One Giant Leap to becoming a Nurse: Pinning the Grads

Students of RCC’s associate-degree nursing program, Class of 2015, received their pins at a ceremony on May 8. .

Students of RCC’s associate-degree ADN program, Class of 2015, received their pins at a ceremony on May 8.

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At the end of the Spring 2015 semester, 34 students completed Rappahannock Community College’s associate-degree nursing (ADN) program. They received pins to mark their achievement at a ceremony held on RCC’s Warsaw Campus on May 8, with a reception at the nearby Cobham Park Baptist Church.

After an invocation by graduating student Morganne Roundy, the coordinator of the ADN program, Ellen Koehler, welcomed the students and their families. She then expressed her thanks to the other members of the nursing faculty — Diane Baranek, Sheena Booth, Nicole Bruney, Stephanie Denninghoff, Shannon Dishman, Mary Dorsey, Laura Gares, Sara Headley, Carrie Lewis, Susan Perry, Callie Reichenbach, Jennifer Reluya, Cheryl Riley, Rosa Roush, Sharon Scott, Elaine Sopko, Shannon Washington, and Rebecca White—for their excellent instruction and guidance.

Taking the podium to offer words of encouragement and praise were the college’s president, Dr. Elizabeth Crowther, and its dean of health sciences, Charles Smith. Also, two members of the Class of 2015 (John Hastings for the Glenns Campus and Katie Bullis for Warsaw) rose to reflect on the many memorable and thought-provoking experiences shared by the entire class as part of the program.

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 Morganne Roundy, and for the Warsaw Campus, to Amanda Jackson.

Awards were also given for “Outstanding Clinical Achievement.” From the Glenns Campus, Catrina Kennon and Dezeray Spencer received this honor; Warsaw Campus recipients were Chad Forrester and Caryn Packett.

The graduating students expressed their thanks to family, friends, and others who helped them achieve their goals by way of comments handed in before the ceremony; faculty members Cheryl Riley, Rebecca White, and Sara Headley read these aloud as each awardee came forward to receive his or her pin from Ellen Koehler and Carrie Lewis. The ceremony concluded with a recitation of the Nurse Pledge, and the benediction was offered by graduate Samuel Barber.

Those receiving pins were:

Colonial Beach

  • Ashley Rowe

Essex County

  • Kierra Gray

Gloucester County

  • Heather Barnett, Natalie Drouin, Brittney Frayser,  Kenneth McKenney, Morganne Roundy, and Dezeray Spencer

James City County

  • Rachel Muniz and Kerry Poorman

Lancaster County

  • Angela Eanes, King and Queen County; Samuel Barber, Mary Clarke, Chad Forrester, and Alexis Simpson

Middlesex County

  • Lori Mattis, Mathews County; Stacy Corbin, Michele Creasy, Laura Jessie, and Monika Skinner

Northumberland County

  • Trisha Holden and Kerry Watkins, New Kent County; Amanda Jackson, and Caryn Packett

Richmond County

  • Tammy Bryant and Katie Bullis

West Point

  • Erin Davis, Tabitha Korzeniewski, and Sarah McGowan

Westmoreland County

  • Christina Alvarez, Courtney Henry, and Sharia Smith


  • Catrina Kennon and John Hastings