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SMC pins 18-member nursing class

Southwestern Michigan College recognized 18 new nursing graduates during its spring pinning ceremony in the theatre of the Dale A. Lyons Building on the Dowagiac campus. These students received associate degrees in nursing (ADN) and joined the ranks of 3,069 SMC nursing graduates since 1967.

This is the first class to experience the expanded Nursing and Health Services Building that opened in January and to train in its new simulation labs.

 “After you think you’re done studying for tests, let me challenge you to think of this as a beginning where you, in fact, have to be engaged, inspired and show your love with the way you interact for the next generation so another 50-60 years from now there will be another set of nursing graduates who can go on and do the same thing,” President Dr. David Mathews said.

Graduates include: Melissa Carper of White Pigeon, Aimee Elizabeth Diaz of Niles, Hannah Hadden of Niles, Jordan Harris of Niles, Meghan Owen of Vandalia, Alyssa Reneberg of Niles, Christina Ringle of Mishawaka, Michaela Settle of Union, Kathy Smiley-Strouse of Edwardsburg, Ben Smith of Gobles, Jennifer Stout of Osceola, Payton Szlanfucht of Niles, Betheni Taylor of South Bend, Angel Tunks of Elkhart, Kaitlyn Ward of Buchanan, Hannah Whitaker of Dowagiac, Jackie Witt of Bridgman and Jennifer Zellman of South Bend.

Dean Rebecca Jellison of the School of Nursing and Health Services presented Diaz and Stout, who tied in a vote by their classmates, with Florence Nightingale Awards, which embody selflessness, compassion, thoughtfulness, team play, dependability, generosity and humility.

“This person should have a huge heart and always be there to offer a hand in any situation,” Jellison said.

Faculty members Dr. Debra Green, Department Chair; Lynda Lauer-Pence, DNP, RN; Rona Goodrich, MSN, RN; Stacey Dwyer, MSN, RN; Melissa Kennedy, DNP, RN; Jodi Tidey, MSN, RN; Yolanda Roche, MSN, RN; and Amber Villwock, MSN, RN, presented graduates with their certificates and pins.