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Press Releases

Holy Name Medical Center Nursing Students Graduate

Date: 8/26/2013

Thirty Receive Licensed Practical Nursing Diploma at Commencement Exercises

Holy Name Medical Center's School of Nursing celebrated the 41st Commencement Exercises for its Licensed Practical Nurse Program on August 21. Thirty students received their licensed practical nursing (LPN) credential in the hospital's Marian Hall Conference Center, as family members, friends, Medical Center staff and School of Nursing faculty witnessed the event. Holy Name's School of Nursing also offers a Registered Nurse Program, whose students graduated in June.

The 24 female and six male candidates, School of Nursing faculty, and members of Holy Name Medical Center's administration proceeded into the conference center amid the strains of Pomp and Circumstance.  Amy Nieporent, BSN, RN, an instructor in the LPN program, issued a welcome, and Theresa Reilly, one of the soon-to-be graduates, delivered the invocation.

In her salutation, Sheryl Slonim, DNP, RN-BC, NEA-BC, Executive Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Holy Name Medical Center, told the graduating class that "the possibilities and diversity of choice are endless." She reminded the graduates that, having completed the course of study in nursing, "you are not the same person you were" and that as they assume their new roles, "remember that patients always come first." She encouraged them to "learn and pursue greatness, but never forget the fundamentals," noting that "respect for life and the human condition" are essential.

Gloria Moscatello, RN, a School of Nursing alumnus who is now Director of Nursing for Preferred Home Health Care and Nursing Service, gave the Commencement Address. Describing herself after high school as "a hot, hot mess" who was lacking direction, she recalled her inspirational meeting with the late and beloved Sister Claire Tynan. Sister Claire, who had directed the School of Nursing for 39 years, noted that while Ms. Moscatello's record was "not the best," she encouraged her to pursue a nursing education. "She gave me a chance," said Ms. Moscatello. "Now I get to give people a chance." She advised, "Don't lose your passion. Stay humble….Treat your patients the way you treat the people you love the most."

Dr. Slonim presented the diplomas, with the assistance of Nancy Lyons, BSN, RN, and Jennifer Gazdick, MSN, RN, both instructors in the School's Licensed Practical Nurse Program.

The graduates:
  • Jennifer Alves
  • Marilyn Arrieta
  • Michael Barlow
  • Leishel Bautista
  • Jaycee Cahill
  • Johansel Caraballo**
  • Danielle Clarke
  • Jaime Demczuk**
  • Siobhan Devereaux*
  • Marykate Ernst
  • Richard Garcia
  • Kelvin Guzman
  • Jonathan Hernandez
  • Vanessa Hernandez
  • Michelle Laboy
  • Meryl Lacap
  • Melissa Lawrance*
  • Ivan Martinez
  • Melissa McGinn
  • Patricia Ocampo
  • Frances Pisiona
  • Theresa Reilly
  • Raquel Ricon
  • Josefina Rodriguez
  • Audrey Sanchez-Lugo
  • Aimee Smith
  • Tammy Smith
  • Christine Sullivan
  • Marissa Veltidi
  • Kayla Walters
**Magna Cum Laude
* Cum Laude

Barbara Blackwell, EdD, RN-BC, Director of the School of Nursing, and Ms. Lyons, then presented the following awards:
  • Valedictorian Award — For the highest grade point average; this year, for the first time in the School's history, a tie: Johansel Caraballo and Jaime Demczuk
  • Nursing Excellence Award — For commitment, leadership, professionalism and compassion: Melissa Lawrance and Raquel Ricon
  • President's Award — For academic excellence, commitment to classroom learning and plans to pursue future nursing education: Siobhan Devereaux
  • Jo-Ellen Van Oort Memorial Scholarship — For a love of nursing and helping others: Christine Sullivan
  • Volunteer Service Award — Jaycee Cahill, Johansel Caraballo, Jaime Demczuk, Siobhan Devereaux, Melissa Lawrance, and Christine Sullivan
Melissa Lawrance, President of the School's Class of 2013, delivered the Farewell Address; and Sister Breda Boyle, the Medical Center's Director of Pastoral Care, said the closing prayer.  Paul Daher, a pianist who has provided musical accompaniment for Holy Name's commencement exercises for over 20 years, performed classical selections throughout the event.

The School of Nursing, founded in 1925 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, offers a two-year registered nurse (RN) program with the option of completion in three years, and a one-year licensed practical nurse (LPN) program. For information about admission requirements for Holy Name Medical Center's School of Nursing, email or visit

Members of the Class of 2013, Holy Name Medical Center School of Nursing LPN Program. listen as the Chief Nursing Officer at Holy Name Medical Center tells them, "Remember that patients always come first."

Sheryl Slonim, DNP, RN-BC, NEA-BC, Executive Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Holy Name Medical Center; Tammy Smith, LPN Class of 2013; and Jennifer Gazdick, MSN, RN, Instructor, HNMC School of Nursing

Barbara Blackwell, EdD, RN-BC, Director, Holy Name Medical Center School of Nursing; with Johansel Caraballo, LPN Class of 2013

Holy Name Medical Center School of Nursing, LPN Program, Class of 2013