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Pins awarded to RCC nursing graduates

On Friday, May 10, Rappahannock Community College’s associate-degree nursing program awarded pins to mark the graduation of 33 students.


Program coordinator Ellen Koehler welcomed the students and their families to the ceremony (held on RCC’s Warsaw Campus, with a reception at the nearby Cobham Park Baptist Church), and expressed her thanks to the other members of the nursing faculty—Nicole Bruney, Joyce Coleman, Mary Dorsey, Laura Gares, Sara Headley, Hope Kopacki, Carrie Lewis, Jennifer Reluya, Susan Reynolds, Cheryl Riley, Rosa Roush, Sharon Scott, Elaine Sopko, Mary Swann, and Shannon Washington—for their excellent instruction and guidance.

The featured speaker was Gaynor Callis, the director of nursing and patient care services at Riverside Walter Reed Hospital. She informed the audience that a national survey had found nursing to be the profession that inspires the most trust among members of the public, and expressed her confidence that these graduates would live up to that trust, concluding with, “The bar is only as high as you set it. Set it high!” Also offering words of encouragement and praise were the college’s president, Dr. Elizabeth Crowther; its dean of health sciences, Charles Smith; its dean of student development, Anne Kornegay; its dean of college advancement, Victor Clough; and two members of the Class of 2013, Charlotte Bundy and Serena Williams.

A number of awards were presented in recognition of outstanding members of the class. Perhaps the most important were the Catherine Courtney Awards, named in honor of the founding coordinator of RCC’s ADN program, who retired in 2005 after over 30 years of service. The recipients of this award—one from each RCC campus—must exhibit exceptional leadership qualities, an outgoing personality, and a desire to serve the community, as well as maintaining high academic standards. For the Glenns Campus, the Courtney Award went to Lindsey Gaskins, and for the Warsaw Campus, to Kelly Kellum.

Awards were also given for “Outstanding Clinical Achievement.” Robin Burford (Glenns Campus) and Charlotte Bundy (Warsaw Campus) received this honor as students who came to the ADN program after first graduating from RCC’s Practical Nursing program, and Charlyn Hudson (Glenns) and Amber Weakley (Warsaw) received it as students who began their studies with the ADN program. In addition, Charlotte Bundy was the only class member to achieve the distinction of graduating summa cum laude, with a grade-point average over 3.8.

An insert in the printed program offered the students an opportunity to express their thanks to family, friends, and others who helped them achieve their goals. One of the most moving moments of the event, said an attendee, was hearing these comments read aloud as each graduate came forward to receive his or her pin.

The spiritual side of nursing was acknowledged with prayers offered for the support of these graduates in their mission of providing loving care to their future patients, and the ceremony concluded with a recitation of the Nurse’s Pledge and a benediction by the Reverend Mary Swann, who has just retired from RCC’s nursing faculty.

Those receiving pins were: Ashley Kulina, Colonial Beach; Charlotte Bundy*+, Ethan Morrow, Tiffany Smith*, Emily Stevens, Mary Tate*, and Amber Umphlette, all of Essex County; Tina Bartelli*, Angela Cannon, Nita Carter, Christel Roden, Jennifer Trovato, Melody Waltz, Brandi Williams, and Serena Williams, all of Gloucester County; Karen Berry, King and Queen County; Ashley Ruppert, King William County; Kelly Kellum*, Katelyn Keyser*, and Grace Schroeder, all of Lancaster County; Marguerite Byrd, Dorothy Ness, and Charlyn Hudson, all of Mathews County; Natalie Mesco*, Mechanicsville; Robin Burford, Lindsey Gaskins, and Mary Olson*, all of Middlesex County; Claudia Battle*, Northumberland County; Adrienne Lewis*, Jolene Self, and Amber Weakley*, all of Richmond County; Shannon Pierce, West Point; and Margaret Fox, Williamsburg.


*Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society

+Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges

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