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Hooray for the 2024 Graduating Class!

It’s a wrap for the graduates of Penn Nursing’s class of 2024 and it all culminated in a beautiful commencement ceremony at the Kimmel Center on May 20. It is an honor to welcome them among the ranks of the Penn Nursing Alumni.

May 21, 2024
Penn Nursing Commencement 2024
Penn Nursing Commencement 2024

In her inspirational welcoming remarks, Penn Nursing Dean Antonia Villarruel told the graduating class about how much the world needs nurses right now and how they—because of their trusted position within the community—can bring people together. “Hope is real. It is strength. It is resilience. It’s grit and determination. I see it in every one of you. That hope that you can take on the challenges in today’s health care landscape and innovate new futures, “said Villarruel. “That you can support individuals and families on their health journey. That you can bring people together, ask the right questions and listen (even when you don’t agree) in order to solve the biggest problems we face.”

COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS

Dean Villarruel introduced this year’s commencement speaker, Dr. Stephanie Ferguson, the Director of the Harvard Global Nursing Leadership Program and Professor of the Practice of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Ferguson is a global health care leader who has worked in 100+ nations as a technical advisor, consultant, and facilitator for organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the International Council of Nurses, and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).

“Now you must go forth and do, not only with short-term solutions to today’s challenges, but also for the long-term outlook. What will the world in nursing look like in 2050 and how will you, the class of 2024, influence it,” said Ferguson. “As nurses we are critics of unjust power, and we are advocates for the oppressed. And so now, class of 2024, it is time for you to embrace the walk and enjoy the journey and be ready to embark on great ventures and great adventures. This is just the beginning for you. The world needs Penn Nurses and we know that you will be amazing at all that you will do in your careers.”

 

BY THE NUMBERS

The event honored our 479 graduates. That number includes all the students who will have received degrees this academic year, including December 2023, May, and August 2024 graduates. It includes the first three graduates of our new MS in Nutrition Science too. The breakdown of the 2024 graduating class is as follows:

  • 17 PhDs
  • 52 DNPs
  • 213 Graduate Students
  • 197 Undergraduate Students

These numbers also include our School’s 13 graduates of the Leonard A. Lauder Community Care Nurse Practitioner Program and nine graduates from the Amy Gutmann Leadership Scholars Program.

STUDENT AWARDS

Several students in the Class of 2024 received awards for their leadership ability, creativity, academic, and research excellence. A full list is below:

Helena Addison

The Ann Wolbert Burgess Endowed Student Award is given 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.

Dana Shulman

The Claire M. Fagin Award is awarded to a graduating doctoral, 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.

Nina Juntereal

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

Uchechi Asika & Lucy Jimenez

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.

 

Courtney Williamson

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

Andre Rosario

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

Katherine Bender

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

Victoria Jawork

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.

Samantha Cueto

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

Miriam Rosetti

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

Ella Jang & Oulaya Louaddi

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.

Anessa Foxwell

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

 

Julia Badolato

The Sigma Theta Tau BSN Student Leadership Award recognizes a BSN student who is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, Xi Chapter, who demonstrates a high level of academic achievement, leadership, and service within the School of Nursing, University and/or the community.

Nina Juntereal & Davind Hyumin Yu

The Sigma Theta Tau DNP/PhD Student Leadership Award recognizes a DNP student who is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, Xi Chapter, who demonstrates a high level of academic achievement, leadership, and service within the School of Nursing, University, and/or the community.

James Tang

The Teaching Assistant Award is awarded to a teaching assistant who demonstrates cognitive, professional, and interpersonal competencies.

Annie Ni

The Alumni Spirit Award for Graduating Students is awarded for 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.

Megan Laubacher

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

 

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The entire commencement ceremony can be watched here.

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