MCCC Confers Diplomas on 42 Nursing Program Graduates


Forty-two happy graduates of MCCC's Nursing program received their diplomas and celebrated at Kelsey Theatre on the evening of Jan. 10.

"I think helping to prepare well-qualified and caring employees for the health care industry is right at the top of what we do," said Acting President Thomas N. Wilfrid. "In a profession that deals with life and death situations, it is only right that the standards be high."

Valedictorian Beatrice Mwariri is originally from Kenya, where she was a teacher. The mother of two teens, she earned a B.S. in Chemistry in the UK. (See selections from her talk below.)

Participating in the program were, seated from left, Tom Wilfrid, Susan Zambrio, Edwin Martinez and Linda Martin.


Linda Martin, Mercer's proud director of nursing education, pins graduate Andrew Espling, who previously served in the Marines.
Beth Audet, who works in Mercer's Career Services/Transfer office, received her diploma.
An overview with Linda Martin at the podium.
Graduates acknowledge the cheers of their families and friends.

A few highlights from Mwariri's address:

"It is said that your mind, once it is stretched, will never regain its original shape… I am glad to say that my education here has given me a limitless amount of elastic. I have discovered how much I don't know. I discovered how fascinating it is to study new things from different angles.

"The work was daunting.... We had so much to do. Many of us have young children at home. Many worked 40 hours a week and came to class in the evening. We had families -- not to look after us but to look after. We had parents and grandparents to look after. We had 10 plus chapters to read and we had to cope with it. Some of us spoke English -- not as a second language but as a fourth language. Now I think we can say we speak a fifth foreign language.

"We studied together, grumbled together, drank coffee together, ate fries and ate fries again and we stuck it out. Our tutors here were very kind, very understanding, but they were firm. They had to be. Like Florence Nightingale they said "nursing is an art." They made us artists and we appreciate that.

We had five newborns during the course of this program. They should get honorary degrees for auditing the courses.

As Dr. Seuss said, "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own and you know what you know and you are the guy who'll decide where to go."

Nursing Program Associate Professors:
Doreen Carnvale, Clara Douglas, Margaret Fink, Barbara Kunkel

Assistant Professors:
Susan Minkel, Donna Penn, Beth Perkins, Toni Racioppo, Karen Ruffin

Teaching Assistant: Judy Reid

Counselor: Fred Weiner

Support Staff: Marie Mendez, Stephanie Hernandez, Charmaine Mitchell