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GSN Class of 2021 celebrates milestones achieved in a remarkable year

Annual Graduation Celebration features awards for graduates, educators; scholarships for students

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

junio 04, 2021

Completing a graduate nursing degree is a great challenge and a great achievement – especially during a once-in-a-century pandemic. The Graduate School of Nursing Class of 2021 celebrated its accomplishments at the annual pre-Commencement GSN Graduation Celebration on Thursday, June 3. Many faculty and students came together at the ceremony in the Albert Sherman Center Auditorium while others, along with family and friends, joined remotely via Zoom.

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(from left) Dean Vitello presents the GSN Interprofessional Community Service Award to Vaccine Corps members Michael Hirsh, MD; Monica Mbugua; Helen Tsiagras; Emily Everett; and Jill Terrien, PhD.

The annual event, which features awards for graduates and educators and scholarships for current students, honored 44 recipients this year.

Remarks from GSN Dean Joan Vitello, Chancellor Michael F. Collins and Provost Terence R. Flotte acknowledged the exceptional challenges graduates took on in the past year. Many worked on the front lines caring for COVID-19 patients as registered nurses and nurse practitioners while completing their rigorous academic requirements.

“It’s an incredible privilege to stand before you because I truly believe you are the best in your profession,” said Chancellor Collins.  “You have been trained so well, accomplished so much, and those you’ll provide care for in the future will greatly benefit.”

Following the awards presentation, James Fain, PhD, professor of nursing and associate dean for academic affairs, named each Class of 2021 graduate. The Graduate School of Nursing is conferring five Master of Science, 48 Doctor of Nursing Practice and six PhD in Nursing degrees and six post-graduate certificates at Commencement on Sunday, June 6.

2021 awards and recipients are:

Chancellor’s Award
Brittany Carney

GSN Dean’s Award
Hannah Mills

Commencement Speaker Recognition
Heather Lovelace

Carol Bova Scholarship
William Mar

Lillian Goodman Scholarship
Samantha Turner

Annie Vigeant Award
Everlyne Njoroge
Jaya Rawla

Paulette Seymour-Route Scholarship
Rachel Niemiec Singer
Lauri Toohey

Suzanne T.  and John F. Sullivan Scholarship
Amanda Hazeltine

Mary K Alexander Academic Achievement & Leadership Award
Rachelle Archard

Janet Fraser Hale Academic Achievement and Leadership Award
Sarah Lake

Mary Kinnear Raymond Award
Henry Ellis

Lucie D. Russell Briefcase Award
Adult Gerontology-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: Elisha Lico
Family Nurse Practitioner: Sophal Sok
Adult/Gerontology-Primary Care Nurse Practitioner: Yasinca Monzon Cabrera

Outstanding NP student in Critical Care Award
Rachel Burke

Jane McCue Magner Award
Jeff Robichaud

GSN Interprofessional Community Service Award
Vaccine Corps:
Michael Hirsh, MD
Christopher Lee
Adjei Badu
Allison Carlson
Karina Michaela DelMundo
Chikodiri Ebe
Kendra Engfer
Emily Everett
Madeline Lane
Paige Laperle
Jacqueline Mbugua
Monica Mbugua
Reham Mousa
Amanda Sylvia
Helen Tsiagras

GSN Community Partnership Award
Baystate Health:
Andrew Artenstein, MD
Kevin Hinchey, MD
Betty LaRue, RN
Nancy Ocasio
Christine Klucznik, DNP
Hadley Byrne
Paula Brooks, DNP

Nancy & Walter Kowal Scholarship
Aisling Ryan

Ciborowski Family Scholarship
Grace Schierberl

Faculty Daisy Award
Jill Terrien, PhD

Janet Fraser Hale Humanism in Health Care Scholarship/Award
Timothy Winn (presented at 2021 Educational Recognition Awards)