For immediate release: April. 26, 2007

GALVESTON, Texas - The School of Nursing at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston awarded 197 bachelor's degrees and 65 master's degrees during its commencement ceremony held April 20 at Moody Gardens. Some of the graduates earned their degrees in August and December but received recognition at the April commencement. This was the school's 120th commencement ceremony.

Dr. John D. Stobo, UTMB president, presided over the ceremony while Dean Pamela G. Watson introduced the bachelor's and master's speakers. Karen Hand, assistant professor of nursing, gave the baccalaureate address and Christine A. Boodley, associate professor of nursing, gave the master's address. Claudine Dufrene, nursing instructor, gave the International Pledge for Nurses.

Shelley Tholcken was selected Master of Ceremonies by the graduating class for the pinning ceremony. Marilyn Haupt was selected Pinning Commentator by the class.

The pinning ceremony for the 2007 graduates was held prior to commencement. The nursing pin symbolizes the allegiance and pride the students have in their school. As part of the pinning ceremony, the class of 2007 presented the following faculty members with Outstanding Faculty Awards: Charlotte Wisnewski, outstanding baccalaureate program faculty; Gloria Brandburg and Shelley Tholcken, outstanding baccalaureate RN-BSN program faculty; and Kathy Nash, outstanding master's program faculty:

Students elected by the graduating class to participate in the pinning ceremony, were: Jeff Calhoun, read the history of pinning; Becky Urech, introduced outstanding baccalaureate faculty recipient; Dawn McKinney-Hammock, introduced outstanding baccalaureate RN-BSN faculty recipients; and Michelle Fisher, introduced outstanding master's faculty recipient.

Alpha Delta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International held its annual installation of new officers and induction ceremony on April 19. This ceremony was a follow up to the induction last December. Karen Sexton, vice president and CEO of hospitals and clinics, was the speaker.


Dean's Award for Scholarship
This award goes to graduating students who maintained the highest grade point average in their programs: Tammy Elizabeth Oberthier, BSN program; Sandra Lynette Turner, RN/BSN program; and Eleanor Margaret Wray Worthy, master's program.

Eleanor Brasher Farley and Stephanie Farley Pardue Clinical Excellence Award
This award recognizes outstanding performance of a baccalaureate student who has demonstrated excellence in all clinical areas: Ginny Lyn Sherman, BSN program.

Outstanding Student from the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program
Jennifer Franke received this award.

Mary Beth Lott Upchurch Award
This award recognizes the outstanding academic achievements of a master's nursing program student: Shelley Waters.

Mary and William McGanity Award
This award acknowledges outstanding academic achievements of graduating nurses and their clinical excellence in maternal and neonatal health: Jill White, BSN program.

Eleanor Brasher Farley and Stephanie Farley Pardue Leadership Awards
These awards recognize student leaders in various capacities: Barbara Hayes, BSN student; Tammy Weiss, RN-BSN student; Howard Baade, MSN program; and Thomas Mendez, doctoral program.

Eleanor Brasher Farley and Stephanie Farley Pardue Community Service Awards
Receiving this award were: Ginny Sherman, BSN student; Debra Beard, RN-BSN student; Joe Stanfield, MSN student; and Paula Stangeland, doctoral student.

Roy Lopez Student Leadership Award
This award honors the memory of Roy Lopez, the chapter's president-elect, who died last year: William T. Howard.

Special Awards
Best President's Award presented to President Stobo by Dean Watson for his support of the School of Nursing over his past 10 years of service. He was also inducted into the School of Nursing Alumni Association as an associate member for life and received an honorary Ph.D. from the School of Nursing.

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Public Affairs Office
301 University Boulevard, Suite 3.102
Galveston, Texas 77555-0144