The College of Southern Maryland recognized 67 nursing graduates May 12 with its traditional pinning ceremony.

The ceremony included speeches, photo collages and the offering of the CSM Nursing pin.

CSM Professor Robin Madera explained how the modern pinning ceremony dates back to the 1860s, when Florence Nightingale was awarded the Red Cross of St. George in recognition for her tireless service to the injured during the Crimean War. Nightingale in turn presented a medal of excellence to her brightest graduates and by 1916, the practice of pinning new graduates was standard throughout the United States.

“It was decades ago when CSM’s first pin was designed by the first RN class to ever graduate from the college in 1979,” said Madera, who added the current pin was custom designed by the 2001 nursing classmates. “Our CSM nursing pin [symbolizes] a rite of passage, and that you will be caring for patients with commitment, honor, and courage.”

Madera also remembered nursing student Jaycee Lynn Vermillion of Nanjemoy, who died unexpectedly on June 19, 2020 and who would have graduated with the class.

“Her gift to the nursing profession will be missed,” Madera said before the class shared a moment of silence.

Sudernt speaker Kaci Ranley said “it wasn’t too long ago that we were all stalking the mailbox everyday looking for that envelope from the College of Southern Maryland,” said student speaker Kaci Ranly. “You hoped that inside the envelope could be an acceptance letter into the upcoming nursing program that you had worked so hard to get into. Although we felt we were on Cloud 9, we clearly had no idea what we were about to encounter.”

Dr. Sara Cano, the acting chair of the CSM nursing program, also addressed the graduates.

“Each of you have faced adversity one way or another during your time in nursing school. During the best of circumstances, you would have been challenged by life events,” Cano said. “But, as you have experienced during the last year, the onset and prevalence of a pandemic have increased the risk of experiencing adversity. You had to juggle many spinning plates while maintaining your eye on the prize of completing the program. In Nursing, resilience is the ability to bounce back or cope successfully despite adversity. You have done just that.”

Emily K. Blasy and Dianna Renee Russo both received the Academic Achievement in Nursing Award.

The following are the College of Southern Maryland who earned associate degrees in nursing:

Rachell Amaoui, Ndep Ebha Noella Assam, Rachael Baker, Rachel Whitney Baker, Titilola Batson, Natalie Kay Beers, Emily K. Blasy, Tierra Michelle Boyd, Shatoya Bryan, Michael Todd Cash, Alexander Chung, Brooke Clemencia, Jenna Courville, Kaitlyn P. Culbert, Danielle Dowz, Brittanie Durham, Lauren Edwards, Ashley Elao, Jacob Ellwood, Charlene Yvette English, Madalyn Marie Fagan, Lynzie M. Farr, Alexis M. Gayon, Sarah Golba, Karen Gross, Jessica Hammett, Emily Hanson, Ashley R. Harris, Trinette Herring, Nichole L. Hutson, Markita Jackson, Julia Jacoby, Divina Jaluag, Diana Karimi, Ann Kempster, Amy Marie King, Leah Danielle Long, Andrei Maderazo, Joy A. Marsiglia, Ashley Marie McGuigan, Jayda Elise McLeod, Charissa Kay Castillo Melchor, Eve Kayiki Mondenge, Shayla Mundey, Ashley Nicole Nelson, Autumn Norvell, Morgan Ostrowski, Emily N. Pipkin, Casey J. Powell, Lauren Proctor, Tamea Proctor, Jaclyn Pryor, Farhat S. Qureshi, Kaci M. Ranly, Erica M. Rawlings, Lauren Richardson, Dianna Renee Russo, Ashley Chevonne Smith-Commodore, Bria A. Smith, Sara Joy Smith, Natasha Tesi, Amanda Ullman, Emily B. Whetstone, Bailey White, Brianna Whites, Lauren Winkler, Allison Zollars-Teitelbaum