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47 UMFK students honored at pinning ceremony

May 23, 2008




Forty-seven University of Maine at Fort Kent nursing students received their nursing pins, signifying their official entrance into the profession, on Thursday, May 8 in Nowland Hall on the UMFK campus.

Students from the St. John Valley who received their nursing pins were: Paula J. Charette, RN; Nicholas K. Chasse; Meghan L. O’Malley; Andrea M. Pelletier; Brenda L. Baker, RN; Karee L. Bonenfant; Glenn J. Bourgoin; Eric D. Cyr; Peggy T. Cyr; Rebekah R. Daigle; Rhonda D. Pelletier; Laurie A. Collins, RN; Martin E. Begin; Karen F. Horner; Keisha M. Hartt; Elise R. Bouchard; Erica L. Laplante; and Nicole J. Ouellette.

Students from Aroostook County who received their nursing pins were: Paula J. Bacon; Kimberly A. Beil; Lara R. Boudreau, RN Linda D. Kelly, RN; and Susan M. Plissey, RN. Students from downstate who received their nursing pins were: April M. Allen; Katrina B. Barter, RN;; Martin R. Blaney, RN; Andrew T. Donovan; Gail Dudley, RN; Becky A. Hall, RN; April M. Hertlein, RN; Ashley J. Hutchinson; Bonnie C. Mansir, RN; Deborah J. Meisner; April L. Nichols, RN; Mary C. Raymond; Fiona P. Reardon; Jessica L. Schrader; Angela M Voisine; and Keith F. Wieland, RN.

Students from Canada who received their nursing pins were: Kim M. Brain; Sandralee Dionne; Carolyn A. Lamey; Joseph A. MacDonald; Heidi B. McLellan; Matthew Mendelow, RN; Sky E. Snook; and Krista A. Sullivan.

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. Richard W. Cost welcomed attendees and extended congratulations to the students.

Bunny Pounds, clinical instructor of nursing, addressed the nursing graduates and welcomed them into the nursing profession. The address to the senior class was done by Karen Horner. The theme for the pinning ceremony was "Nurses: Making a Difference Every Day."

The keynote speaker for the pinning ceremony was Dr. Joe Filakovsky. He is the emergency credentialing program coordinator at Yale New Haven Center for Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response in the state of Connecticut. Filakovsky has more than thirty-five years experience as a professional nurse, the majority of which has been in the care of critically ill patients with cardiovascular illness. He also has held the position of assistant professor of nursing at the University of Maine at Fort Kent and currently has faculty appointments at The Yale and Fairfield University schools of nursing.

Recognition of hospitals and preceptors was presented by Diana White, assistant professor of mental health nursing.

During the ceremony, Angela Voisine was honored with the Student Nurse Citizenship Award. The award honors the diligence, manners, responsibility, conscientiousness, and thoughtful involvement characteristic of an exemplary citizen. This is the first time the nursing faculty instituted the award.

Voisine resides in Fairfield, Maine and is a transfer student to UMFK. Her trustworthiness and leadership skills already were her trademark signature. As soon as she arrived at UMFK, she became involved with student nursing organizations--on campus, in the state, as well as nationally.

Dr. Jenny Radsma, associate professor of nursing noted, “Angela is focused and extremely well-organized; she’s reflective, thoughtful, polite, and purpose-driven—impressively so.”

The Division of Nursing honors an alumna or alumnus during the pinning ceremony. This year, the Nurse Alumnus Award was presented to Tanya Sleeper by Dr. Radsma.

Sleeper graduated in 1998 from UMFK. In the last 10 years, Tanya has earned two master’s degrees. In 2000, she was awarded an MBA from Husson College; and in 2004, she completed a geriatric nurse practitioner program from St. Louis University. She graduated from both programs with high honors.

Currently, she is the executive director of Aroostook Home Health Services where she is responsible for the overall management of all aspects of the home care, and long-term care services provided by that agency. She has and continues to be active in local and state affairs. For example, she serves on the Diabetes Advisory Board at the Northern Maine Medical Center, and on a state-wide Quality Assurance Review Committee.

Sleeper has dedicated her career to ensure the best of care and services are available to senior citizens.

Additionally, the Division of Nursing recognized a member of the community who has been a staunch supporter of professional nursing, and of BSN education, particularly within the St. John Valley. Barbara Turner was honored with the Community Leader Award.

Turner is the healthcare recruiter at The Aroostook Medical Center (TAMC). She has been the person at TAMC who consistently ensures that students have a smooth transition into their clinical placements. Turner meets the needs of UMFK to organize externships, internships, or preceptorships. She does the necessary coordination, serving as a liaison between faculty and nursing managers.

Turner also organizes recruitment events, at TAMC and beyond, arranging for students who attend them to sample as much as possible the types of settings and roles in which they might want to work.