Lander University nursing graduates honored during pinning ceremony
Tuesday, Jun 01, 2021
Estelle Cloete receives her cord for graduation
Estelle Cloete, of Greenwood, receives her cord for graduation at Lander University’s William Preston Turner School of Nursing’s pinning ceremony. Cloete also received the Faculty Award of Excellence and the Professional Nursing Award during the ceremony. Photo by Laura Brown.

Graduates of Lander University’s William Preston Turner School of Nursing were recognized during the annual pinning ceremony April 10. The pinning ceremony was followed by an awards presentation, and the ceremony ended with lighting symbolic lamps for each of the graduates.

“Presentation of the nursing school pin is a significant event,” said Dr. Dori Dahlberg, assistant professor of nursing, adding that each nursing program creates its own unique identifying pin. “When worn, it’s a symbol of school affiliation, as well as a distinctive mark of nursing excellence and service to others.”

“Lander University’s nursing pin is the shape of a Maltese cross, symbolizing nursing roots in the religious orders of the middle ages. In the center of the pin is the Lander seal with the Latin words for ‘purity’ and ‘knowledge’ across the top. In the center of the open book of knowledge is the cross of purity and faith and the flame lighting the path towards awareness rests on the book,” said Dahlberg. The pin also includes the Roman numerals for 1872 [MDCCCLXXII] for the year the college was founded at the bottom.

In addition to receiving their pins and awards, the soon-to-be alumni were presented with cords for graduation and were honored with a brief lamp-lighting ceremony. Each graduate held a small, candle-like lamp as nursing faculty lit each student’s lamp.

Faculty Award of Excellence: Estelle Cloete, of Greenwood. This award is given to the student who demonstrates the greatest promise of making significant contributions to the profession of nursing. The recipient must have a 3.0 GPA or higher, be active in student nurses activities and/or divisional committees, demonstrate clinical competence and deomonstrate potential for the professional practice and organizational involvement.

Clinical Excellence Award: Brianna Haddon, of Abbeville. This award recognizes a student who demonstrates outstanding clinical practice in any of the clinical settings. The student must practice client-centered care, must be innovative and/or creative in provision of nursing care and nursing practice, must demonstrate management skills and utilize problem solving and theory application in practice of nursing.

Professional Nursing Award: Estelle Cloete. The Professional Nursing Award recipient represents the leadership qualities in the practice of professional nursing. They must be an active participant in both the Student Nurses’ Association and in health-related community activities, and must have a self-directed approach to learning and in their role as a student.

Professional Development Award: Britteny Britton, of Clarks Hill. This award is given on those occasions when a particular nursing student has evidenced substantial professional growth and development to such a degree as to merit recognition.

Nursing Athletic Award: Meghan Tucker, of Huntsburg, Ohio, a member of the Bearcats’ Acrobatics and Tumbling team. This award is in memory of NAIA Hall of Fame athletic director and college coach, W.C. “Red” Myers. The father of nursing faculty member Leisa Weston Myers, he came out of retirement to serve as assistant basketball coach at Lander. He was an early advocate for equality in men’s and women’s college sports, and also worked with the Pan-Am World Games and the Olympics. This monetary award is given to a graduating senior who has played on a sports team while in nursing school and has shown academic excellence, integrity, sportsmanship and athletic prowess.

Neuman Award: Kennedy Hard, of Seneca. This award recognizes a student who has shown the most holistic approach to client care. This student strives to provide superior care for the whole client, or client system, through enhanced understanding of the relationships among the physiological, psychological, sociocultural, developmental and spiritual variables. Recipients embrace a systems approach, represent a holistic view of clients, address the dynamic relationship between the client and the environment and focuses on the effect of stressors on health.

Prelicensure Nursing Discipline Award: Kaitlyn Byrum, of Lexington. Given annually by the nursing faculty to the graduating senior majorin in nursing with the highest cumulative GPA. The recipient must not have repeated any nursing major program course for a higher grade, must be currently enrolled in senior nursing courses and must be expected to graduate within one calendar year of the ceremony.

RN-BSN Discipline Award: Tara Rose. Given annually by the nursing faculty to the registered nurse with the highest cumulative GPA on Lander University coursework. The recipient must have earned at least four Lander BSN completion courses after admission to the RN-BSN completion option and must not have repeated any RN-BSN completion courses, or BIOL 304, for a higher grade.

Barbara T. Freese Scholarly Development Award: Jacob Buzzetti, of Elgin. Established by nursing professor emeritus Dr. Barbara Freese in memory of her parents, this award is given annually by the nursing faculty to a senior majoring in nursing with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 who has not repeated any nursing major program requirement course for a higher grade and who is currently enrolled in honors study in either the Lander Honors Program or the Department of Nursing Honors Program.

Senior research projects:

  • Jacob Buzzetti completed a senior research project entitled, “A New Era of Registered Nurses: A Perspective from Their Preceptors.” This project was presented at the Lander Academic Symposium in April.
  • Ashley Rice, of Iva, completed a manuscript entitled, “A Nurse-Led Quality Improvement on the Accessibility of Genetic Testing and Counseling Regarding BRCA1 or BRCA2 Pathogenic Variant.”