
Jaclyn Campbell
April Carey-Kollath
Lena Carrara
Lydia Child
Erica Cronin
Deborah Danso*
Ryan Debniak
Jade Deforest
Lauren Dementer
Makayla Demoff
McKenzie Duscheck
Amaka Eedday-Nwankwo
Yusr Elkhoja*
Jade Etterman*
Chelsea Evans
Lance Gordon
Samantha Gotterson
Arielle Grzesiak
Danielle Hartshorn
Ashley Haverdink
Kianna Hedger
Stephanie Holdampf*
Shacara Hunt
Amber Hurry
Rebecca Hutchins
Kaitlin Kurasz
Nya Mahoney
Alicia Majcher
Jamie Moses
Heather Moyer
Matthew Mullen
Heather Neuburger
Desiree Oliver
Mariam Omar*
Venus Renforth
Angela Roottier
Trevaill Ross
Kristyn Rucinski
Alainna Sepulveda
Sara Shechter
Anna Shoos
Anna Smith
Souad Souedan
Emma Sowder
Paul Stein
Bonita Taylor
Jason Terrasi
Katherine Thoms
Beaonca Turner
Mariaha Venegas
Nicole Vladimerou
Darvious Wallace+
Rana Walls-Williams*
Sarah Williams*
Karli Wood
Robin Wyman
Kara Zachow*
Khaleel Zafer
Galina Zhu

* - Member of the Alpha Delta Nu Honor Society, HX chapter
+ - Member of the National Student Nurses Association


Tags: Center of Excellence in Nursing Education, Class of 2024, Graduation, Nursing, Pinning Ceremony, Student Success

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