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Penn Nursing Students Attend Annual SNAP Convention

On November 17-18, the Student Nurses at Penn (SNAP) sent a total of twenty-nine students, one faculty member, and one admissions representative to this year’s 64th Annual Student Nurses’ Association of Pennsylvania Convention held at the Lancaster, PA Marriot Conference Center.

In attendance were freshmen Meredith Pinheiro, Allison Sterner, Cecilia Wang, Stephanie Tran Rojas, Dariely Duran, Caroline Bourneuf, Gabrielle Ramos, Sean Legg, Alicia Go, Clara Zheng, Michelle Nigro, Lauren Valdes, Alison Esplund, Sarah Goodheart, Rachel Pak, Meghan Doody, and Skyler Stowell; sophomores Kelsey Gross, Natalie Sheffo, Madison Valerio, Breanne Mastromarino; juniors Nali Asamoah and Alex Hartke; seniors Kara Keyes, Phoebe Hollyer, Clare Whitney, Crystal Lu, and Marcus Henderson. Dr. Diane Spatz, faculty advisor to SNAP, and Carol Ladden, Director of Graduate Enrollment Management and New Initiatives, accompanied the students.

Dr. Diane Spatz facilitated communication between students and faculty, raising discussion on personal challenges, career goals, and mentorship at the first annual Pennsylvania Action Coalition Networking Event. Carol Ladden manned the University of Pennsylvania booth in the exhibition room, where she recruited future graduate students. Penn Nursing was well represented by this group of active and involved students. Sean Legg, Meghan Doody, Michelle Nigro, Sarah Goodheart, Allison Sterner, and Meredith Pinheiro served as the University of Pennsylvania’s delegates, dedicating many hours to reviewing candidates, analyzing resolutions, and voting on important issues. Natalie Sheffo, Stephanie Tran Rojas, Breanne Mastromarino, Nali Asamoah, Cecilia Wang, and Skylar Stowell also served as delegate alternates.

Seniors Phoebe Hollyer,Crystal Lu,Clare Whitney, Kara Keyes, Marcus Henderson, and their faculty advisor, Dr.Diane Spatz.Seniors Phoebe Hollyer,Crystal Lu,Clare Whitney, Kara Keyes, Marcus Henderson, and their faculty advisor, Dr.Diane Spatz.Four students led campaigns for state office, including three first-time convention attendees. Nali Asamoah ran for Legislative Coordinator, Stephanie Tran Rojas ran for Central Philadelphia Regional Coordinator, and Anita Itaman ran for Secretary/Treasurer. All three candidates were supported by their dedicated campaign managers: Breanne Mastromarino, Natalie Sheffo, and Kara Keyes. Marcus Henderson led the convention as the President of the Student Nurses’ Association of Pennsylvania and was successfully re-elected for a second term.

Two resolutions were written and passed during this year’s resolution hearing in the House of Delegates. The first, “In Support of the Education and Awareness of the Health Benefits of Maternity Leave for Mothers and Children,” was authored by Cecilia Wang, Skylar Stowell, Caroline Bourneuf, Rachel Pak, and Lauren Valdes. The second, “In Support of Establishing a State-Wide Recommendation Limiting Processed Meat Consumption,” was authored by Nali Asamoah, Kelsey Gross, and Michelle Nigro. Kelsey responded to questions, successfully defending their resolution’s evidence-based recommendations. Both resolutions were supported by our university chapter’s Legislative Coordinator, Kara Keyes.

Nali, Stephanie, and Anita, after presenting their speeches and campaigning to delegates.Nali, Stephanie, and Anita, after presenting their speeches and campaigning to delegates.At the Annual Awards Banquet, we were thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of our chapter and individual members who received scholarships and awards. The University of Pennsylvania’s local SNAP chapter received the Community Health Award, the Outstanding Website Award, and a Gold Achievement Award for Membership Recruitment and Retention. The First Year Scholarships were awarded to Stephanie Tran Rojas and Dariely Duran, and the Upperclassman Scholarships were awarded to Kelsey Gross and Crystal Lu. The Jamie Thiel Miller Memorial Legislative Award was presented to Cecilia Wang.

Our chapter’s President, Crystal Lu, was also awarded the Rena M. Lawrence Award for her exceptional leadership and dedication. Clare Whitney, our chapter’s Vice President, was awarded the Passion for Nursing Education award. Finally, special recognition was given to Marcus Henderson, for his years of service to the Student Nurses’ Association of Pennsylvania. Of the fifteen scholarships and awards available to the entire state, ten were awarded to the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing’s students and chapter.