Niagara University College of Nursing graduates received their pins at a ceremony on Dec. 17, 2021.

Twenty-two Niagara University nursing students were presented with pins signifying academic achievement, scholarly learning, professional dedication, and Christian commitment during a ceremony on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021, in Alumni Chapel on the university campus. The pins, received by graduates to acknowledge entry into the nursing profession, are unique to Niagara University’s nursing tradition.

Dr. Michelle Bork, director of the college’s undergraduate program, served as host for the event. Remarks and reflections were offered by the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M, Niagara University president; the Rev. Aidan R. Rooney, C.M., vice president for Mission Integration; and Dr. Christine Verni, dean of the College of Nursing. Music was provided by theatre students Ryan Henneberger and Julia Miskines.

applying the balm2

Father Rooney annoints the hands of a nursing graduate.

During the ceremony, the students’ hands were anointed by Father Rooney; Kristina M. Daloia, director of Campus Ministry; and Laura Holthouse, assistant to the dean of nursing. Margarita Coyne, associate dean of the college, led the students in the recitation of the Nurse’s Creed, and Father Rooney blessed the pins.

“As each nurse gets these pins, may they remember the commitment they have made, and as others encounter them, might they know of a commitment to an entire person, as well as to a profession. A commitment made in Your name, a solemn commitment. Touch these pins, oh God, and through Your power, those who will wear them, and those who will gaze upon them.”

College of Nursing faculty Dr. Scott Erdley, director for SIM & skills labs; faculty fellows Tabitha McNamara and Jennifer Olmstead; and Coyne presented pins to the following students:

Accelerated Program
Galina Bolgova Shkilnyj
Sara Colon
Elizabeth Delbarba
Jocelyn Folaron
Nicholas Galasso
Brian Leach
Bridget McCabe
Hannah Miller
Ditue Paul
Ariana Paulino
Amanda Saunders
Christal Thompson
Kaileigh Voelker
Kylie Westcott
Sonja Williams
Kristin Young
Jinchao Zhang

RN to BSN Program
Dianna Aird
Jean DiFonzo
Shannon Pearl Smith
Melissa Szymanski
Bryan Vanone

Niagara University has a long history of nursing education with a proud legacy of successful and engaged alumni. Accredited by the New York State Department of Education and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Niagara University's College of Nursing offers offer two different degree programs: a bachelor of science degree in nursing and a one-year accelerated B.S. in nursing. For more information, visit