2023 Nursing Pinning Ceremony

a group of nursing graduates attending the pinning ceremony poses together, sitting on bleachers

On Friday, May 5, 2023, one hundred seventy-one University of Maine at Fort Kent nursing students graduated from the program, with twenty-eight of them attending the 39th annual UMFK Nurse Pinning Ceremony at the Sports Center on the UMFK campus.

The following BSN students received their nursing pins: Ayoola O. Ayeni (Bowling Green, KY); Kasie Blanchette (Madawaska); Mykayla J. Bresett (Van Buren); Jerranecia N. Caddell (Bridgewater, ME); Gaële Chery (Fort Kent); Olga Danilichav (Madawaska); Elizabeth L. Dufresne (Saint David); Amanda L. Godwin (Milo, ME); Sylvie L. Guimond (Fort Kent); Desiree A. Hall (Linneus, ME); Temidayo Itabiyi (Richmond, TX); Megan R. Jandreau (Wallagrass); Kalusha N. Kotes (Fort Kent); Keri La (Daly, CA); Susan E. LaVerdiere (Newcastle, ME); Leacroft Lettman, Jr. (Fort Kent); Kailtyn E. Martin (Madawaska); Desiree G. Mayo (Winthrop, ME); Elise M. MCKay (Levant, ME); Sarah J. Muhl (Alfred, ME); Nnenna Nwankho (Manchester, CT); Alejandro Ochoa (Fort Kent); Olivia R. Picard (Madawaska); Brooke Russell (Baileyville, ME); Riley L. Sibley (Fort Kent); Emily C. Thibeault (Saint David); Nathan S. Wall (Caribou, ME); and Taylor A. Weeks (Bangor, ME).

BSN students in absentia were: Ashley Adams (Auburn, ME); Anthony Allel (Bayside, NY); Deborah J. Allen (Cape Elizabeth, ME); Oghenerume Anaje (Flowery Branch, GA); Kelly J. Arnold (Kokomo, IN); Sally M. Arrey (Gainsville, FL); Kateryna Bagrii (Ellsworth, ME); Caroline M. Bailey (Portland, ME); Lucy M. Bartlett (Orrington, ME); Cory Berndt (Brookfied, MA); Cassandra Binder (East Millinocket, ME); Jean T. Binette (Lyman, ME); Orah Bluestone (Bangor, ME); Jan Boldt (Eddington, ME); Glen E. Bolduc (Auburn, ME); Kylie Bosse (Auburn, ME); Nikki L. Bouley (Sanford, ME); Tara S. Boynton (Thomaston, ME); Moriah L. Bragg (Bangor, ME); Whitney A. Brewer (Blaine, ME); Dustin A. Campbell (Manchester, ME); Iruzy Castellon-Urroz (Woolwich, ME); Beth A. Chabre (Baileyville, ME); Beth A. Chamberlain (Attleboro Falls, MA); Kristina C. Chevalier (Pittsfield, MA); Karyn A. Chiachio (Berlin, NH); Misty E. Christian (Nashua, NH); Teresa L. Coffey (Bowdoin, ME); Sarah Cole (Lincolnville, ME); Jamie L. Cormier (Auburn, ME); Forrest T. Cornell (Wayne, ME); Julie Crafts (Jay, ME); Sarah Cummings (Howland, ME); Cameika Davis (Fort Kent); Mercedes Debowey (Brunswick, ME); Hailey A. Demascio (Greene, ME); Michelle DiDamo (Yonkers, NY); Bryanna DiFrancesco (Harrison, ME); Celestine Djouzong-Tene (Sunbury, OH); Jennifer Doades (Windsor, ME); Trisha M. Domenie (Biddeford, ME); Kayla M. Dow (Naples, ME); Jonathan Doyle (Woodland, ME); Addie P. Drinkwater (Rockport, ME); Valerie L. Dukhey (Saco, ME); Marvin R. Duncan (Buffalo, NY); Ashley N. Dunn (New Gloucester, ME); Ogechukwu W. Esomonu (Fort Kent); Katelyn E. Faulkingham (Hampden, ME); Valerie Flanagan (Brunswick, ME); TuckerAlison Fletcher (Westfield, ME); Diane Foglizzo (Orland, ME); Danae M. Ford (El Dorado, CA); Francoise Frederique (Norwood, MA); Christina Gagnon (Frenchville); Nicole Gendreau (Saint David); Jaquelyn Graham (Bridgewater, MA); Evelyn A. Greenleaf (Trevett, ME); Keckeley L. Habel (Fort Kent); Andrea L. Haffenreffer (Scarborough, ME); Katie E. Hager (Old Town, ME); Rose Hagerstrom (Austin, TX); Kasey J. Haley (New Sweden, ME); Ruth A. Hanson (Presque Isle, ME); Joni E. Hart (Eastbrook, ME); Marissa M. Hilton (Carmel, ME); Mary Hoffman (Rockport, ME); Hayley E. Holmes (Windham, ME); Oluchi Ifegwu (North Attleboro, MA); Gilbert Isaacs (Milford, MI); Suzanne M. Johnstone (Lincoln, ME); Brittany M. Jordan (Nashua, NH); Amy Kirby (Wells, ME); Ann F. Kulovitz (Lovell, MA); Audra C. Lamothe (Jacksonville, FL); Cody J. Leavitt (Norway, ME); Marc D. Leclair (Waterville, ME); Danielle LeDuc (Salisbury Cove, ME); Lindsay Lee (Millinocket, ME); Samuel Leeman (Westbrook, ME); Nicole A. Lefebvre (Bangor, ME); Arielle A. Levesque (Otis, ME); Katherine T. Little (South Hero, VT); Ayelen Lugo (Davie, FL); Rachel T. Mackie (South Portland, ME); Ashlee L. Maltba (China Grove, NC); Brandon J. Maltba (China Grove, NC); Michelle P. Manning (Hampden, ME); Cynthia A. Marlin (South Yarmouth, MA); Bradley Martinez (Fort Kent); Matthew T. Martinez (Boothbay, ME); Elizabeth Matoin (Sanford, ME); Shannon C. Mazyck (Saco, ME); Natasha McCrum (Alfred, ME); Kimberly C. McNamara (New Canaan, CT); Erin McWalters (Thorndike, ME); Natalie M. Merchant (Peru, ME); Isho Mohamed (Hampden, ME); Tanya Moore (Norridgewock, ME); Stacy Morris-White (Brunswick, ME); Sarah E. Murphy (Scarborough, ME); Liz Nadeau (South China, ME); Tonilynn Nadeau (Fort Kent); Pamela Nyota (Portland, ME); Rose Ongala (Portland, ME); Glenroy Osbourne (Brunswick, ME); Alison Paine (Belgrade, ME); Rachel E. Palmer (Farmingdale, ME); Shelby C. Peavey (Raymond, ME); Samantha K. Pellegrino (Brewer, ME); Ashley O. Philbrick (Kennebunk, ME); Angela M. Pike (Burnham, ME); Fraser Query (Fort Kent); Renee Richardson (Hermon, ME); Trisha Robbins (Ossipee, NH); Traci Rogers (Woodland, ME); Matthew S. Rolt (South Portland, ME); Manuel A. Ruiz (Dedham, MA); Alden Russell-Leed (Nottingham, NH); Kaitlin Rustin (Gorham, ME); Clarissa E. Sabattis (Houlton, ME); Danielle L. Sanchez (Ocean Park, ME); Suzi Sauvage (Bangor, ME); Jennifer Schmidt (Brunswick, ME); Meddie K. Serwanga (Portland, ME); Jason M. Simpson (Portland, ME); Benjamin Snowman (Canaan, ME); Julia Sobey (Pittsfield, ME); Joanne Speare (Hampden, ME); Chelsea Swann (Windham, ME); Claire Y. Thompson (Houlton, ME); Catherine B. Trahan (Rockland, ME); Melissa Trahan (Danville, VT); Robin M. Turner (Yarmouth, ME); Nicole Ward (Presque Isle, ME); Michaela R. Washington (Auburn, ME); Stacey M. Wheeler (Bowdoin, ME); Ashton G. White (Bangor, ME); Tifany M. Whitney (Brewer, ME); Dustin Whyte (Wrentham, MA); Ashley L. Winter (Lewiston, ME); Ariel Worth (Windham, ME); and Austin B. Wylie (Gorham, ME).

Faculty, staff, and students, along with family members and friends of the graduates, gathered to honor the recipients of the bachelor of science degree in nursing. University President Dr. Deb Hedeen welcomed attendees and extended congratulations to the students.

The theme for this year’s pinning ceremony was “You Make a Difference.”

The keynote speaker for the pinning ceremony was Mark Cieniawski, MD. Dr. Cieniawski attended Northwestern University Medical School and graduated in 1991. Dr. Cieniawski is a Board Certified physician in internal medicine. He works at Northern Maine Medical Center. With over 32 years of experience in primary care, he has developed a special interest in wellness with practical approaches and recommendations to treat a wide variety of conditions affecting nutrition, heart health, and mental health.

To begin the Nurse Pinning Ceremony, Cheryl Roberts, Instructor of Nursing, thanked the following institutions for supporting the graduates during their clinical courses, as well as offering them a setting in which to complete their preceptorships in Maine: Cary Medical Center; Forest Hill; Houlton Regional Hospital; Maine Medical Center; Maine General Medical Center; Midcoast Regional Hospital; Northern Light AR Gould Hospital; Northern Light/Eastern Maine Medical Center; Northern Maine Medical Center; Maine Coast; PenBay Medical Center; Redington-Fairview General Hospital; St. Joseph’s Memory Care; and York Hospital. Out-of-state preceptorships: Federal Medical Center (Devens, MA); First Health Moore Regional (Pinehurst, NC); Littleton Regional Hospital (Littleton, NH); Porter Medical Center (Middlebury, VT); The Miriam (Providence, RI); and University Medical Center (Elyria, OH).

Since the UMFK Nursing Division relies so heavily on the hospitals in the region, NMMC; Cary Medical Center; and Northern Light AR Gould Hospital were presented with a plaque, which will be displayed on the wall of their institution. Roberts also asked the audience for a round of applause for the many professional nurses who committed themselves to be preceptors for the UMFK senior students and helping them become the best nurses they can be and making a difference in the students’ lives.

During the ceremony, Megan Jandreau, from Wallagrass, was honored with the Student Nurse Citizenship Award. The award honors the diligence, manners, responsibility, conscientiousness, and thoughtful involvement characteristic of an exemplary citizen.

Professor Larry Nadeau said, “Megan planned, organized, and oversaw the many engaging student service activities offered through the Student Nursing Organization. Creative, passionate, and innovative, Megan will always have a lasting impression on SNO and our campus. The contributions by Miss Jandreau truly helped make UMFK a better place while she was here and left big shoes for the subsequent generations of nursing students to fill.”

The Division of Nursing also honors an alumna or alumnus during the pinning ceremony. The Outstanding Nursing Alumni Award is bestowed upon a nursing graduate of the UMFK Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, who displays accomplishment in the nursing profession, as well as a commitment to their community through volunteer service and humanitarian efforts. Melissa Stoliker of Fort Kent was presented with the 2023 Outstanding Nurse Alumna Award.

Melissa Stoliker is a 2012 graduate of UMFK’s nursing program. She went on to her earn her psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner degree from Eastern Kentucky University in 2016. While at UMFK, Stoliker distinguished herself as a professional and a scholar. She worked as a psychiatric technician during her baccalaureate studies, which sparked her passion for behavioral health. Stoliker started working at Fish River Rural Health as a nurse practitioner; she eagerly agreed to offer mental health services, whereby part of her time is spent in a mobile van. When patients cannot go to her, she comes to them. Her new “office” is outfitted with all she needs to provide superb mental health and counseling services. She travels throughout the St. John Valley so that school-aged children are able to access top-quality care without having to leave school.

Additionally, the Division of Nursing annually recognizes individuals in the community who demonstrate a commitment to health care, nursing, and nursing education. This year, Diane Griffin was honored with the Community Leader Award.

Professor Griffin’s extensive and impressive nursing background began more than thirty years ago. As we celebrate nursing education, it is fitting that we are recognizing Professor Griffin, who has been teaching nursing students for over twenty years and was a faculty member at UMFK for 13 years. Her focus was on psych/mental health nursing and health assessment.

Her dedication to best practices in education and nursing was evident in her outstanding student evaluations, reputation as a caring faculty member, and significant contributions to our nursing program.

Griffin was especially skilled in breaking down complex content so that students were able to more easily grasp the information. Students were often found in her office, seeking her assistance and going over remedial materials. Her meticulous attention to detail was a great help to the nursing division. Her gentle nature, quiet humor, and intelligence made her a valued faculty member. Diane Griffin retired in 2022.

The address to the senior class was delivered by Riley Sibley of Fort Kent.

The UMFK Nursing Division faculty and staff are Dr. Erin Soucy, Dr. Rachel E. Albert, Duane Belanger, Larry Nadeau, Stephanie Nadeau, Sandy Pelletier, Fran Picard, Maisie Plourde, Denise Potvin, Cheryl Roberts, Dr. Tanya Sleeper, Nicole Theriault, and Stacy Thibodeau.