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Welcome to Our Newest Members

It’s a wrap! The mortar boards have been thrown and with that, we have welcomed another class among the ranks of the Penn Nursing Alumni. On May 20, 2019, the graduating class, faculty, staff, and administrators gathered at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts to celebrate our School’s annual commencement.

By the Numbers

The years of dedicated studying, clinical rotations, research, papers, and exams culminated in a two-hour ceremony celebrating the 550 graduating Penn Nursing students. That number includes all the students who will have received degrees this academic year, including December 2018, May and August 2019 graduates. The breakdown of the 2019 graduating class is as follows:

  • 9 PhDs
  • 8 DNPs
  • 358 Graduate Students
  • 175 Undergraduate Students

Strumpf Addresses Graduates

Dean Antonia Villarruel introduced Neville Strumpf, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor and Dean Emerita, who served as the 2019 graduation speaker. Strumpf is a renowned educator and expert in the nursing care of older adults. During her tenure at Penn’s School of Nursing from 1982 until her retirement in 2008, she founded and was director of the School’s Center of Gerontologic Nursing Research and its Hartford Foundation Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence. She also served as interim dean of the School, and for 15 years she directed its nationally top-ranked Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Program. Under her leadership and innovative scholarship, Penn Nursing was among the first to integrate gerontology into the undergraduate curriculum. 

Student Awards

Several students in the Class of 2019 received awards for their leadership ability, creativity, academic, and research excellence. A full list is below:

Guy Mattingly Weissinger II, GED’10, GED’11, Nu’15

The Ann Wolbert Burgess Endowed Student Award is awarded to a graduat­ing PhD student for demonstrating excellence and leadership in nursing, as evidenced by a completed doctoral dissertation that holds significant promise as a contribution to nursing knowledge.

Cecilia X. Wang

The Dean’s Award is awarded to a graduating PhD, master’s, or undergraduate student who epitomizes the philosophy of the School of Nursing

Amanda Page Bettencourt

The Claire M. Fagin Award is awarded to a graduating PhD, master’s, or un­dergraduate student who has demonstrated a high level of leadership and creativity at the School of Nursing or within the larger Penn community.

Marta Simonetti

The Marion R. Gregory Award is awarded to the PhD student whose complet­ed dissertation promises significant contribution to nursing knowledge.

Isabel P. Braun & Morgan Marie Shick

The Norma M. Lang Award is awarded to an undergraduate or master’s stu­dent who has demonstrated excellence in academic and scholarly practice.

Julianne M. Smolyn

The Theresa I. Lynch Award is awarded to a graduating PhD, master’s, or un­dergraduate student for consistent contributions to the advancement of the School of Nursing.

Liat Tamar Greenwood

The Jeanne Frances Hopkins Award is awarded to a nursing undergraduate or graduate student who has achieved academic excellence while embarking on a uniquely Penn curricular opportunity.

Ellen Marie McCabe, Nu’88, GNu’91

The Wealtha McGurn Research Award is awarded to a graduating master’s or doctoral student who demonstrates excellence in research with a particular focus on pediatric primary care or adult health. The Alumni Spirit Award for Graduating Students recognizes outstanding contributions to the achievement of Penn Nursing Alumni goals, including fostering loyalty to the School and the University and advancing social and professional bonds among classmates and alumni during their student experiences.

Kara Jean Pavone, Nu’16

The Dorothy Mereness Award is awarded to a graduating PhD, master’s, or undergraduate student for excellence in scholarly writing.

Ana Quiroga

The JoAnn Nallinger Grant Award is awarded to a nursing undergraduate who is graduating with a minor in Nutrition or a second major in Nutrition Science, and who has demonstrated academic excellence and exemplary achievement in education, service, and/or research.

Erin Elizabeth Kennedy

The Mary D. Naylor Undergraduate Research Award is awarded to a nursing undergraduate student who demonstrates contributions to advancing nursing knowledge through research.

Lauren Turner Starr

The Henry O. Thompson Prize in Ethics is awarded to a graduating masters or doctoral student for distinction on ethical thinking and action.

Hannah Elizabeth Bergbower, GNu’18

The Joyce E. Thompson Award in Women’s Health is awarded to the masters student who demonstrates leadership and excellence in maternal and child health.

Monica Phan, Nu’18

The Rosalyn J. Watts Diversity Scholar Leadership Award is awarded to the undergraduate student whose outstanding qualities of scholarship and leadership exemplify a commitment to the Penn SON Office of Diversity and Cultural Affairs by serving as a role model to promote meaningful interaction among diverse groups.

Breanne Mastromarino

The Sigma Theta Tau BSN Student Leadership Award recognizes a BSN student who demonstrates a capacity for innovation, professionalism, and leadership among his or her peers and in the community.

Joshua Bosack

The Sigma Theta Tau MSN Student Leadership Award recognizes an MSN student who demonstrates a capacity for innovation, professionalism, and leadership among his or her peers and in the community.

Alicia Kachmar, Nu’15

The Sigma Theta Tau PhD Student Leadership Award recognizes a PhD student who demonstrates a high level of academic achievement, leadership, and service within the School of Nursing, University and/or the community.