Skip to main content

Nursing Convocation honors class of 2012

Awardees with Dean Fitzpatrick.


On May 19th, the St. Thomas of Villanova Church was packed with family and friends of the College of Nursing Class of 2012 as Convocation got underway. Hundreds of additional well-wishers filled four rooms in Driscoll Hall to watch the ceremony simulcast from the church. Additional family and friends viewed the proceedings from across the country.

The College honored 89 traditional students who earned their bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degrees and one registered nurse who earned the BSN degree. Eleven master’s students and one post-master’s student, plus seven PhD students represented the Graduate Program.

BSN student speaker Brooke Bettis.

Senior Brooke Bettis from Boise, Idaho addressed the graduates. She encouraged her classmates to seek experiences, serve others and look inward. She spoke of being humbled by her global health experiences in Chulucanas, Peru and wanting to continue to serve.

M. Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN, Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor told the graduates that “your education, at whatever level, is a life changing experience.” She prompted the class to be open to new ideas, to take risks and reminded them of their obligation to step up and be heard in advocating for and improving patient care. She encouraged them to be flexible and nimble as they become global citizens.


Family members pin seniors

During Convocation, the College of Nursing acknowledged three women and one man commissioned the day before as ensigns in the United States Navy Nurse Corps. Additionally, seven seniors were called forward to receive their pins from relatives who are also graduates from the College. The pin designates them as alumni and exemplifying the motto “veritas, unitas, caritas.”  This year one of the pinners is not an alumna but rather faculty. Dr. Linda Copel, professor, pinned her daughter Megan Copel. There were three other mothers, one sister and two aunts who pinned seniors, representing the legacy of Villanova Nursing. They were:

·         Kaitlin Divinnie & Theresa Delaney Divinnie ’84 BSN

·         Amanda Hapeman & Lisa Shelmbauer Hapeman ’86 BSN

·         Jessie Norton & Karen Gavlick Norton ’84 BSN

·         Emma Sexton & Margaret Sexton ’09 BSN

·         Elizabeth Toomey & Ann Marie Flanagan Megan ’86 BSN

·         Haley Wekheiser & Cynthia Rugart ’93 BSN

Service and academic awards were given to undergraduate and graduate students. Special awards were bestowed upon the following degree candidates:

·         Hillary J. Dutton, BSN candidate, received the College of Nursing Medallion for Distinguished Academic Achievement

·         Lauren M. Honeycutt, BSN candidate, received the College of Nursing Medallion for Distinguished Academic Achievement and the Joseph Petro and Helen Yura-Petro Award for Achievement in Nursing Theory

·         Stephanie Rebecca Hanlon, MSN, received the College of Nursing Medallion for Distinguished Academic Achievement

·         Emma M. Sexton, BSN candidate, received the  H. Elaine McCaully Award for Clinical Excellence

·         Bridget E. Carroll, BSN candidate, received The Reverend Francis X. N. McGuire OSA Award of the Villanova University Alumni Association

·        Megan M. Copel, BSN candidate, received The Hazel Johnson Leadership Award

·         Jaclyn R. Parkinson, MSN, received the Claire M. Manfredi Graduate Nursing Leadership Award

·         Linda Brennan Borenstein, a master’s student, received the Ralston Center Award for Gerontology Nursing Excellence

·         Catherine McGeehin Heilferty, PhD, received the inaugural Dissertation Award for her dissertation titled “The balance we seek: a sequential narrative analysis of childhood cancer blogs.”


Seniors at Convocation
MSN graduates
Senior Lauren Honeycutt, proud to be a commissioned ensign.
Graduates from the Sultanate of Oman.
Seven delighted PhD graduates.