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Ceremony honors future healthcare professionals

Jan 10, 2022
Four rows of people in red scrubs
Four rows of people in red scrubs

KOKOMO, Ind. – Faculty and staff welcomed 32 future healthcare professionals to the Indiana University Kokomo School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, with its traditional induction ceremony for the spring 2022 semester.

Samantha Fouts, clinical assistant professor of nursing, welcomed the class, congratulating them on beginning a journey that will lead to becoming a member of one of the most trusted professions — a journey they will never forget.

She encouraged them to build relationships with classmates and faculty, to sustain themselves along the challenging path, and to put their heart and soul into caring for their patients.

“Each patient encounter you have will bring with it an opportunity of growth for you,” she said. “Never forget to seize each opportunity, and be thankful for each experience.”

Carolyn Townsend, associate dean of the pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, reflected on what it means to be a nurse in unprecedented times, serving at the forefront during a global pandemic that has impacted millions of people.

“As nurses, we respond to this challenge, we do what is needed for as long as it is needed,” she said. “We are dedicated to care for our community. That is who we are, and we are looking forward to having you join us in the profession of nursing. Nurses’ commitment to caring is part of our very being, and we stay the course with our very sick and sometimes dying patients every day.”

Townsend reminded the new students that as a nurse, caring matters, care is based on scientific evidence, they will serve as coaches and teachers for patients, healthcare is about effective teamwork and leadership, and they must advocate for their patients.

“In this difficult journey, it will be so important to keep in mind the sacred duty you have to meet patient needs,” she said. “Similarly, you must learn self-care, making time for your own well-being. Both are essential to creating a professional life in which you flourish.”

Additional speakers included Mark Canada, interim deputy chancellor and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, Stephanie Pratt, director of the RN to BSN track and clinical assistant professor of nursing, Erin Geiselman, assistant professor of nursing; and nursing students Shaun Fewell, Karly McKay, and Jaycee Polk.

The new students, selected in a rigorous acceptance process, wore the red scrubs that marked them as an IU student for the first time as they each crossed the stage to receive a certificate of accomplishment. The incoming class also recited the Nursing Pledge, which is a promise to uphold the ethics of the nursing profession.

Those honored, listed by hometown, included:

Atlanta: Karly M. Dean

Camden: Christine Marie Klima

Carmel: Samantha de Bie

Frankfort: Janette Aguilera Martinez

Greentown: Brooke Renee Thieke, Gwendolyn Tyler

Indianapolis: Alberte Doren Theodore, Nadine Laura Tregnago

Jonesboro: Jasmine Horvath

Kokomo: Kurt Avergonzado, Blake Ian Banter, Cassie G. Bryan, Karlee Nicole Finicle, Ashlynn Marie Johnson, Brooke Elizabeth Kitner, Averi McMullen, Alysa Ann Penicaro, Anissa Katherine Washington

Lafayette: Kale Ethan Kottkamp, Taniecia Mabbitt

Logansport: Brooke Veasey

Marion: Alexis Denyse Abbott, Maddie LeighAnne Endsley, Kaleigh Shaye Hollars

Monticello: Yesenia Navarro

Mulberry: Catherine Rose Shedron

Noblesville: Madison Taylor Fields

Ora: Alexis Grove

Russiaville: Hannah Grace Lushin, Olivia M. Lushin

Tipton: Samantha Jo Saxon

Westfield: Alexandra Lee Gasparino

Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.

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