School of Nursing & Health Studies Graduates Celebrated at In-Person and Virtual Events

A photo collage of several graduate-related photographs, including Interim Dean Carole Gresenz speaking from a podium at Nationals Park and photographs of graduating students either on campus, at Nationals Park, or in a photo studio.

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May 25, 2021 — Graduates of the School of Nursing & Health Studies celebrated their achievements at in-person and virtual events during Commencement 2021. 

A screen shot of Dr. Carole Roan Gresenz speaking at the Georgetown Commencement with Nationals Park seats behind her.
Dr. Carole Roan Gresenz, the school’s interim dean, presented graduates of the school’s bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs during Georgetown’s Commencement events yesterday at Nationals Park.

Nearly 120 students received bachelor’s degrees in global health, health care management & policy, human science, and nursing; close to 300 students received master’s degrees in nursing and health systems administration, and 30 students received the doctor of nursing practice and doctor of nurse anesthesia practice degrees.

“Over the last 14 months, you have shown incredible determination and resiliency as we have confronted the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. Carole Roan Gresenz, the school’s interim dean, said during the Tropaia Ceremony on Saturday, May 22. “My colleagues and I have been inspired by your compassion, your curiosity, your dedication, and your grace.”

(Visit the undergraduate ceremony video and the graduate ceremony video of Georgetown Commencement at Nationals Park.)  

Lifelong Learning

“The values-based community in which you have learned at NHS will be your guide as you graduate and become colleagues in our collective work to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals locally, nationally and globally,” Gresenz added. 

Joseph Maccarone, in his graduation gown and stole with the university seal, on Georgetown University's campus
Joseph Maccarone (NHS’21), a health care management & policy major, delivered the student address at the Tropaia Ceremony. Maccarone will enter a post-baccalaureate program in advanced premedical studies at Cooper Medical School at Rowan University. He will then apply to medical school.

Joseph Maccarone (NHS’21), a health care management & policy major, delivered the student address at Tropaia — an event held annually to recognize achievement at the undergraduate level. (Visit a video of the Tropaia Ceremony.)

“What it meant to be a member of the School of Nursing & Health Studies and a true Hoya for others has been depicted time and time again over the past four years,” he said, noting “individuals who go out of their way to lend a hand, to build one another up, stand by their side, and provide hope even in the worst of times. And though we may be the smallest undergraduate school, we never failed to show our presence in our community.”

Students and faculty celebrated together the former’s honor societies, academic and extracurricular achievements, and receipt of department-specific and school awards.

The four academic departments with undergraduate majors recognized graduates with outstanding student awards: Chris Callander (NHS’21) for health care management & policy, Alexandra Gladding (NHS’21) for nursing, Kate Kennedy-Wood (NHS’21) for global health, and Melanie Stewart (NHS’21) for human science.

School-wide awards were also given: Marelyn Perez-Badillo (NHS’21), a human science major received the Rose Anne McGarrity Service, Sophia Dahmani (NHS’21), a global health major received the Sister Helen Scarry Award for Commitment to Social Justice, and Isabel Roemer (NHS’21), a health care management & policy major received the Marianne Cardillo Lyons Commitment to Cura Personalis Award.

“As we leave here today, I urge each and every one of you to go forth, to continue to cultivate your identities, and embark upon a lifetime of learning and of experiences both in the classroom and beyond its walls,” Maccarone said. “Surround yourself with those who not only share in your passions, but actively challenge your perceived norms and spark introspection, self-awareness, and change.”

(Download a copy of the Tropaia print program.)

‘In Skill and in Heart’

Karly Ward in her graduation gown and a graduation stole with the Georgetown seal stands in front of the John Carroll statue on Georgetown's campus.
Graduating BSN senior Karly Ward (NHS’21) delivered the student address at the Pinning Ceremony. On the Friday before graduation, Ward was commissioned as an ensign in the United States Navy.

Karly Ward (NHS’21) spoke during the annual Pinning Ceremony where BSN students were celebrated by their faculty and heard about the history and symbolism of Georgetown University’s unique nursing pin – a symbol of their values-based education and entrance into professional nursing practice. (Visit a video of the Pinning Ceremony.)

“This is not at all what we envisioned for our graduation when we began this journey,” she said, reflecting on the pandemic. “However, the nursing profession requires resiliency, and that is exactly what I have seen in my classmates throughout nursing school.”

Students recognized with awards at the ceremony are: the Colleen Krebs Norton Scholarly Project Award –Olivia Florek (NHS’21), Alexandra Gladding (NHS’21), and Karly Ward (NHS’21); the Clinical Excellence Award – Carina Kuehne (NHS’21); the National Student Nurses’ Association Award – Moona Hamad (NHS’21); and the Loyola Award – Andrea Carballo (NHS’21).

“Going forward, I recommend that together we stay humble, grateful, intelligent, brave, and compassionate as we enter the nursing profession,” Ward said. “Remember that most of all, we have our patients to thank for what we learn and how we evolve going forward. They are the reason we have all grown to love what we study, and it is for their benefit that we will continue to grow in skill and in heart.”

At the end of the ceremony, Dr. Edilma Yearwood, chair of the Department of Professional Nursing Practice, and department faculty shared their congratulations and words of inspiration with the 29 new Georgetown nursing graduates.

A photo collage of portrait-style photos on a blue background. Graduates celebrated at the Blessing of the Hands are, top row left to right, Raven Fulton (G'21) and Caitlin Mayhew (G'21) and, bottom row, left to right, Emily Burns (G'21) and Regina McClure (G'21)
Graduate student awardees from the Blessing of the Hands Ceremony are, top left to right, Raven Fulton (G’21) and Caitlin Mayhew (G’21) and, bottom left to right, Emily Burns (G’21) and Regina McClure (G’21).

Graduate Recognitions

Another special annual event – the Blessing of the Hands Ceremony – took place to honor graduates of the Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and the WHNP Programs.

Heather L. Maurer, CEO of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, was the guest speaker during the ceremony, which helps formally celebrate the students’ journey from graduate school into advanced practice. Maurer received the Midwifery and Women’s Health Advocate Award.

Students were recognized for achievement: Raven Fulton (G’21) and Caitlin Mayhew (G’21) each received the NM/WHNP Student Leadership Award, and Emily Burns (G’21) and Regina McClure (G’21) each received the WHNP Student Leadership Award.

In addition, the Family Nurse Practitioner Program gave outstanding student awards to Brittany Gibson (G’20), Hillary Brunner (G’20), and Alpha Tessema (G’20).

By Bill Cessato