Fall 2019 Graduate Awards Ceremony

Fall 2019 Graduate Awards Ceremony


Fall 2019 Graduate Awards Ceremony

Celebrating 213 new SONHS alumni ready to make their mark as health professionals

After morning classes and afternoon poster sessions, members of the Fall 2019 graduating class made their way to the Shalala Student Center Wednesday evening to take part in a longstanding and popular tradition: the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies Fall 2019 Graduate Awards Ceremony.

In her opening remarks, Dean Cindy L. Munro noted that 2020 has been designated the Year of the Nurse and Midwife by the World Health Organization and invited attendees to take part in the school’s spring activities surrounding the global recognition.

Dean Munro also thanked faculty, preceptors, and clinical partners for their dedication in preparing the graduating class, recognizing by name assistant professor of clinical Deborah Riquelme, PhD, MSN, RN, who retired this semester. Munro also highlighted a new collaboration with Jackson Memorial Hospital that celebrated its first 14 graduates. The Care Partners Program between Jackson and SONHS is designed for BSN students who would like to be considered for employment there following their graduation and licensure as registered nurses. 

Munro advised the graduates to keep being “gritty”—a combination of passion and perseverance; to continue their education throughout their careers; and to be “Nightingales,” innovators and leaders in their field like pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale, whose 200th birthday will be celebrated in May 2020.

“To honor Nightingale’s bicentennial legacy, our school has accepted the 2020 Nightingale Challenge, a global effort to foster the next generation of health leaders,” said Munro. “Of course, you don’t have to be a nurse to be a Nightingale. You all have been well-prepared and have the potential to be our century’s new Nightingales—investigators, educators, innovators, and leaders devoted to forging new paths in pursuit of improved health outcomes.”

The Fall 2019 class included graduates from the following degree programs: Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Master of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Health Informatics (online), and Bachelors of Science in Nursing, Health Science, and Public Health.

The individual award recipients for Fall 2019 were:

  • DNP Excellence in Academic & Clinical Performance Award: Kristin T. Oakes.
  • BSN-DNP Nurse Anesthesia Track, Agatha Hodgins Excellence in Academic & Clinical Performance Award: Nikita Patel.
  • BSN Excellence in Academic & Clinical Performance Award: Charlotte Price
  • BSN Excellence in Leadership Award: Schafer J. Knoepke
  • BSN Spirit of Nursing Award: Lindsay Lester
  • BSHS Excellence in Academic Performance Award: Sydney A. Mathis
  • BSPH Excellence in Academic Performance: Olivia K. Ostermann