MCCC Nursing Program Celebrates 41 Graduates Ready to Serve

Valedictorian Samira Sadqi Says,   Go Out and Show the World How Incredible You Are’


West Windsor, N.J. – Forty-one graduates of Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Nursing Education program are ready to take their place among of the region’s frontline healthcare workers. Their help has never been needed more.

In an emotional Nursing Pinning Ceremony held at MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre on January 10, members of the Nursing Class of Winter 2022 reflected on the extraordinary challenges they faced pursuing their associate degrees in the midst of a global pandemic. This was the first in-person pinning ceremony held at the college in two years; it was also livestreamed for family and friends at home.

Speaking on behalf of the class was Valedictorian Samira Sadqi. “We started nursing school thinking it was going to be hard, but we could handle it. But then came the pandemic,” she recalled. “I’m so proud to graduate among the most resourceful, dedicated, and resilient nurses MCCC will ever have.”

Sadqi gratefully acknowledged the support she received from family and friends but noted the special role of her fellow students. “You all helped me,” she stated amid tears. “When I was on the verge of giving up, I had all of you walking beside me. Nursing school challenged us in ways we had never been challenged before. We are so much stronger and smarter than we believed. We all deserve to be recognized for working relentlessly to be here today.”

“Go out and show the world how incredible you are,” Sadqi concluded.

Themes of perseverance, sacrifice and, most of all, extraordinary achievement echoed throughout the evening as each graduate approached the stage to receive their diploma, along with their nursing pin, a time-honored symbol of a nurse’s service to others. Elizabeth Mizerek, MCCC’s Director of Nursing Education, presided over the milestone event, with President Dr. Jianping Wang and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Robert Schreyer sharing their congratulatory wishes.

Dr. Wang, who was unable to attend the event, emphasized in prepared remarks the efforts of students, their families and the nursing faculty who supported each student’s success. Wang noted that nursing is more than a job. “It is a calling, a profession that promotes health, prevents injury, alleviates suffering and heals the sick. May you always cherish the honor of being a nurse and serve with compassion and care,” she said.

Dr. Schreyer noted the unique demands placed upon this group of students. “Many of us were hunkering down at home. But you were running towards the public. You have proven how amazing you are by carrying on during this pandemic,” he said.

Dr. Schreyer also recognized members of the nursing faculty, pointing in particular to the vaccination clinics they coordinated on campus in the spring of 2021 that served approximately 10,000 area residents. “They too were helping to protect all of us and, at same time, ensuring that students’ best interests were being served.”

Highlights of the ceremony included the induction of three graduates, Carrie Hixson, Martha Marquez, and Samira Sadqi, into MCCC’s Epsilon Rho Chapter of Apha Delta Nu, the national nursing honor society whose mission is to promote scholarship, academic excellence, and service to the community.

Hixson described the service project the three students devoted themselves to in the fall to serve people with food insecurity. “We decided to be very hands-on," she said. "We volunteered at Arm in Arm in Trenton, preparing, packaging and distributing food and supplies. It was a wonderful and fulfilling experience.”

Six graduates received special recognition for a job well done: Amyjaelle Belot (Perseverance Award); Alexa Cottrell (Clinical Excellence Award);  Carrie Hixson (Teamwork Award); Jean Raymond Louis Jacques (Professionalism Award); Chantelle Mason-Randall (Caring Award); and Samira Sadqi (Academic Excellence Award).

More than 20 graduates have already passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), the final step to becoming a registered nurse (RN). The rest of the class will take the exam in the near future.

Congratulations to MCCC's Nursing Class of January 2022: Andrew Aupperle, Muhammad Bakht, Amyjaelle Belot, Kimberly Beltran, Janet Bongard, Grecia Caceres, John Cavolo, Alexa Cottrell, Jessica Dixon, Marilin Figueroa, Karli Garzillo, Samary Gibson, Raquel Gonzalez, Carrie Hixson, Mai Keruakous, Azalea Logan, Geraldine Lopez, Jean Raymond Louis Jacques, Melissa Lyon, Martha Marquez, Alison Martin, Chantelle Mason-Randall, Shani Mayorga, Amanda Myers-Morales, Shaquille Nelson, Udechukwu Ogueri, Trevor Roberto, Walter Rouba, Samira Sadqi, Samantha Samuels, Malik Sanders, Yanique Shirley, Brandon Taylor, Sarah Thrower, Maria Verdugo, Dorine Viel, Carlos Villeda, Kelsie Whalen, Latasha White, Eleanor Wilton and Jason Woods.

To view the ceremony online, click here:


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Presenting the Nursing Class of Winter 2022.



Nursing Director Elizabeth Mizerek pins graduate Andrew Aupperle.



Valedictorian Samira Sadqi delivers a stirring speech recounting trials and triumphs.



From left, winners of special awards: Amyjaelle Belot, Carrie Hixson, Chantelle Mason-Randall, Jean Raymond Louis Jacques, Alexa Cottrell, and Samira Sadqi.



Graduates recite the Nightingale Pledge.



Students forged bonds in the classroom and on the frontlines during clinical rotations.