Marion S. Whelan School of Nursing graduates

From left are Raven Davis, Ryan Parmelee, Ashley Lawrence, Kristy McNicholas, Gabrielle Daggett, Anna Bauer, Alissa Plate and Kathryn Sennett.

GENEVA — The Marion S. Whelan School of Practical Nursing celebrated the commencement of its 85th graduating class June 18 via a WebEx virtual ceremony.

A drive-thru celebration was held June 19.

The class of eight students is now eligible to take their Licensed Practical Nurse exam.

Graduates include Anna Bauer of Farmington, Gabrielle Daggett of Branchport, Raven Davis of Waterloo, Ashley Lawrence of Canandaigua, Kristy McNicholas of Geneva, Ryan Parmelee of Geneva, Alissa Plate of Waterloo and Kathryn Sennett of Rushville.

Kathleen Mills, MS, RN, Director welcomed students to the commencement and gave the Director’s Address. Dr. Jose Acevedo, president & CEO of Finger Lakes Health and president, Finger Lakes Health College of Nursing & Health Sciences, gave the President’s Address. Class spokesperson Kristy McNicholas gave the class address.

Program Coordinator Deanna Mills, MS, RN presented the diplomas and pins to the graduates during the “Drive-Thru” celebration as well as the special awards.

The Mary Breckinridge Award, for working diligently to overcome obstacles in pursuit of their dream to enter the nursing profession, was presented to Gabrielle Daggett.

The Catherine J. Loudin Achievement Award, for exemplifying the values of Finger Lakes Health during his or her educational training was presented to Alissa Plate.

The Alice Bergstresser Memorial Award, for exemplifying determination, dedication and compassion was presented to Anna Bauer.

Alissa Plate was recognized with the Fidelia Harmon Memorial Award for highest academic achievement in the nursing program.

Kathryn Sennett received the Marion S. Whelan Memorial Award, for exemplifying the characteristics of dedication to nursing and self-discipline.

Raven Davis was awarded the MSWSPN Service Award given for outstanding service in medical/surgical nursing.

The William J. DiCicco Memorial Award, for exhibiting devotion to family, a strong work ethic, the value of education and love of country, was presented to Ryan Parmelee.

The Practical Nursing Student Determination Award, for a graduate who, despite challenges both in and out of the classroom, has overcome them with the determination and grit to excel, was presented to Kristy McNicholas.

Ashley Lawrence received the Advocate Award, for demonstrating caring, quality, professionalism and passion.

Photos from the event can be viewed on Flickr and accessed from Finger Lakes Health’s website at

The Marion S. Whelan School of Practical Nursing, one of only three hospital-based nursing programs in New York state, was founded in 1956. Since that time, it has graduated over 1,600 nurses.

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