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Celebrating our graduates

248 degrees awarded at May convocation

Despite tornado warnings throughout the week, Friday, May 23, was gorgeous for convocation. This year the College of Nursing was proud to award degrees to 248 students. Within that number were 148 BS graduates, 69 MS graduates, 21 DNP graduates, and 10 PhD graduates.

Among the graduates, the College of Nursing honored three students with awards in leadership and scholarship. Heather Ponicsan received the Student Leadership Award, Gloria Dixon, received the DNP Capstone Award, and Michelle Kahn-John, was the recipient of the Distinguished Dissertation Award. Faculty were also recognized for excellence in teaching. Tammy Spencer, RN, MS, CNE, ACNS-BC, CCNS, received the President's Excellence in Teaching award. Gail Armstrong, DNP, ACNS-BC, RN, CNE, received the Chancellor's Teaching Recognition award, and both Krista Estes, FNP, DNP-C, and Mindy Reynolds, RN, PhD, received the Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching.

During their studies, students have made life-long relationships with faculty and each other. Danielle and Patrick Burchett, were two of those students and graduated together with their DNPs. They first met in the first days of their undergraduate programs and since then have married and have two children together.

Some of the students graduated in December, but chose to walk in May to celebrate their accomplishments with friends and faculty. Heather Ann Hageman finished her degree in the Nursing Leadership and Health Systems Administration (iLead) program. Hageman was a research assistant for Leli Pedro, DNSc, RN-C, OCN, and is now teaching in the RN-BSN program at Colorado Christian University.

Thank you to everyone involved in making commencement/convocation a memorable day, and to the graduates, we hope to “CU later.”​