Pinning ceremony recognizes fall 2017 nursing candidates

Newman University recognized 23 candidates for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree during the fall 2017 Nursing Pinning Ceremony.

The event was held Dec. 15 in the De Mattias Performance Hall. During the ceremony, the Newman University director of nursing places nursing pins on the candidates’ lapels as a symbol of their completion of the baccalaureate of science in nursing (BSN) program.

The Newman pin is unique to the university and was designed by the first graduating BSN class in 1984 at what was then Kansas Newman College. The traditional event for nursing program graduates dates back more than 130 years in the United States.

Mackenzie Wills
Mackenzie Wills offers greetings to those attending the fall 2017 Nursing Pinning Ceremony.

The ceremony included a welcome from Newman Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Long, Ph.D., a blessing of the pins by Newman Chaplain Father John Fogliasso and a brief address by Director of Nursing Teresa Vetter, M.S.N.

Students Thu Phan and Bryce Williams gave an address during the ceremony. Both had many memories to share, including anecdotes about their time in the program.

Phan bantered, “It’s been quite a journey that has consisted of late nights and early mornings, writing 10-hour care plans and taking tests that seemed to have all the right answers, but only one best answer.”

Williams remembers walking into the program feeling pretty confident, but said, “Little did I know, I would be hit with a reality check real soon.”

Both speakers reminisced about the knowledge they gained, and the important life skills they will take with them.

“First semester was about adjusting to the increasing workload and learning to sacrifice,” recalled Williams.

Phan added, “Over the course of the last four semesters, we’ve laughed together, we’ve cried together, we’ve had plenty of breakdowns together. But most importantly, we accomplished and overcame obstacles together. We have created relationships with each other that will last a lifetime.”

Williams said, “This nursing program has ignited a sense of passion within me, and it’s developed my character as a person.”

Anna Burton with award
Distinguished BSN award recipient Anna Burton (center) poses with Newman University President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D., (left) and Director of Nursing Teresa Vetter, M.S.N. (right).

The ceremony included the naming of the Distinguished BSN Graduate Award. The award is given to a graduating nursing student who has a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA and demonstrates an exceptional commitment to the nursing profession and involvement in the Newman and greater Wichita communities. The fall 2017 award was bestowed upon Anna Burton of Overland Park, Kansas. Burton was active in Campus Ministry at Newman and excelled in volleyball, recently being named a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American, one of the most prestigious honors a collegiate student-athlete can receive.

Vetter congratulated Burton and reflected on her character.

“In the community, Anna volunteers in the nursery at her church,” said Vetter. “She has also helped make blankets for victims of domestic violence and knitted hats for babies in need. Anna’s idea of what a nurse does was stated in an interview back in 2015.  She wrote, ‘My main goal is to make a positive impact in someone’s life. I want to be someone my patients trust to take care of them in their happy, sad or vulnerable times. I want to be a person they can turn to and lean on to help them make it through the day or even the hour.'”

Burton, who transferred to Newman to play volleyball, said she never expected to receive this award.

“I’m shocked,” Burton exclaimed. “But I’m really happy and excited. I ended up doing nursing because it was my passion. … It worked out great.”

Burton said she will take many memories and skills with her in her life, but the things she’ll value the most are the communication skills and friendships she gained while in the program.

2017 fall nursing class
The 2017 fall nursing class from left to right: (front row) Holly Hottinger, Sydney Henry, Mara Stockemer, Thu Phan, Natalie Rose Riedel, Dianna Dinh, Anna Burton, Tara Minx, (middle row) Delaney Adkins, Britney Wimberly, Bryce Williams, Mariah Harris, Morgan Pletcher, Kim Lummus, Mary Cracraft, Karen Giselle, Kimberly Wilson, (back row) Baylee Teague, Sarah Poe, Mackenzie Wills, Kenneth Kimani, Trey Unrau, Jesse Fuller.

The Newman University BSN candidates for fall 2017 are: 
*Indicates Sigma Theta Tau inductee

Andover, Kansas
Mackenzie Wills

Arkansas City, Kansas
Kimberly Lummus

Colwich, Kansas
*Mara Stockemer

Derby, Kansas
Britney Wimberly

Goddard, Kansas
Baylee Teague

Moundridge, Kansas
Trey Unrau

Overland Park, Kansas
Anna Burton

Sedgwick, Kansas
Delaney Adkins

Wichita, Kansas
*Karen Bres
Dianna Dinh
Jesse Fuller
*Sydney Henry
*Thu Phan
Morgan Pletcher
*Natalie Riedel
*Bryce Williams
Kimberly Wilson

Winfield, Kansas
Holly Hottinger

Augusta, Georgia
Sarah Poe

Eagleville, Missouri
Mary Cracraft

Lee Summit, Missouri
Tara Minx 

Edmond, Oklahoma
Maria Harris

Kenya
Kenneth Kimani



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