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MCCC Nursing Program Recognizes 44 Graduates at Pinning Ceremony


.The May 2010 MCCC Nursing program graduates.
West Windsor, NJ: Forty-four tight-knit Mercer County Community College (MCCC) Nursing program graduates stood proudly before family and friends on May 17 during a jubilant pinning ceremony. Amidst cheers and teary eyes, it was time to reflect on countless all nighters, trips to Starbucks, the births of two student babies this semester and another due very soon, and other poignant memories. All graduates are now qualified to take the national licensure exam for registered nurses. The May graduating class brings the year’s total number of Nursing program graduates to 77.

Valedictorian Emilia Alvarez-Negron, of Hamilton, always harbored the dream to become a nurse. Growing up, her mother called her Joan of Ark and Florence Nightingale, she revealed. “I was the type of person who ran toward car accidents or disasters to help without thinking twice.” Like several other classmates, Alvarez-Negron’s journey was a circuitous one. Now a grandmother, she worked formerly as an office executive assistant while she and her husband raised their three children. Her ultimate goal: to open her own her nursing practice as an advanced practice nurse. In remarks to her classmates Alvarez-Negron said, “I want to first and foremost thank God, my highly supportive family, and the dedicated faculty for keeping me on the right track.” With a great grandmother who was a nurse midwife in Puerto Rico, Alvarez-Negron added, “We all share the commonality of sacrifice. To my fellow classmates, I say, let us aim high and have faith in ourselves. We must think about all who came before us and open doors for tomorrow’s nurses by making an impact on the world.”

Class valedictorian Emilia Alvarez-Negron, center, is congratulated by Vice President Donald Generals and President Patricia C. Donohue.
Nursing program graduates, from left, are Daniel Gbardoe, Tiffany Fleming, Maureen Gallagher, Megan Garriga, and Czarina Edrosa.

That, in fact, is what MCCC’s Nursing program prepares graduates to do, according to Dr. Linda Martin, dean of Science and Health Professions. Martin encouraged the class to “continue challenging yourselves.”

he class of 2010 shared highlights of the year with a slide show that featured faculty and staff. They were also ready to give something back, and will be donating their nursing uniforms to the next incoming class of students.

Daniel Gbardoe, 48, of Trenton, an economist in his native Liberia, said he is following in the footsteps of his late mother, a nurse midwife who was a member of the MCCC Nursing class of 1994. Gbardoe, a father of four, has served as a United Nations volunteer elections specialist, promoting free and fair voting in South Africa. He was also a UN human rights educator and field officer in Geneva, Switzerland, and a peace development specialist in Kampala, Uganda. During the last five years, he has worked as a human services assistant at Trenton Psychiatrist Hospital, and aspires to become a psychiatric nurse. “Hospital work has shaped my decision,” he said.

“You have worked so hard and we’re all the better as a result of your tenacity,” said Dr. Guy Generals, MCCC vice president for Academic Affairs. “I thank you for choosing such a noble profession.” MCCC President Patricia C. Donohue added, “Tonight we celebrate your accomplishments. We wish you much continued success as you fulfill your next exciting chapter as nursing professionals with the highest integrity.”

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