Finger Lakes Health’s College of Nursing Celebrates 2015 Pinning and Graduation Ceremonies

The Finger Lakes Health College of Nursing graduated its sixth class with a pinning ceremony and commencement exercises in May. 68 students were pinned and graduated this year.

The pinning ceremony took place on Friday, May 15, at the Ramada Inn – Geneva Lakefront, and the commencement ceremony was held at The Smith in Geneva on Sunday, May 17. Photos from both events can be viewed on Flickr and accessed from Finger Lakes Health’s website at

Patrick Boyle, Vice President of Human Resources at Finger Lakes Health, welcomed students to the commencement ceremony and recognized the faculty for a job well done. Dr. Jose Acevedo, President & CEO, Finger Lakes Health gave the President’s Address and Dr. Victoria Record, Dean of the College gave the Dean’s Address. Mary Therriault, MS, RN, Senior Director, Healthcare Association of New York State Quality & Research Initiatives, gave the keynote address and class vice-president, Blythe DeClerk, gave the class address. Dr. Acevedo and Dr. Record presented diplomas.Dr. Victoria Record, EdD, RN, and Martha DiCicco, MS, RN presented special awards.

The Academic Achievement Award is given to both a student who started the program in September and to a LPN that transferred into the program in January was presented to two students: Margery Meyer and Rachael Chisom.

Receiving the Clinical Practice Award for outstanding service in medical and surgical nursing was Janeen Baxter; and receiving the Geriatric Practice Award given to those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding nursing care to the geriatric population were Andrea Clark and Melody Newton.

The Patricia Schillaci Memorial Award given in honor of Patty Schillaci, a nurse at Geneva General Hospital who committed to using technology to enhance patient care delivery. This award recognizes a student who demonstrated the ability to couple technology with caring compassionate nurse’s care was presented to Courtney Bray.

Cullien Marks received the Finger Lakes Health College of Nursing Class Choice Award, presented to the graduate nurse who demonstrated principles of relationship-based care by creating healthy relationships with the people he or she works with and cares for, selected by class vote.

The Outstanding Student Achievement award, given to the graduate nurse who has demonstrated consistent commitment and growth in the academic and clinical setting, was awarded to Brian O’Connell and Amanda Chalupnicki.

Jessica Knapp was the recipient of the Florence Nightingale Award, presented to the graduate nurse who demonstrates a spirit to improve the healthcare environment. The Heart of Nursing Award recognizing a graduate nurse who has consistently shown enthusiasm and the spirit of nursing was presented to Shahama Townsend and Cynthia Burgess.

The Graduate Nurse Engagement Award, presented to the graduate nurse who demonstrates the five C’s: Clarity, Competency, Confidence, Collaboration and Commitment leading to the ability to adapt to a change healthcare environment, was awarded to Priscilla Salgado.

In honor and recognition of James J. Dooley, past long-tenured President & CEO of Finger Lakes Health, who served as the first President of the Finger Lakes Health College of Nursing, the James J. Dooley Memorial Award was presented to Rachael Chisom for serving as a role model and mentor to others and demonstrating a love for family, community and the healthcare profession.

The Aubrey DeMillo Memorial Award, established in memory of Aubrey DeMillo, a member of the Finger Lakes Health College of Nursing Class of 2013 was presented to Olivia Jabaji and Brian O’Connell. This award is given to a graduate(s) who shares the same philosophy of nursing that Aubrey evidenced with every interaction she had with patients, peers and faculty; patience, compassion, determination to learn, confidence and passion.

The William J. DiCicco Memorial Award honors the graduate nurse who exhibits the attributes that Bill demonstrated throughout his life: devotion to family, a strong work ethic, the value of education and love of country was awarded to Arielle Rogers.

Finger Lakes Health College of Nursing graduates for 2015 are Stephanie Applebee (Sylvan Beach), Christine Balistreri (Geneva), Janeen Baxter (Rochester), Alexis Bell (Romulus), Courtney Bray (Canandaigua), Lisa Brooks (Williamson), Tammy Brown (Union Springs), Cynthia Burgess (Rochester), Kara Cannarozzo (Rochester), Amanda Chalupnicki (Auburn), Rachael Chisom (Penn Yan), Elaine Ciferni (Camillus), Laqueentha Clark (Geneva), Andrea Clarke (Rochester), Teresa Conley-Sheldon (Penn Yan), Mallory Cooley (Geneva), Cassandra Davis (Victor), Morgan Davis (Penn Yan), Blythe DeClerck (Naples), Mary DeJonge (Clifton Springs), Sarah Evangelista (Geneva), Michelle Ferguson (Farmington), Kimberly Foster (Auburn), Kelsey Gelina (Williamson), Ann Hansen (Walworth), Shancee Hart (Auburn), Jennifer Henderson (Waterloo), Leandria Hutchinson (Marion), Deborah Ingram (Geneva), Olivia Jabaji (Interlaken), Danielle Johnson (Penn Yan), Aja Kabba (Rochester), Brian Kelley (Auburn), Daniell Kellogg (Clifton Springs), Tammy Kenny (Auburn), Jessica Knapp (Auburn), Caitlin Kreydatus (Auburn), Jessica LaGasse (Sodus), Suzanne Le (Newark), Jennifer Lozada (Geneva), Cullien Marks (Penn Yan), Laura Martino (Stanley), Michelle Mateo (Waterloo), Erika Medlin (Quantico, VA), Margery Meyer (Newark), Paula Meza (Fairport), Erin Munoz (Jordan), Susan Nanna (Cayuga), Katherine Nerau (Rochester), Melody Newton (Phelps), Brian O’Connell (Marcellus), Nichole Orofino (Auburn), Charmaine Pemberton (Rochester), Abigail Reale-Malcuria (Geneva), Ashley Rebstein (Rochester), Arielle Rogers (Palmyra), Priscilla Salgado (Rochester), Audra Schetrompf (Waterloo), Devon Schumacher (Auburn), Tiffany Smith (Henrietta), Jennifer Stoddard (Cayuga), Morgan Taylor (Canandaigua), Shahama Townsend (Rochester), Valerie Trunzo (Phelps), Tracie VanSchaffel (Palmyra), Kelly Walker (Fairport), Kristin Yonker (Lyons) and Kathleen Youngs (Stanley).

Finger Lakes Health College of Nursing offers flexibility to students seeking an associate’s degree in Applied Science with a major in nursing. As a privileged part of Geneva General Hospital, its unique hospital-based program allows for students to gain clinical experience on its campus in Geneva, NY.

FLHCON Graduating Class of 2015