Spring nursing graduates receive ceremonial pins

May 09, 2022
2022 graduating nursing class

On Thursday, May 5, 22 nursing graduates, along with their family and close friends, gathered for the spring nursing pinning ceremony in Newman University’s De Mattias Performance Hall.

Each semester, students who complete their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree receive the Newman nursing pin. The token of achievement displays the images of a cross as a nod to Newman’s Christian heritage and a lamp that pays homage to the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale. The nurse pinning ceremony marks the transition from student nurse to professional nurse.

(From left to right) Geri Tyrell, Jill Fort, student Amanda Zavala and Teresa Vetter.
(From left to right) Geri Tyrell, Jill Fort, student Amanda Zavala and Teresa Vetter.

Geraldine Tyrell, who joined Newman’s faculty as dean of the School of Nursing and Allied Health this past January, believes pinning ceremonies are extra special as they celebrate students’ hard work paying off. 

“This really is a special day for them, because they’ve worked so hard and feel like this is the opportunity to say, ‘I’ve transitioned from a student to a nurse,’” she said. “Even though I didn’t get to know students at an intimate level, it does bring back special memories for myself as I went through multiple pinning ceremonies, and to be able to relive it is very special.” 

2022 Distinguished BSN Graduate Award

The Distinguished BSN Graduate 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.

This year’s honor was awarded to Amanda Zavala.

Upon learning she received the award, Zavala recalled feeling surprised and honored. She previously earned a bachelor’s degree in biology but returned to school when she realized nursing would be a better fit for her.

Her experience at Newman was nothing short of amazing. 

Amanda Zavala is the 2022 Distinguished BSN Award winner.
Amanda Zavala is the 2022 Distinguished BSN Award winner.

“It was really great going through it with the classmates I had and all of our professors,” she said. “My classmates helped me grow and realize what kind of nurse and person I want to be in the future.” 

At the end of the month, Zavala will get married, after which she’ll move to Plano, Texas, where she’s accepted a job as a nurse on a surgical oncology floor. 

 Zavala was also honored at Newman’s recent Academic Award Ceremony.

“It’s great to go out with one last big thing academically,” she said. 

Teresa Vetter, director of nursing at Newman, feels Zavala was deserving of the Distinguished BSN Graduate Award because of her involvement in campus and community activities while still performing well in class with a very definite focus toward who she’s going to be as a nurse.  

“She’s been very focused and has academically done very well while keeping on top of all the work,” Vetter said. “She also just has that passion of ‘I want to help others, and I want to do it well and do it right.’”

The Newman University BSN candidates for spring 2022 are:

  • Selia Avila
  • Ivan Anthony Balavage
  • Pooja Bhandari
  • Makenzie E. Childers
  • Cassidy Darrah
  • Krista Davis
  • Julia C. Elson
  • Tatum Wylder Grote
  • Jordan D. Hartwell
  • Kelsey Renee Haugh
  • Lauren Marie Kuhrt
  • Jacqueline Lari
  • Arianna Lujano
  • Katie Lynn Payne
  • Desiree S. Scott
  • Samson E. Sievisa
  • Andrew Jacob Stevenson
  • Mallory Thurgood
  • Christopher Quentin Timmons
  • George Trujillo
  • Marlie Silvernale Wagner
  • Amanda Christene Zavala

Earn a Nursing Degree

The Newman University Nursing Program educates students to be a generalist and lays the foundation for graduate school. Many graduates from our private university further their education as clinical nurse specialists, advanced registered nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives.