Thirty-four students who will graduate in January from Gateway Community College’s associate degree nursing program recently participated in a pinning ceremony to mark the transition from student to professional.
A time-honored tradition, pinning ceremonies trace their origins to nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, who received the Cross of St. George from Britain’s Queen Victoria in 1855 for her service in caring for injured British soldiers. When special nursing schools were later founded using Nightingale’s principles and practices, the awarding of pins and medals to outstanding graduates became increasingly common until it was eventually established as a right of passage from student to practitioner.
The Dec. 17 ceremony was held at GCC’s North Haven campus at 88 Bassett Road. It was the first-ever fall semester pinning ceremony at GCC. Previously, GCC held nursing pinning ceremonies only in May at the end of each spring semester, but the college will now hold them in both December and May to accommodate the two classes that were created starting in 2008 when the program added a second annual start date.
The 34 nursing students who participated in the pinning were: Bridgeport resident Donna Cioffi; Bristol resident Kimberly LeClair; Clinton resident Jennifer Carden; Durham resident Caroline Wood; East Hampton resident Amy Ruotolo; East Haven resident Pamela Fox; Glastonbury resident Susannah Bryne; Guilford resident Alison Burtraw; Meriden resident Michaela Love; Meriden resident Sandra Reyes; Meriden resident Grethchen Thomas; Milford resident Tetyana Gainey; Naugatuck resident Chad Melisky; New Britain resident Deisy Velez; New Haven resident David Buckley; New Haven resident Denise Smith; New Haven resident Secor Upson; New Haven resident Lanee Williams; North Haven resident Lori Mansur; Norwich resident Hannah Hurst; Norwich resident Dawn Peluso; Oakdale resident Christine Rogers; Prospect resident Donna Sevas; Rocky Hill resident Robert Netupski; Stratford resident Erykya Thomas; Vernon resident Jessica Klein; Wallingford resident Danielle Gootkin; Waterbury resident Lawrence Anderson; Waterbury resident Monica Correia; Waterford resident Katie-Lynn Grohocki; Watertown resident Jessica Clark; West Haven resident Erika Carrillo; West Haven resident Jennifer Gargiulo; and Whitneyville resident Tracy Eschmann.
Since its inception in 2002, Gateway Community College’s nursing program has tripled in size, producing almost 300 graduates. The program features award-winning faculty and has been accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, an organization nationally recognized as a specialized accrediting agency for both post-secondary and higher degree programs in nursing education. It also is the first and only program of its kind in the state community college system to offer courses and clinical rotations in the evening, making nursing a career option for working students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to pursue it.
GCC offers more than 85 associate degree and certificate programs and serves more than 11,000 credit and non-credit students each year. GCC is currently located on two campuses — at 60 Sargent Drive on Long Wharf in New Haven and at 88 Bassett Road in North Haven. Work began in the fall of 2009 on a new state-of-the art campus in downtown New Haven, which is slated to open in 2012 and will be the state’s first public building gold-certified in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
GCC serves students in 24 towns and cities in the greater New Haven area, including: Ansonia, Bethany, Branford, Bridgeport, Cheshire, Clinton, Derby, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Meriden, Middletown, Milford, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Seymour, Shelton, Stratford, Wallingford, West Haven and Woodbridge. For more information, visit www.gwcc.commnet.edu.