At the end of the Spring 2014 semester, 41 students completed Rappahannock Community College’s associate-degree nursing (ADN) program. They received pins to mark their achievement at a May 9 ceremony, held on RCC’s Warsaw Campus, with a reception at the nearby Cobham Park Baptist Church.
An invocation by graduating student Alice Gilbert opened the ceremony. Ellen Koehler, the coordinator of the ADN program, then welcomed the students and their families. She expressed her thanks to the other members of the nursing faculty — Sheena Booth, Nicole Bruney, Joyce Coleman, Stephanie Denninghoff, Shannon Dishman, Mary Dorsey, Laura Gares, Sara Headley, Hope Kopacki, Carrie Lewis, Jennifer Reluya, Susan Reynolds, Cheryl Riley, Rosa Roush, Sharon Scott, Elaine Sopko, and Shannon Washington — for their excellent instruction and guidance.
Taking the podium to offer words of encouragement and praise were the college’s president, Dr. Elizabeth Crowther; its acting dean of health services, Anne Kornegay; and two members of the Class of 2014, Alison Temple and Michael Jagielski.
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 Alison Temple, and for the Warsaw Campus, to Kelsi Allen.
Awards were also given for “Outstanding Clinical Achievement.” From the Glenns Campus, Aryah Hudgins and William Vest received this honor; Warsaw Campus recipients were Ashley Burton and Ashley Plushko.
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. The benediction was offered by graduating student JoAnn Hamilton.
Those receiving pins were
Kelsi Allen, Caroline County; Ashley Burton and Alice Gilbert, Essex County; Summer Adams, Rachel Bowker*, Amanda Brown, Angela Griggs, JoAnn Hamilton§, Ashley Hansin, Christine Heller, Katharine Hughes*, Barbara Pence, Sharon Shoener, and Chérie Sutty§, all of Gloucester County; Chelsea Call, Henrico County; Scharron Yelverton§, Isle of Wight County; Michael Jagielski*, King George County; Amanda Acree, Angela Holt*, Kelly Jewell, Debra Ruppert, and William Vest§, King William County; Kirstin Schlutow and Martha Crandall Smith, Lancaster County; Rachel Dehoux, Kristin Deptola*, Stephanie Gillenwater, Genevieve Hahn, Aryah Hudgins*, Peggy Jeffers, and Nikki Pierson, all of Mathews County; Victoria Yates, New Kent County; Alison Temple*, Newport News; Jessica Seebeck, Northumberland County; Wendy Atkins, city of Richmond; Mary Beth Delano, Rachel McClure, Crystal Packett, and Ashley Plushko, all of Richmond County; Jennifer Taylor, Westmoreland County; and Joseph Mueller§, York County.
§United States military veteran