UMFK Nursing Honor Society inducts new members, recognizes December graduates

FORT KENT, Maine — Twenty-four current University of Maine at Fort Kent nursing students were inducted into the UMFK Nursing Honor Society and 40 December 2021 nurse graduates were recognized at a special ceremony held on Tuesday, Aug. 17 in the Fox Auditorium.

Faculty, staff, students, along with family members and friends, gathered to honor the nursing honor society inductees and December 2021 nurse graduates. University President and Provost Dr. Deb Hedeen welcomed attendees and extended congratulations to the students.

Officially welcomed into the nursing honor society: Shaza Al Dabbas (Wexford, Pennsylvania); Valerie G. Boisvert (Berwick); Mary E. Boyle (Raymond); Guerline Cherisme (West Palm Beach, Florida and originally from Haiti); Constance U. Christopher (Jacksonville, Florida); Kristie L. Gagnon (Fort Kent); Michael J. Gallion (Shingle Springs, California); Nuri Heo (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania); Kelley L. McIntyre (Caribou); Valerine E. Nkongho (Fort Kent); Chressentina V. Paul (Hyde Park, Massachusetts); Laura D. Phipps (Bangor); Aline R. Potvin (Brunswick); Doris Tambe Nkongho (Riverdale, Georgia); Kyra B. Thibeault (Fort Kent); Edna Wangui (Worcester, Massachusetts); Chasseu C. Zinga (Haverhill, Massachusetts).

Officially welcomed into the nursing honor society, in absentia: Jodi-Ann P. Coleman (Biddeford);

Daniele L. Fraser (Lisbon Falls); Mary E. Hammond (Hodgdon); Joni E. Hart (Eastbrook); Amy P. Levesque (Waterville); Tara K. Matthews (Trescott Township). 

All students have excelled in the four-year bachelor of science in nursing program at UMFK and are very active in campus activities.  

The UMFK Nursing Honor Society was formed in the spring of 1998 for the purpose of recognizing and fostering academic excellence and scholarship among students, alumni, and community leaders in nursing.  

Students with a grade point average of 3.0 or above, in the top 30 percent of their graduating class, and who represent the attributes of scholarship as defined by Boyer (1990) and Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society for Nursing, were eligible for induction to the Honor Society.

The recognition of December 2021 nurse graduates: Shaza Al Dabbas; Rebecca Allard (Southington, Connecticut); Kathleen Altidort (Spring Valley, New York); Mary E. Boyle; Rouslene Brumer (Fort Kent); Guerline Cherisme; Constance U. Christopher; Peace Denila (Antelope, California); Morgan Dodge (Lee); Kelsey Dominique (Presque Isle); Trisha D. Fenelus (South Orange/Maplewood, New Jersey); Kristie L. Gagnon;  Michael J. Gallion; Alyssa C. Guimond (Fort Fairfield); Linda C. Hadley (Washburn); Nuri Heo; Anna R. Hodgkins (Hallowell);  Catherine A. Jamieson (Pembroke); Georgia Landry (Patten); Libby L. LaPointe (Eagle Lake); Sarah Lebowitz (Wilmington, Ohio); Brian J. Lee (Yorba Linda, California); Emily A. Leich (North Conway, New Hampshire);  Valerine E. Nkongho;  Jason D. Olson (Starbuck, Minnesota): Nnenna O. Onu (Houston, Texas); Shawna L. Page (Caribou); Chressentina V. Paul; Laura D. Phipps; Aline R. Potvin; Candace V. Rhoda ( Auburndale, Florida); Brooke I. Robinson (Edmunds Township); Sydney L. Smith  (Woodland); Christine D. Suarez (Patten); Kristi Sullivan (Four Falls, New Brunswick, Canada); Sarah G. Sutherland (Caribou); Doris Tambe Nkongho: Kristin M. Thompson (Orrington); Edna Wangui; and Chasseu C. Zinga.

Forty December 2021 University of Maine at Fort Kent graduates were recognized during an Aug. 17 ceremony in the Foxcroft Auditorium. (Courtesy of UMFK)

The afternoon ceremony featured a keynote address by Jenny Radsma, Ph.D., RN, and recently retired professor after 24 years of service at UMFK. Before coming to UMFK, she worked in several areas of nursing, including public health care for a remote community in Northern Alberta, Canada.

Erin Soucy, dean of nursing said, “Dr. Radsma contributed heavily to the transformation of our nursing program. She is a staunch advocate of high quality nursing education and professional practice. Students remark that she embraces the science and art of nursing. She prepares students well for the rigors of graduate studies and the responsibilities of nursing practice, all with compassion and sincerity.”

Dr. Radsma reflected on the following during her address to the nursing students: “Nursing is an extraordinary profession with innumerable opportunities from which to grow and learn during one’s career. To make the most of their nursing career, nurses need first and foremost to be trustworthy practitioners, demonstrating their professional integrity in both the small and significant decisions they make every day in the care of their patients.”

“By responding to the humanity of their patients, nurses enhance their ability to care. Navigating through the tough and trying times that nurses inevitably encounter adds to the professional satisfaction that nurses have enjoyed for the last century and a half, since Florence Nightingale initiated the nursing profession,” adds Dr. Radsma.

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