31 pinned at SMC nursing ceremony

A pinning ceremony is special, Southwestern Michigan College Vice President of Instruction Dr. David Fleming said, for the opportunity to recognize recipients by name.

“The truth of the matter is, once you get in the workplace, we often forget their names — we being the patients served by them,” Fleming said. “When nurses helped prep my wife so I could participate in the delivery of our son, Lincoln, I remember their kindness, their support and their skills all through that long day, but I don’t remember their names after 17 years. I don’t remember their faces, but I see them in each one of you on this stage today.”

“I also see in all of you, the very lovely, patient, smiling nurses,” Fleming said, “who prepped 7-year-old me for surgery to have one what was thank God, a benign tumor removed from my skull. I was too young to know what a tumor was. I had no clue what the procedure was that had my parents so scared, but I do know I never felt alone because of the wonderful nurses I had. I don’t remember their names or their faces, but I see them in each and every one of you on this stage.”

Finally, Fleming said, “I see in every one of you on this stage those who comforted my dying father-in-law and mother-in-law over the sad last 10 years. I can’t even imagine the emotional fortitude such nurses must have to provide upbeat temporary relief in situations postponing inevitable outcomes. I can’t particularly remember their faces or names, but I see them in each of you on this stage today.

“The great American poet Maya Angelou said about nurses, ‘They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.’ Doctors get all the glory, but ask any hospital CEO worth his or her salt and they will say nurses are the lifeblood of the institution. Today is our day to honor these incredible graduates. We’re going to send them out to do good in the world. Promise me you won’t forget their names,” Fleming addressed the 31 men and women who earned their associate degree in nursing (ADN) pins May 7 in the theatre of the Dale A. Lyons Building on the Dowagiac campus.

ADN graduates include Alyssa Back of Union City, April Bishop of Berrien Springs, Cassie Bohannon of Mishawaka, Ind., Terriona Bush of Redford, Jessica Carlsen of Dowagiac, Jayla Carrigan of Buchanan, Kimberlee Gabrielson of Mattawan, Alene Hackett of Jones, Melissa High of Marcellus, Briana Konkle of South Bend, Ind., Cara Mabry of Decatur, Heather Martinez of Dowagiac, Sarah Moe of Lawton, Alma Moreno Martinez of Decatur, Crystal Morrow of Three Rivers, Harmoney Mortensen of Constantine, Jessica Pethick of Coloma, Regina Phillips of Hartford, Christine Rainwater of Hartford, Kacy Reeves of Niles, Brittney Rose of Niles, Meredith Seifer of Edwardsburg, Hannah Sergio of Niles, Aanal Shah of St. Joseph, Haley Smith of Dowagiac, Ashley Stacks of Portage, Kyle Valentine of Allegan, Crystal Watson of Niles, McKenna Willbrandt of Byron Center, Drew Williams of Kalamazoo and Danille Woods of Berrien Springs.

Rebecca Jellison, dean of the School of Nursing and Health Services, announced Shah received the Florence Nightingale Award determined by her fellow classmates.

Shah is known as compassionate, thoughtful, dependable, a team player, generous, humble and a constant encourager to her classmates.

Jellison introduced faculty members Debbie Green, RN, MSN, Chair; April Chew, RN, MSN; Michelle Converse, RN, MSNE; Patti Frontczak, RN, MSN; Rona Goodrich, RN, MSN; Tammy Jerz, RN, MSN; Melissa Kennedy, RN, MSN; Julie Mack, RN, BSN; Jeanie Mitchel, RN, MSN, MA; Peggylee Myers, RN, BSN; Allan Puplis, RN, MSN; Erin Russell, RN, BSN; Yolanda Roche, RN, MSN; Jodi Tidey, RN, MSN; and Amber Villwock, RN, MSN.

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