Warren County Community College honored the students who completed its nursing program with a traditional – and moving – “pinning” ceremony this past month. The 18 graduating nurses received “nursing pins” in recognition of their completion of the program.
Keynote speaker Professor Debra Schrek, an Administrative Nurse Educator and guest speaker Professor Donette Walker, an adjunct in Clinical Pediatrics, addressed the graduates.
The WCCC Associate in Science Degree program for nursing professionals was established in September 2005 and is now considered one of the best in the state of New Jersey.
“We are incredibly proud of this year’s class of nursing graduates,” said Nursing Director Patricia Stypolkowski. “I am proud of the fact that our program has continued to maintain its high standards over the past 10 years. This is evidenced by the fact that our graduates have progressed to fantastic careers.
“I’m confident that this year’s class of nurses will go on to achieve similar successes,” added Stypolkowski.
Five special awards were also announced at the ceremony. Heather Gasser was given the New Jersey League for Nursing Award for her efforts in the community and with student activities; Melissa Bystrak was the recipient of the Nurse Education Service Award, given to someone who demonstrates quality and quantity of contributing to the college and the community; and Brandi Gibbs and Paula Polito were co-recipients of the Faculty Award as the Most Improved students. In addition, Lindsay Levitas received the Academic Award, and Carol Young was given the Professional Nursing Award.
This year’s nurse graduating class includes: Melissa Bystrak of Belvidere, Jennifer Donofrio of Califon, Alexis Martins of Columbia, Joan Kimmel of Great Meadows, Paola D’Amico-Ellis, Heather Gasser, Marcia Lavelle, Lindsay Levitas, and Emily Mathews of Hackettstown, Meredith Johanson of Oxford, Brooke Baker and Kirsten Woolf of Phillipsburg, Austin Polizzi of Stewartsville, and Krystal Cool, Brandi Gibbs, Paula Polito, Jodi Trimmer, and Carol Young of Washington .
Over 200 students have graduated from the Associate in Science Degree program since its inception. Many currently work in various health facilities throughout the region. Some have continued their studies and are now enrolled in bachelor, master, and doctoral programs.