On Friday, May 11th ninety-one University of Maine at Fort Kent nursing students graduated from the program, with 32 of them attending the 34th annual UMFK Nurse Pinning Ceremony at the Fox Auditorium on the UMFK campus.
The following BSN students received their nursing pins: Amanda S. Bagley (Presque Isle); Krista A. Beaupre (Caribou); Kayla E. Buck (Mapleton); Alicia M. Daigle (Fort Kent); Kristin N. Damboise (Woodland); Alica D. Dow (Linneus); Shawnee M. Ellis (New Vineyard, ME); Kelsey E. Gifford (Bradley, ME); Mariah A. Hebert (Madawaska); Margaret E. King (Indian Island, ME); Heather E. Krook (Sabbattus, ME); Kelsi T. Lanphear (Campbell, CA); Amber G. Ouellette (Madawaska); Danielle R. Ouellette (Houlton); Megan R. Patterson (Perry, ME); Demi J. Pelletier (Fort Kent); Katherine E. Pelotte (Waterville, ME); Kelly R. Post (Lindenhurst, NY); Destiny R. Prosser (Littleton); Adriarna Ross (Gray, ME); Cathy J. Roy (Fort Kent); Amy J. Shaw (St. David); Tricia N. Sherman (Greenville Junction, ME); Lauren E. St. Laurent (Farmington, ME); Christina A. Stadig (Oxbow, ME); Xiang Tan (San Ramon, CA); Sheri M. Tarr (Bangor, ME); Kristine R. Thibodeau (Fort Kent); Logan Z. Trembley (Hermon, ME); Tyler Vosteen (Walpole, NH); Isaac L. White (New Vineyard, ME); and Brook E. Wooldridge (Riverside, CA).
BSN students in absentia were: Hassan Abdus-Salaam (Hampton, GA); Elaina M. Ashmore (Bangor); BreAnna M. Austin (Harpswell, ME); Alicia R. Barron (Babylon, NY); Michelle L. Batchelder (Pittsfield, ME); Adam D. Blank (Yuba, CA); Jennifer T. Britting (Raymond, ME); Jessica L. Burbine (Bangor); Ryan Buttrick (Hudson, MA); Michele M. Cole (Dover Foxcroft, ME); Nancy E. Cray (Presque Isle); Tara Cunningham (Plainfield, NH); Vicky L. Cyr (Caribou); Michael J. Davis (Portland, ME); Stella L. Dion (St. Petersburg, FL); Evan T. Drinkwater (Rockport, ME); Nathaniel W. Duquette (Kennebunk, ME); Stephanie M. Duval (Biddeford, ME); Crystle L. Eldridge (Newport, ME); Katie L. Ferrill (Amherst, ME); Gia Fillmore (Cape Neddick, ME); Kathleen C. Fitch (Boothbay, ME);Hannah S. Goss (Gray, ME); Casey M. Hudson (Hampden, ME); Beth Johnson (Fort Fairfield); Chad W. Kelsey (Gray, ME); Konstantinos Koustas (Durham, NC); Dana M. Lang (Machias, ME); Victoria M. Leavitt (Brownfield, ME); Andrea K. Littmann (Romeo, MI); Joyce MacIntosh (Mount Desert, ME); Devon C. Malay (Sebec, ME); Kimberley A. Marr (Skowhegan, ME); Linda Marsh (Hampden, ME); Jenna R. Marshall (Bangor); Rebecca L. Martin (Fort Kent); Donna R. Masi (Biddeford, ME); Dyne M. McAdam (Jackson, ME); Susan R. McKinley (Medford, ME); Zukiah-Lee Meeks (Hampden); Caroline D. Michaud (Madawaska); Steven P. Moody (South Portland, ME); Cheryl A. Nice (Bath, ME); Danielle L. O’Connor (Sebago, ME); John B. O’Connor (South Easton, MA); Danielle L. Overmiller (Hapswell, ME); Melanie M. Pelletier (Elgin, SC); Sharon M. Plucker (Wells, ME); Rachel Robinson (Orlando, FL); Michelle A. Rudgers (Brunswick, ME); Catherine J. Schureman (Bangor); Brandi J. Smith (Seattle, WA); Tiffany M. Stebbins (Iron Station, NC); Lucille B. Therrien (Auburn, ME); Jenefer T. Timm (Waterford, ME); Marjorie Y. Turner (Glenburn, ME); Amber N. Ushakumari (Brewer, ME); Hampton A. Vaughan (Lexington, KY); and Kristy Wood-Farsworth (Clifton, 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. John N. Short welcomed attendees and extended congratulations to the students.
The theme for this year’s pinning ceremony was "Nurses: Inspire, Innovate, and Influence."
The keynote speaker for the pinning ceremony was Joyce Morrissette, BSN, RN. Joyce Morrissette is author of Receive, So You May Give: A Self-Care Path for Nurses. Prior to becoming a consultant and well-being educator for clinicians, Joyce coordinated clinical research and worked for many years as a psychiatric nurse. Her advanced training includes the Integrative Health and Lifestyle Program for healthcare professionals, founded by Dr. Andrew Weil; an intensive on the Reinvention of Work, taught by theologian Dr. Matthew Fox; and learning from self-compassion researchers Dr. Kristin Neff and Dr. Chris Germer.
Joyce is a Martha Beck-trained life coach and a mind-body medicine facilitator. Her passion and lifework is dedicated to the advocacy of caregiver well-being, meaningful clinician education, and creating cultures of health. She teaches, speaks, consults and facilitates workshops and retreats for nurses.
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: Acadia Hospital, Bangor; The Aroostook Medical Center, Presque Isle; Bridgton Hospital, Bridgton; Cary Medical Center, Caribou; Central Maine Medical Center, Lewiston; Down East Community Hospital, Machias; Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor; Franklin Memorial Hospital, Farmington; Houlton Regional Hospital, Houlton; Maine General Medical Center, Augusta-Waterville; Maine Medical Center, Portland; Mayo Regional Hospital, Dover-Foxcroft; Mid-Coast Regional Hospital, Brunswick; Northern Maine Medical Center (NMMC), Fort Kent; Pen Bay Medical Hospital, Rockport; Redington-Fairview General Hospital, Skowhegan; St. Joseph Hospital, Bangor; St. Mary’s Hospital, Lewiston; Spring Harbor Hospital, Westbrook; Southern Maine Medical Center, Biddeford; VA Maine, Togus and out of state preceptorships: Palmetto Health, Columbia, SC; Cheshire Medical Center Dartmouth Hitchcock, Keene NH; and John C Lincoln Medical Center, Phoenix AZ.
Since the UMFK Nursing Division relies so heavily on the hospitals in the region, NMMC; Cary Medical Center; and TAMC were presented 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 being 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, Cathy J. Roy was honored with the Student Nurse Citizenship Award. The award honors the diligence, manners, responsibility, conscientiousness, and thoughtful involvement characteristic of an exemplary citizen. UMFK nursing resource manager Larry Nadeau Jr said, “Tonight’s recipient will continue to influence positive patient outcomes, inspire others to do their best work, and come up with innovative solutions to the challenges in healthcare. She will truly affect healthcare in many ways. We cannot wait to see what she will accomplish next!”
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 his/her community through volunteer service and humanitarian efforts. This year, the award was presented to UMFK Alumna Rebecca Michaud. Mrs. Michaud graduated from the nursing program at UMFK in 2009 and began her career at Northern Maine Medical Center on the medical-surgical and pediatric unit. She soon found her niche with patient and staff education. She further developed a deep appreciation for education and began instruction for UMFK as an instructor in 2013. Dr. Erin Soucy, states, “It is an honor to recognize Rebecca Michaud for her outstanding contributions to the profession of nursing and to the UMFK nursing program”.
Additionally, the Division of Nursing annually recognizes individuals of the community doing extraordinary work to address the St. John Valley or Aroostook County’s most pressing healthcare challenges. Peter Sirois was honored with the Community Leader Award.
Sirois, CEO of NMMC, serves as a role model, community leader, and active volunteer in professional service to the broader community. His experience, contributions, and professional skills in business and hospital administration has positively and significantly influenced NMMC and many organizations including the Aroostook Mental Health Center, America’s First Mile, Acadia Federal Credit Union, Health Leadership Development, Aroostook Home Health Services, Valley Home Health Services, Hanley Health Leadership Board, Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation, and the Maine Hospital Association.
He is currently Chair of the Maine Hospital Association Board of Directors. Under his leadership, NMMC has been recognized in a variety of ways for outstanding patient care most recently to include designation as a Top 20 Rural Community Hospital in the U.S. in 2017 and 2018; less than one percent of hospitals nationwide earn this distinction and even less than that earn it two consecutive years in a row. Additionally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stated that NMMC has earned a DOUBLE 5-star recognition for both high quality services and patient satisfaction.
He has demonstrated excellence through a deep local understanding and initiative in healthcare. He is a known advocate for nurses and safe nursing practice, nursing education, and the program at UMFK. He works on investing in people who can make a difference in the lives of many.
The address to the senior class was delivered by Shawnee M. Ellis, UMFK senior class president. Ms. Ellis said in her speech, “We should also thank each other. Not only were we classmates but we became friends and teammates. Everyone was always willing to help each other and support each other. I have come to know most of you very well and I know that you all will succeed. You all will be great nurses because of how compassionate, caring, and motivated you are. Nothing can beat this feeling of accomplishment, so make sure that you enjoy it. I wish you all luck in your journey as nurses.”
Sandy Pelletier, instructor of nursing, brought the ceremony to a close.
The UMFK Nursing Division faculty and staff are Dr. Erin Soucy, Dr. Rachel E. Albert, Diane Griffin, Eleanor Hess, Larry Nadeau, Fran Picard, Sandy Pelletier, Denise Potvin, Dr. Jenny Radsma, Cheryl Roberts, and Dr. Tanya Sleeper.
Thirty-three UMFK nursing students who were enrolled in the Partners in Nursing Education Program received their nursing pins at a ceremony that was held on May 10th at the Jewett Hall Auditorium on the University of Maine at Augusta campus.
The following nursing students received their nursing pins: Nashwa A. Abdalla (Lewiston, ME); Hannah J. Ainslie (Augusta, ME); Angelica P. Ashby (Veazie, ME); Lyndsay M. Beane (Phillips, ME); Brianna R. Bernier (Winslow, ME); Abigail L. Craffey (Naples, ME); Courtney J. Cyr (Hampden); Nicole M. Cyr (Rome, ME); Amanda S. Czarnecki (Jay, ME); Jessica A. Despres (Farmingdale, ME); Ryan S. Donovan (Waterville); Baileigh M. Gosselin (China, ME); Kathryn E. Hayes (Berwick, ME); Douglas P. Hayward (Hope, ME); Jenna L. Ibbitson (Whitefield, ME); Amanda N. Johnson (Skowhegan, ME); Kalee C. Kerschner (Newport, ME); Jennifer A. Liscomb (Pittston, ME); Anna C. Lozier (Calais, ME); Monica L. Martinez (Windham, ME); Michelle R. Miller (Auburn, ME); Abigail J. Naborowsky (Augusta); Jessica L. Norton (Waterville, ME); Courtney N. Porter (Augusta); Kimberly N. Reed (Warren, ME); Samantha C. Rhoton (Augusta); Kallie E. Robinson (South Paris, ME); Luigi E. Santilli (Oakland, ME); Kai A. Smith (Sidney, ME); Nicole M. Stinson (Eddington, ME); and Amanda M. Turcotte (Durham, ME).
UMA Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost Joseph Szakas and UMFK Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Steven Gammon, welcomed attendees and extended congratulations. UMFK Director of Nursing and Allied Health, Dr. Erin Soucy, addressed the students, faculty, and guests through a prepared video message.
The keynote speaker was Jennifer L. Riggs, MSN, RN, BSHCA, currently chief nursing officer MaineGeneral Medical Center and CEO MaineGeneral Community Care. Ms. Riggs is an accomplished healthcare administrator with more than 20 years of progressive leadership experience. She serves as a board member of the Maine Dartmouth Family Practice Residency and served as a board member of the Kennebec Valley Community Acton Program. Ms. Riggs is a member of the Organization of Maine Nurse Executives; Association of Nurse Executives; Association for Medical Imaging Management; and Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrical and Neonatal Nurses.
During the ceremony, UMFK & UMA Division of Nursing presented three awards to recognize the Student Citizen Award to Douglas Hayward for his outstanding citizenship and service. According to UMA Academic Coordinator Terry Colby, MSN, RN, said, “Doug is an advocate for the nursing program and is often found helping his peers and underclassman to learn and perfect their nursing skills. Faculty have commented on his patience, respect and knowledge as he helps in the nursing lab.”
The Nurse Alumni Award was presented to UMFK alumna Kelly Bell Bragg for her noteworthy leadership and service to the profession of nursing. Three years ago, in 2015, she graduated magna cum laude from UMFK’s BSN program. Now, three years later, she is graduating as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. In addition to excelling as a PMHNP student at University of Southern Maine, she has served as a clinical and classroom instructor for the nursing students at UMA; in these roles she has demonstrated her passion for teaching while inculcating her students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to care for people made vulnerable by mental health problems.
Jennifer Riggs was honored with the Community Leader Award for her dedicated leadership and support to the profession of nursing in the state of Maine. Colby said, “Jennifer demonstrates true leadership by staying involved in many activities to ensure that new nurses are adequately prepared in their clinical learning rotations – work that she has also initiated with us at UMA in response to our growing needs for clinical learning opportunities.”
In addition to the UMA nurse pinning ceremony, two awards were presented to deserving graduating students who were enrolled in the Partners in Nursing Education Program this year. The Outstanding Traditional Nursing Award was presented to Ryan Donovan and Kathryn Hayes. The Presidential Award for Academic Excellence, which is awarded to students who have achieved the Dean's List for seven consecutive semesters, was presented to Ryan Donovan.
The address to the senior class was delivered by Donovan. Colby provided closing remarks.