NEWARK, N.J. Ruben D. Fernandez, RN, MA, vice president of patient care services at Palisades Medical Center, gave an inspiring and hopeful convocation address to 339 UMDNJ School of Nursing undergraduate and graduate students May 18 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
Much in healthcare and nursing today is about looking at challenges as opportunities to make a difference, Fernandez says. It is a powerful message and a call to action.
He asked the graduates to look at every goal in their professional careers as achievable and any barriers as something they have created for themselves. The future belongs to those who ask the most of themselves, to those who are risk-takers, innovators, and collaborators.From left, Lorraine Steefel, RN, is congratulated by Susan Salmond, RN, interim dean, upon receiving a Doctorate in Nursing Practice.
Mary Ann Christopher, RN, MSN, FAAN, president/CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association of Central New Jersey, congratulated the graduates for the tenacity and dedication that helped them graduate. She challenged everyone to build a healthier America, one neighborhood at a time. On behalf of the New Jersey State Nurses Association, President Barbara Chamberlain, RN, PhD, asked them to explore the endless possibilities available to them.
Awards PresentedFrom left, Ruben D. Fernandez, RN, keynote speaker; Jon Sugarman, RN, Distinguished Alumni recipient; and Trish OKeefe, RN, Advancing the Profession of Nursing Award recipient, join the distinguished guests, students, and families at the UMDNJ-School of Nursing Honors Convocation.
Honorary Nursing Ambassador, Sen. Dana L. Redd (D-N.J.)
Advancing the Profession of Nursing, Trish OKeefe, RN, MSN, CNO, Morristown (N.J.) Memorial Hospital
Preceptor Excellence, Jason Womack, MD, UMDNJ, and Joanne S. Bruno, RN, staff nurse, The University Hospital in Newark, N.J.
Distinguished Alumni, Jon Sugarman, RN, GNP, president of the UMDNJ School of Nursing Alumni Association
Staff Excellence, Carla Atkins-Bland and Mirza Bright, UMDNJ-SON staff assistantsFrom left, Ann Marie Grossberndt; Leslie Mae Espiritu; Joanne So; and Michael McBreen, proudly accept their BSN degrees.
The Stanley S. Bergen Jr. MD Medal of Excellence, Kaneez Rehmanji Pirbhai, RN, MSN
The Foundation of UMDNJ Excellence in Teaching Award, Michelle Kaulback, RN, MSN, and Lynne E. McEnroe, RN, MA, MSN
The Foundation of UMDNJ Excellence in Research Award, Leslie-Faith Morritt Taub, RN, DNSc
Student Excellence Awards for Outstanding Academic Performance were presented to Clare F. Nieder Golden, Rosalie Bernardo Grantoza, Dorothy Roth Vander Wiele, Colleen Duffy Borchert, Terry Lynn Bussard, Betsy Gwen Pendexter, Bobbi Lou Pino-y-Torres, Nadia M. Setzer, Ashley Ann Storms, Linda R. Suplicki, Mary Y. Thomas, and Holly Lynne OReilly.From left, Mary Kamienski, RN, assistant dean of graduate studies, and Gloria McNeal, RN, associate dean of community and clinical affairs, celebrate with 339 school graduates.
Student Excellence Awards for Outstanding Clinical Performance were presented to Josephine V. Andrada, Janine M. Decker, Linda M. Esposito, Kenneth Michael McHale, Ifeyinwa Bernice Obi, Pendexter, Sherese Duvahl Price-Chapman, James Joseph Soltis, Sheryl Elizabeth Timpanelli, Jennifer Kathleen Arent, Justin Tyler Neidig, and Michael Paul Wendell.
Excellence Awards for Outstanding Student Leadership were presented to Mary Jo Ann Kelly and Justin Tyler Neidig.