Fall 2016 Recognition and Special Presentation Honoring the Late Senator Inouye

More than 500 families and friends gathered at the Hawaii Convention Center Ballrooms on December 16, 2016, to celebrate 53 Summer and Fall 2016 graduates from UHM Nursing. Graduates from the Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) nursing programs participated in this Fall’s Recognition Ceremony.

Summer and Fall 2016 nursing graduate group photo

This year’s ceremony included a special presentation honoring the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, who was recently inducted as a fellow by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP) in tribute of his outstanding leadership in practice, education, policy and research for nurse practitioners. The Daniel K. Inouye Institute and the Inouye family chose to bequeath the Senator’s award to the UH Manoa Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing in appreciation of the school’s efforts in preparing nurse practitioners for Hawaii and the nation. COL (Ret) Walter Kaneakua, Former Executive Assistant for Military Affairs with the Office of U.S. Senator Inouye, and Lenora Lorenzo, DNP, APRN, BC-NP, FAANP, fellow and AANP Hawaii Representative, presented the induction plaque and medallion to Dean Mary G. Boland.

The students selected Ms. Jenny Collins, former UHM Nursing faculty, to deliver the keynote address. Student speakers were BS graduate Keli Brown and MS graduate Genecir Joan Quiming.

In keeping with tradition, students invited family members to participate on stage during the pinning ceremony. Each student received a ribbon lei from the School with a UHM Nursing alumni pin affixed to it. UH Manoa Nursing Alumni Association (UHMNAA) Vice President and UH Manoa Nursing Instructor Michele Bray, MSN, APHN, RN continued a more recent tradition of presenting a $250 cash gift to accompany the baccalaureate student-selected Professional Nurse Award presented to Emily Vega. Additional baccalaureate award recipients were: Ashley Pascual, Leadership Award; Sheila Doucette, Kahiau Award; Kristye Perez and Brittney Shinsato, Community Service Award; Sheila Doucette, DAISY in Training Award; Dina Valeria Benz and Emily Vega, Academic Achievement Award.

The Dean’s Research Award was awarded to PhD student Elizabeth Freitas in recognition of her study titled “Exploration of Patients’ Spiritual/Religious Beliefs and Resuscitation Decisions,” DNP student Maria Fabro in recognition of her study project titled “Stroke Management: Dysphagia Screening Program,” and BS student Emily Vega in recognition of her study project titled “Use of ‘Virtual Assistants’ for Clinical Information Gathering.”

The undergraduate students presented UHM Nursing faculty, Dr. Karol Richardson, PhD, MPH, APRN and Mr. Bill Siegman, MS, RN with the Nurse Educator Award in recognition of their respect and dedication to student success. Dr. Kathleen Sullivan, PhD, APRN, PMHCNS-BC was the recipient of the faculty-selected DAISY Faculty Award, in honor of her exceptional impact on students and inspirational influence on their future.

UHM Nursing will celebrate Spring 2017 graduates at a Recognition Ceremony in May 2017. For questions about Recognition Ceremony, please contact Carlyn Okatomi at

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