Genesee Community College Honors 54 Nursing Graduates

Fifty-four graduating nursing students will be honored at Genesee Community College's twenty-eighth annual Capping and Pinning ceremony tonight, Friday, May 20th, 2005. The event occurs at the Batavia Campus Gymnasium at 7:30 p.m. before 700 guests. Graduates will receive Genesee Nursing program pins and stripes for their nurses' caps. In addition, 48 students who recently completed their first year of the College's Nursing program will receive their nurses' caps in recognition of their achievements.

The Capping and Pinning ceremony is a tradition of nursing programs throughout the United States and abroad. During the ceremony, students speak about the ideals of the nursing profession and recall the compassionate and heroic service of nursing pioneers, such as Florence Nightingale. Newly-graduated nurses and nurses in the audience also recite the Nurse's pledge.

The majority of Genesee's graduates from the Class of 2005 will be working in Western New York health care facilities, according to Betty P. Lapp, Professor and Director of the College's Nursing program. Many have already accepted positions and will begin their employment immediately after graduation. "Nurses educated at Genesee Community College serve on the staffs in health care organizations across our community. Anyone who is ill or enters a local hospital or doctor's office will undoubtedly receive care from one of our graduates," Professor Lapp said. She noted that health care is a constantly changing industry and nursing professionals provide essential services as well as offer a stabilizing force.

She also added: "This is a bittersweet evening for me since I will be retiring from Genesee's Nursing program this summer." Mrs. Lapp began her long distinguished career with Genesee Community College in 1974, and she assumed the role of director in 1994. She is very active in the community and plans to continue her service and role with the following organizations: United Memorial Medical Center Board of Trustees, President of the Genesee Valley BOCES Board, Western New York Rural Area Health Education Center Board, and Lake Plains Community Care Network Board.

Including the Class of 2005, exactly 1,489 students have graduated from Genesee's Nursing program since the first class of 15 nurses graduated in 1971. Genesee Community College is graduating its 34th nursing class this year with the following graduates, with their home towns indicated:Marie A. ArcarisiRochesterJudith ArntzCastileCatherine Anne BarnesChurchvilleEric BartzBataviaJeanine M. BreckerNorth JavaSusan E. BreckerNorth JavaAngela M. BrettHolleyKrista L. BrownBlissStephen E ClarkWarsawCherie J. CousinsCorfuJill J. DansonCrittendenPamela L. DeckerAtticaLori A. DeLucaHolleyErica M. DispenzaBataviaLindsey N. DouglassAkronTina L. GerhardtNewfaneCheryl GlausNorth JavaAnna M. GommelRochesterJessica A. GuthHolleyAnne Marie HahnLeRoyLaura C. HakeAkronJaime L. HammondHuntLisa B. HarveyLeRoyLinda L. Hopson-BlakeNorth ChiliCiara K. JohnsonMedinaSandra L. KelleyGeneseoNancy KennerNorth TonawandaLisa M. Klein CaledoniaSusan L. KobylanskiVarysburgNadine T. KramellPerryDawn E. LeeLeRoyPatricia C. LeoAtticaSarah B. LudlowGeneseoRosemary A. LynchChurchvilleJulie Marie MerzPerryKelly A. MirraBergenLori A. OlearLeRoyChristine L. PetersBergenCarrie A. PorayLeRoyCheryl M. PrestonBataviaTakisha RobinsonRochesterNatalie A. RussoStaffordJudy L. SchmidtNundaLisa L. SchneckenburgerLeicesterJune V. SchuckAlbionJacqueline A. SmithMount MorrisKathleen A. SnyderAtticaMarta O. TkachAlexanderJudi TuttleBrockportWendy L. WalkerElbaSherry L. WebsterAkronAndrea C. WesolowskiCowlesvilleKelly C. WhiteStaffordRonette WolcottAttica

Several students will receive special awards and recognition for their accomplishments in the program over the last year:

•The Award of General Excellence, bestowed on a graduate who demonstrates exemplary performance in academic work and clinical practice, will be presented to Lisa Harvey of LeRoy.

•The Award for Clinical Nursing Proficiency, presented to a graduating nurse who excels in patient care, will be award to Sherry Webster of Akron.

•The Nursing Leadership Award is presented to a graduate in recognition of outstanding leadership and professionalism. Cathy Barnes of Churchville will be this year's recipient.

A number of students in the two Nursing classes were recognized for their membership in Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for junior and community college students. Graduates who belong to PTK include: Judith Arntz of Castile; Catherine Barnes, Churchville; Krista Brown, Bliss; Tina Gerhardt, Medina; Jaime Hammond, Hunt; Lisa Harvey, LeRoy; Dawn Lee, LeRoy; Sarah Ludlow, Geneseo; Rosemary Lynch, Churchville; and Christine Peters, Medina.

First year students who belong to PTK include: Mary D'Angelo of Warsaw; Paul Fenner, Delevan; Christine Hopkins, York; Stephanie Howard, Byron; Donna Klein, Mumford; Barbara Koziarski, East Bethany; Dayna Merchant, Brockport; Jessica Otis, Perry; Michelle Rector, Pavilion; Lisa Salvador, Batavia; Donna Steverson, Medina; Cheryl VanOrnum, Batavia; Lisa Wehner, LeRoy; and Carrie Wolcott, Warsaw.

At the beginning of the Capping and Pinning ceremony, each member of the graduating class passes a lighted candle to a member of the first year class, symbolizing the passing of knowledge. First year students, in turn, present congratulatory roses to graduates.

During the ceremony, Laura Hake will speak about the symbolic passing of knowledge, represented by the passing of the lighted candles. Marie Arcarisi will speak about the history of the stripe and pin. Lisa Salvador who completed her first year, will talk about the history of the nurse's cap.

President Stuart Steiner will extend greetings and best wishes from the College community. Laurie Miller congratulates the two classes on behalf of the Board of Trustees, and Stephen Clark, a second-year student, and member of the LaGrange Baptist Church in Pavilion will deliver the invocation and benediction.

An interesting mother - daughter team will walk across the stage at this year's Capping and Pinning Ceremony. Mrs. Susan Brecker entered the Nursing Program through the LPN to RN Advanced Placement Articulation model, a new transitional course enabling existing LPNs to further their careers by becoming RNs. Genesee Community College was one of only a few colleges to pilot this model in New York State. Mrs. Brecker's daughter, Jeanine Brecker also graduated, but she began the Nursing Program two years ago and completed her degree through the more traditional channel. Mrs. Brecker will be returning to Wyoming County Community Hospital to continue her career in nursing.

For further information about the Capping and Pinning Ceremony or Genesee's renowned Nursing program, contact the Nursing Department at 585-343-0055 or go to