Convocation Ushers in New Academic Year

Convocation

The UR School of Nursing welcomed more than 500 new and returning students and recognized several scholars’ accomplishments at its convocation Sept. 6.

University President and CEO Joel Seligman, Medical Center CEO and Dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry Mark B. Taubman, MD, and School of Nursing Dean and URMC Vice President Kathy Rideout EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, kicked off the school year with opening remarks.

“Two of my favorite days are graduation and convocation,” said Rideout. “At graduation, obviously, we celebrate the success of all the hard work our students have done and wish them the best in their new careers as clinicians, educators, researchers, and new leaders. Convocation is just as exciting. It’s a time when we as faculty, administration and staff pledge to work with you and assure you success in whatever your program of study.”

The school’s incoming cohort includes 66 diverse students in the 12-month Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses (ABPNN), who hail from a dozen states and countries, including France, South Korea, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Canada, India, Bosnia and the UK. Among the three cohorts in the APNN program (starting in August, May, and January), 21 percent of students are males—more than two times the national average of male nurses in the workforce—and 30 percent are from traditionally underrepresented groups.

Lydia Rotondo, DNP, RN, associate dean for education & student affairs, and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program director, also announced several undergraduate and graduate student awards at the ceremony. They included:

  • Julie Apperson received the Eleanor Hall Award. Julie has nearly three decades of nursing experience and she is a student in the Master’s Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program.
  • Jennifer Carey, a student in the Clinical Nurse Leadership program, received the Michele Unger Leadership Award. Jennifer has worked in the birth center at Strong Memorial Hospital for nearly 20 years.
  • Alida Rivera de Davis received the Loretta C. Ford Fellowship. Alida is a new PhD student who hopes to combine her research interests in public health nursing with her desire to teach the next generation of nurses.
  • Laura Callens, a student in the Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses, received the Clare Dennison Prize. Laura recently embarked on a second career in nursing and has been recognized for her impressive bedside manner.
  • Alison Simpson received the Jill Thayer Award. As a student in the PhD program, Alison is focusing her research on physical activity during pregnancy.
  • Amy Vierhile, a pediatric nurse practitioner, received the George Spencer Terry, Jr. Fund in Nursing Entrepreneurship. Amy focuses her practice on ADHD, Tourette Syndrome, seizures, and Batten disease.
  • Nathalie Dougoud, an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner in the Wilmot Cancer Center, received the Katharine Donohoe Scholarly Practitioner Award. Nathalie is a PhD student whose research focuses on family member communication in palliative care consultations.