Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

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School of Nursing celebrates undergraduate class of 2020 with virtual Honors & Pinning Ceremonies

August 14, 2020  

The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing honored Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Accelerated BSN graduates last week at two Honors & Pinning ceremonies. Typically, this tradition is held at the Madonna della Strada chapel on Loyola University Chicago’s Lake Shore Campus in May prior to graduation. But the pandemic delayed both ceremonies and commencement. Instead, the school invited students and their families to gather virtually to celebrate this momentous milestone.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the importance of agility and maintaining connections, a reminder of the constancy of change, and the fragility of life,” said School of Nursing Dean Lorna Finnegan, PhD, RN, FAAN, during her remarks. “We never imagined that the last few months of your senior year would be virtual, and like me, I know that all of us would prefer to celebrate in person.” 

While some students have taken their NCLEX exam, or are preparing for it, the Honors and Pinning ceremony recognizes their transition to the first phase of their nursing career: from student to professional.

“In many ways, the pandemic has accelerated and escalated your transition as leaders in the nursing profession,” said Dean Finnegan. Throughout her remarks, the Dean reflected on the lessons she learned early in her nursing career and emphasized the important role of nurses in addressing health disparities in communities.

“As nurses, we can – and we must – leverage our role as advocates to improve health at the population-level by addressing social determinants of health, eliminating systemic racism, and providing equitable access to health care for everyone,” said Dean Finnegan.

Congratulations to all our Loyola Nursing graduates recognized at this year’s Honors & Pinning ceremonies!  

ABSN and ABSN Hybrid awards:  

  • Laura DiFiglio Klink Scholarship: Marissa Clifford 
  • Nursing Leadership & Advocacy Award: Paula Reves 
  • Spirit of St. Ignatius Award: Alejandra Guevara 
  • Gladys Kiniery Clinical Excellence Award: Dhara Meta 
  • Julia Lane Medallion for Academic Excellence: Bell Charkarutpahu, Jessica Hartley, Ryan Zeh, Kylie Blaisdell, Anne Dennett, Jennifer Kuntsman, Kristen Shikany, and Jessie Todd 
  • Dean’s Gold Medallion: Danyel Graham and Jessie Todd 

BSN awards:  

  • Scholastic Honor Certificates: Reygan Brandt, Piper Burnside, Sara Caliskan, Jazmin Chavez, Jenna Chesswas, Stephanie Contreras, Isabella Cordova., Katti Czopkiewicz, Lauren Finnegan, Ann Grogan, Sophia Johnson, Vivian Lam, Abigail Miner, Dajana Mrkajic, Michaela Murphy, Audrey Paitz, Mya Parks, Anna Reidy, Amanda Smigla, Sylvia Stasieluk, Mikayla Tolen, Sabrina Virani, and Kortney Weszelits 
  • Scholastic Silver Medallion: Baye Lee Braschler, Cailin Coleman, Stephanie Domagala, Zachary Grocke, Meghan Harrison, Lauren Kuszynski, Nikhita Lukose, Rita Maurais, Emily Minneci, Jasmine Mirabelli, Madison Moser, Grace Murphy, Rachel Overvig, Emma Rust, Rachel Smetana, Natalie Somphonhphakdy, Abbey Uthe, and Mayra Zuniga 
  • Spirt of St. Ignatius Award: Natalie Finn and Jasmine Mirabelli 
  • Advocacy & Leadership in Health Care Award: Youna Byun and Austin Reigle 
  • Gladys Kiniery Clinical Excellence Award: Meghan Carden 
  • Dean’s Gold Medallion: Meghan Harrison