New teachers, health care professionals applauded at recognition ceremonies

KOKOMO, Ind. – Indiana University Kokomo celebrated the achievements of 138 members of the Class of 2019 in the fields of education, nursing, and radiologic science.

Faculty honored 27 graduates from the School of Education, 25 in the Division of Allied Health Sciences, and 86 in the School of Nursing, at the schools’ annual recognition ceremonies.

Leah Nellis, dean of the School of Education, encouraged graduates to find their “marigolds,” or people who will support them as they begin and continue their careers, noting that marigolds are companion flowers that protect other plants from pests and harmful weeds.

“Each of you has chosen to enter what many have called the most noble of professions,” she said. “Without teachers, there are no other professions. We are proud of your choice to become an educator, and know you will serve your students and your schools.”

Ashton Schimmelpfennig, Kokomo, said she had a great support system, including family and faculty, as she earned her degree in elementary education.

She graduated in December 2018, and is teaching music at Eastern Elementary School. Her experience in the School of Education prepared her to succeed as a new teacher.

“I had so many opportunities to have one-on-one time not only with professors, but students in classrooms,” she said. “I feel that prepared me to be a better teacher, because I had that exposure before I was in the classroom on my own.”

Division of Allied Health Sciences

John Hughey, chair of the Division of Allied Health Sciences, congratulated graduates on their many accomplishments, and reminded them what they’ve learned about patient care.

“It’s the kindness the deaf can hear, the blind can see, and the impaired can appreciate,” he said. “Be proud of the huge accomplishment you have achieved, and be proud you are among those who have earned an Indiana University degree.”

Sam Rhymer, from Rochester, has known he wanted to work in radiologic science since early in high school, and was excited to have completed an Associate of Science in Radiography.

“It’s a big achievement for my family,” he said. “It feels good.”

He plans to work at Woodlawn Hospital while continuing his education to specialize in Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS), for a career in the IT side of radiography.

School of Nursing

Dean Susan Hendricks urged graduates to each consider their legacy as a nurse, recalling groundbreaking leaders such as Florence Nightingale, credited as the founder of modern nursing; Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross; and Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, who recently served as surgeon general.

“Tonight, all of you claim your place among the long tradition of women and men who have provided excellent leadership and care in nursing, throughout our history, the history of nursing, and the history of nursing at Indiana University,” she said, adding that the graduates may choose to be leaders in large organizations, bedside nurses, school nurses, nurse educators, nurse practitioners, or many other careers in their field.

“Think just a little about the legacy that you will leave throughout your nursing career. Whatever you choose, each and every day will matter. Every day you work, you have the opportunity to leave an invisible mark in the life of someone you care for, teach, or serve.”

Allie Pond, Kokomo, said it feels “kind of surreal” to have completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She’s worked in health care jobs for several years, and has accepted a nursing position at Community Howard Regional Health.

“This means the world to me,” she said. “I’m excited to get out in the world and make a difference.”

Students honored at the recognition ceremonies include:

School of Education:

Eaton: Hannah Moody

Kokomo: Jessyca Arnett, Katelyn French, Lauren Householder, Kathryn Kaster, Abby Lefler, Alexandria Millikan, Hayden Rawlins, Ashton Schimmelpfennig, Laura White, Courtney Wilson, Madeline Winterhalter

Logansport: Jocelyn Castro Aguilar, Joshua Bault,  Chelsea DeBarge, Taylor Michael

Peru: Bailey Giek, Emma Long, Braden Moss

Rochester: Tara Smoker

Royal Center: Kayte Miller, Jessica Price

Russiaville: Cara Bradenburg, Shelby Gilbert

Sheridan: Emily Name

Wabash: Ashley Hunt

Westfield: Alesia Cox

Division of Allied Health Sciences:

Associate of Science in Radiography

Covington: Morgan Brown

Cutler: Taylor Bell

Kokomo: Leon Babb, Annette Bricker, Kalie Daniels, Jenna Gillem

Noblesville: Marilyn Sweigart

Peru: Katelyn Castle, Mackenzie Davis, Sidney Higgenbotham-Wecht

Rochester: Samuel Rhymer

Winamac: Mackenzie Howard

Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging Technology

Fort Wayne: Chi Mai Huynh

Greentown: Aubray Deckard, Quinlyn Hochstedler

Kokomo: Meggann Boggs 

Logansport: John Schafer

Martinsville: Elizabeth Pace

Mexico: Kyndale Alwine

Michigantown: Chelsea Fields, Courtney Cole

Portland: Tiffany Krieg

Russiaville: Ashley Hawkins

Springport: Melinda Puckett

Westfield: Kristen Shoemaker

Bachelor of Science in Nursing:

Denver: Kayla Ross

Elwood: Katie Sloan

Frankfort: Amber Robey, Katelyn Shanks

Greentown: Natalie Ellis, Morgan Nimtz, Ashleigh Till

Indianapolis: Jennifer Dzimah

Kokomo: Jennifer Adams, Victoria Berger, Jill Brandt, Allison Cardwell, Ashley Collins, Abbi Cook, Kaytlynn Lawson, Colleen Lerche, Karly Lucas, Mallory Malott, Allie Pond, Alessandra Smith, Korena Smith, Kristi Stevens, Jessica Titus, Sara Weber, Karla Winburn, Kayla Yunk

Lafayette: Elizabeth D’Alfonso, Kenia Montero, Cassie Shaw

Lebanon: Meranda Ballard

Logansport: Cheyenne Ward

Marion: Jade Al Khateeb, Melissa Bock

Noblesville: Lindsey Benn, Rana Levine

Peru: Ryan Cowles

Roann: Emily Aguilar

Rossville: Amy Schnieb

Russiaville: Megan Deck, Madelin Duke, Connor Hill, Cally Martino

Swayzee: Miranda Guyre

Upland: Brittane Gunning

Wabash: Kaetlyn Kirtlan

West Lafayette: Kristina Pate, Hope Slone

R.N. to B.S.N.:

Atlanta: Timothy Reed

Avon: Hsiaojung Shu 

Attica: Kirstin Goad

Brookston: Brittany Blacker

Carmel: Simona Wildman

Crawfordsville: Kylie Rush

Fishers: Nitin Mahajan

Frankfort: Patricia Cox, Rachel Whetsel

Greenfield: Joseph Saxon

Hartford City: Tim Williams

Indianapolis: Ibrahim Ojerinde, Tamara Shropshire, Maria Underwood

Jamestown: Cristan Abney

Kewanna: Donna Sholes

Kirklin: Brandie Young

Kokomo: Martha Johnson, Heidi Needler

Lafayette: Madison Finkenbinder, Sandra Hernandez, Allison Solomon

Marion: Tammy Adcock, Tracy Riddle

Merrillville: Pamela Alleyne

Noblesville: Kelly Gray, Lauren Kirkwood, Tiffany Tran

Pendleton: Julia Lankford

Rochester: Andrea McIntire, Alexa Olinger

Wabash: Miranda Mitchell

Westfield: Traci Bubalo

Winamac: Stephanie Crist

SOURCE: News release from Indiana University Kokomo which serves north central Indiana.