UMass Medical Graduate School of Nursing celebrates the Class of 2019

Completing a doctoral nursing degree is a great challenge and a great achievement. On Wednesday, May 29, soon-to-be Graduate School of Nursing Class of 2019 degree recipients celebrated their achievements with a reception in their honor. The theme running throughout the proceedings was, "We are very proud of you, and you should be very proud of yourselves. Congratulations!"

"This is a significant accomplishment that you make this week," said Chancellor Michael F. Collins in his opening remarks for the annual celebration of scholarship, clinical excellence, leadership and service that precedes Commencement. "It's with a great sense of joy that I have the opportunity to celebrate this with you, because it is the joy of your accomplishments that will bring great acclaim to this institution. It's the joy of your future in whatever you choose to do within nursing that will bring you great satisfaction. Those for whom you care will be well looked after because of the education you received here and the commitment you will make to others throughout your career."

Chancellor Collins presented the Chancellor’s Award to Natalie Fleming, MS, RN, who will receive her Doctor of Nursing Practice at Commencement on Sunday, June 2, along with 29 other DNP students; three PhD in Nursing degrees and one post-graduate certificate will also be conferred.

Subsequent awards recognized members of the graduating class, which notably includes the GSN’s first cohort of Graduate Entry Pathway to Doctor of Nursing Practice students as well as nurse practitioners with master’s degrees earning the DNP, and PhD in Nursing graduates.

A growing slate of scholarships included two new awards: the Ciborowski Family Scholarship and the Nancy and Walter Kowal Scholarship. GSN Dean Joan Vitello, PhD, also initiated the Daisy Award for faculty.

Awards and recipients are:

Chancellor’s Award 
Natalie Fleming, MS, RN

GSN Dean’s Award 
Kimberly Keres Hall, MS, RN

Commencement Speaker 
Cecily Kulsick, BS, RN

Carol Bova Scholarship
Jennifer DiBenedetto, MS, RN

Lillian Goodman Scholarship
Cheryl Hersperger, MS, RN

Annie Vigeant Award
Beatie Ultimo, MS, RN

Paulette Seymour-Route Scholarship
James Ennis, MS, RN

Suzanne T. Sullivan Scholarship
Kim Beaudry, BS, RN
Adam Bliss, BS, RN

Mary K. Alexander Academic
Achievement and Leadership Award 

Cecily Kulsick, BS, RN

Academic Achievement 
and Leadership Award 

Julia Yasek, MS, RN

Mary Kinnear Raymond Award
Megan Kennelly, BS, RN

Lynne Foster Davidson Scholarship
Tiana Ingersoll, BS, RN

Lucie D. Russell Briefcase Awards
Family Nurse Practitioner: Samia Ahmed, BA, RN
Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner: Melissa Burdick, MS

Outstanding NP Student in Critical 
Care Award

Elizabeth Ferguson, MS, RN

Jane McCue Magner Award
Meghan Schmidt, MS, RN

GSN Community Service Awards
Dominican Republic Batey Health Initiative:
Heather Lovelace, BS, RN
Bryan McCullough, BS, NR

Alexandra Young, BS, RN
Mable Mason, BS, RN
Jennifer DiBenedetto, MS, RN
Alaina Valcourt, BS, RN

Outstanding Community Partner Award
Antonia “Toni” McGuire, RN, MPH, and the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center

Ciborowski Family Scholarship
Elisha Lico, BS, RN

Nancy & Walter Kowal Scholarship
Brittany Carney, MS, RN

Daisy Award
Jean Boucher, PhD

Humanism in Health Care Award
Kenneth Peterson, PhD