The Frances M. McLaughlin Division of Nursing at Bloomfield College celebrated the beginning of another academic year at its annual convocation ceremony on Thursday, September 15.
The convocation ceremony, a signature event for Bloomfield College, serves as an official welcome to the College for nursing students and faculty. The Westminster Arts Center was packed with both new and veteran nursing students as greetings were brought from Bloomfield College President Richard A. Levao.
“Bloomfield College is proud to help put you on the path to return value to your community,” said Levao. “The healing arts are the greatest arts of all.”
Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Tresmaine Grimes, also addressed the crowd.
“Nurses-to-be, you are moving into a profession where you are very much needed,” said Dr. Grimes, who just celebrated her one-year anniversary with the College. “We need your kindness as well as your skills. Do not give up, do not get weary, because the end result will be worth it.”
Further speakers included Nursing Chair, Neddie Serra, who acknowledged each faculty member by name; President of the Frances M. McLaughlin Alumni Association, Helene McKnight, who awarded two highly ranked students with the Alumni Merit Scholarship; and Director of CITEL, Dr. Heather Shpiro.
“Now that you are a nursing major, don’t think your work is done,” said Dr. Shprio. She then listed the numerous academic resources, such as professional and peer tutoring, available to students.
Assistant Professor, Rosita Rodriguez, recognized certain juniors and seniors with awards for their student service.
Additionally, the future nurses were addressed by current students who comprise the Bloomfield College Nursing Students Association.
Quanteria Dickson, Alexandra Cicchetti, Alisha Dixon, and Kajal Patel shared advice and tips with incoming first-year students and offered words of encouragement for their classmates to approach upcoming academic challenges with focus, determination, and camaraderie.
Following their sentiments, they played a slideshow set to the music of David Guetta, Bruno Mars, and Wiz Khalifa. Cheers erupted throughout the theater as the familiar, smiling faces of their peers and professors appeared on the big screen.
Students continued to listen intently as special guest speaker, Lori Ann Palmieri, took the stage. Palmieri serves an Associate Professor for the Division. She joined the College as a full-time faculty member in 2007.
Palmieri presented her findings from her summer service trip to Mathare North, Nairobi, the second largest slum in Kenya. While there, Palmieri assisted in community building with local residents and the ongoing construction of the community’s church, provided education seminars and science lessons, and delivered medical and nursing care.
During her time at the podium, Palmieri stressed the importance of being a culturally competent nurse. Her presentation, “Cultural Humility: a personal experience,” documented her time with the tight-knit community she treated to demonstrate how global encounters can transform lives, both with patients and with one’s self.
“Do not take anything for granted,” said Palmieri. “And I mean anything, like a toothbrush or a bar of soap, or a pencil or a piece of paper. You do not need to leave your country to incorporate cultural humility into your everyday practice.”