Traditional ceremony recognizes 2017 spring nursing degree graduates

May 12, 2017
Class of Spring 2017 Nurses' Pinning

Newman University honored 18 nursing degree graduates during a long-standing traditional Nurses’ Pinning ceremony on Friday, May 12.

Today, the pins received by graduating nursing students represent the school where the professional received their education.

Director of Nursing Teresa Vetter, M.S.N. said during the ceremony, “The pin the graduates will receive tonight was designed by the Newman baccalaureate nursing graduates in 1984. The cross on the pin symbolizes our Christian heritage; the lamp has a dual symbolism- that of the lamp of knowledge and the lamp that has been associated with nursing since Florence Nightingale’s time.”

Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D. as well as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Long, Ph.D. also spoke during the ceremony.

Long stated in her congratulatory speech that, “We know that nurses are critically important leaders in addition to being critically important health care providers.” Long added, “We’re proud of each and every one of you. To you, your families and friends that have supported you throughout this journey (…) we say congratulations.”

Merrit Shobe said she is excited to be where she is today and that her time at Newman has meant a lot to her. “My experience here, it’s been, it’s like family. That’s the one word that comes to mind. Family.” Shobe will work in the trauma surgical ICU at Via Christi St. Francis.

The ceremony concluded with the naming of the Distinguished BSN Graduate Award. The award is given to a graduating nursing student who has a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade point average and demonstrates an exceptional commitment to the nursing profession and involvement in the Newman and greater Wichita communities.

Award Photo
l-r: President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Nursing and Allied Health Jane Weilert, Zixi Liao, and Director of Nursing Teresa Vetter

The Spring 2017 award was given to Zixi Liao of Wichita, Kan. Liao will start her career at KU Hospital in Kansas City in the fall of 2017. She then plans to go to graduate school after a couple of years. Her hopes are to help her home country, China, by working with Hospice Care there.

“I have some friends in China,” said Liao. “They are doctors, surgeons, nurses, and we just want to better the hospice care. We know it’s a long road but we are really looking forward to doing that.”

The Newman University BSN candidates for Spring 2017 are:

  • Danna Abu-Jamileh — Wichita, Kan.
  • Caraline Ayer — Wichita, Kan.
  • McKenzie Brown — Derby, Kan.
  • Taylor Bugner — Wichita, Kan.
  • Kayla Crane — Winfield, Kan.
  • Tyler Harding — Salina, Kan.
  • Emily Lantz — Bel Aire, Kan.
  • Zixi Liao — Wichita, Kan.
  • Bonnie Marsh — Clearwater, Kan.
  • Mikalena Martinez — Wichita, Kan.
  • Jason McQuillan — Wichita, Kan.
  • Tanya Miller — Wichita, Kan.
  • Haley Parks — Derby, Kan.
  • Candyce Portley — Derby, Kan.
  • Haley Sauder — Wichita, Kan.
  • Merritt Shobe — Wichita, Kan.
  • Caitlin Vaughn — Mulvane, Kan.
  • Sara Wolke — Wichita, Kan.