Cohort 8

Gregory Daniel Basile 

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Cell Biology

"These past 17 months have been a whirlwind of emotion. I’d like to thank my rock, A. Rod, for all her love and support. I would also like to acknowledge my parents for letting me stay at home all these years. I would finally like to thank the man upstairs...who lives in my attic. He was so quiet and let me study those long hours into the night. To all the families affected by the pandemic, I would like to extend my deepest condolences. We will all make it through this together. Cheers class of 2020!"

Katrina-Joy G. Bernales

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

"Mom and Dad, thank you for giving me the opportunity to pursue higher education not once, but twice! I could not have been this successful without your love and support throughout this journey. To my friends, thank you for accommodating me when it came to working around my hectic schedule and being my "patients" when I needed to practice my skills on you all! To my classmates and instructors, you all have been such a pleasure to share the past 18 months with and I wish us all luck in our future endeavors. I am excited to see what lies ahead of me as a new Registered Nurse and I am incredibly humbled to be part of this profession."

Sitka Boehmer

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Accounting

"It amazes me that graduation day is already here. I never thought that I could accomplish so much in such a short amount of time. To my parents, endless "thank you's" will never be enough to express how much I appreciate your love, support, and patience. You two made it possible for me to be able to live out my dream. To Michael and his beautiful family, thank you for all the treasured memories and lovely support throughout this stressful journey. Bucket, buddy and taffy, thank you for laying by my side when I gave up play dates to study and for editing every paper I wrote over the past 18 months. To the rest of my family and friends, thank you for encouraging me throughout this experience. From this day on, I am humbled to have the opportunity to call myself a registered nurse and continue to grow and learn with my passion."

Nishalina Buksh

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology & Exercise Science, Minor in Biology

"I have been waiting for this very moment! It has been a short, yet very long road. I just want to thank my parents, family, friends, and others who have supported me throughout my journey. I finally made it, through all the blood, sweat, and tears! I am excited and eager to see what this career has in store for me. I plan to be the best registered nurse that I can be! #JustKeepSlaying"

Luigi Bunyi

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology

"It’s crazy how fast life comes. One minute you’re struggling to take accurate blood pressure and the next you’re charting on a combative patient on the floor. What is wild ride nursing school has been! I just wanted to thank all of my family and friends who were patient while pretending to be my patients. Thank you to all my professors, clinical instructors, and all the faculty and staff for guiding me along this way. Special thanks to Ser Vang for being the real MVP in all of this! Cathy Parks, RegisteredNurseRN, Miki Rai, and Dr. Q, couldn’t have been where I’m at without you all! And finally, to all my classmates, congratulations, we did it!!!"

Allison Cann

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy

"To Mom and Dad, thank you for instilling in me a strong value for education and always having confidence in my ability to learn. Garritt, thank you for supporting me with kindness and patience, even when stress got the best of me. And thank you to my educators and peers for giving me a taste of something I look forward to in this profession— inspiration and camaraderie from smart, motivated and caring individuals."

Elyn Chagolla

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Cellular & Molecular Biology

"Graduation day has finally arrived and my heart is filled with gratitude. I want to thank my mother for the decisions she has made in order to offer me and my brother a better life. Mom, all I am today is the result of your hard work and persistence, you have taught me to be brave, not to take things for granted, and to embrace the present moment. Your faith has taken us to places I never thought of, and now here I am beginning my career in the medical field, a lifelong dream that has finally come true. I also want to thank you Elias, because without you and your endless support there is no way I had come this far. To my brother Fernando, I love you so much and I appreciate you always being there for me. To my family in Mexico and those who have passed, I always have you in my mind and you are the source of my motivation. To my uncles, thank you for supporting me in each of my decisions and encouraging me to be a better version of myself. I also want to thank my friends for checking up on me and listening to my stories of disappointment, frustration, and joy, I am so lucky to have you in my life. Finally, I want to thank all faculty for your passion and dedication, this incredible experience would not have been the same without you. Congratulations to all my classmates, I wish you all the best that this life has to offer, you will all be great Registered Nurses and will impact people’s lives in indescribable ways."

Calvin Cheng

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts in American Literature

"Oh gosh...I'd...I'd like to thank the Academy. I would like to congratulate all the nominees this evening, especially those in this category. Their work continues to humble and inspire me. I would like to give a special thank you to Dr. Tavernier, our director Dr. Janelle Culjis as well as all of our incredible faculty and staff for their tireless and underappreciated work. Oh gosh uh... Dana Adams, Debra Millar, Michelle Dang, Karen Ippolito, Spencer Lang, Milly Gan, Melanie Rines, Elaine Loth, Colleen FitzGerald, Roy Blanco, Donna Lebaron, Agnes Alicar, Nadine Priuitt, Veronica Pehl, Shokoufeh Jashnani, Patrick Moran and the wonderful team at St. Joe's RICU for taking me under their wing, of course the legendary Ser Vang. I hope I'm not forgetting anyone, please forgive me. friends and family, my beautiful and wonderful girlfriend Elaine Medina who's been my rock this entire production. Kobe Bryant, rest in power. And the great Florence Nightingale, for whom none of this would have been possible. Thank you so much and together we can fight climate change. I love you all. Mamba out."

Katria Cripe

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Health Science, Health Care Administration

"To my peers, can you believe we started this journey a little over a year ago? Looking back, hard to believe our patients trusted us with medical care. Boy were they brave. Many times more confident in our abilities than ourselves. To my patients, thank you for allowing a ‘student’ to practice on you and boosting my confidence. You will never know how much your willingness and encouragement has gotten me to where I am today. To my parents, thank you for loving me, supporting me, and most of all, pushing me throughout my college career. You constantly reminded me, it would all be worth it. And I hate to say it, but you were right. Justin, thank you for standing beside me and letting me use you as my fake patient more times than I can count. All the nights you stayed up late to make sure I had food and gas in my car were not unnoticed. To the rest of my support system, thank you for cheering me on throughout this process. I owe this to each and every one of you. THANK YOU!"

Daniel Damian Ibarra

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Health Science, Pre-Clinical

"Words cannot express my gratitude for my family and friends on the journey towards Nursing. You have believed in me since the very beginning and I am forever grateful for my Mother and Father. I love you all. Shout out to Stephany, Chelsea, and Jessica for being the best support system I’ve had through the best and worst of times in my life. A tremendous thanks to my general manager J.P and the chipotle team for accepting me as a member and accommodating to my schedule and full support. I couldn’t have asked for a better store! Thank you all! I look forward to becoming the best nurse I can be."

Esther Dane

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Public Health & Socially Engaged Arts

"I have been working toward this goal for so long now, fueled by my love for all beings on earth. I know the collective vision of health justice and liberation from suffering is possible. People, able to live their best lives, with access to the services and resources they need to be well, on a healthy planet in thriving communities. I know that we will contribute to this vision. I am ready to put in work to listen to and advocate for my patients as whole people. I will do all in my power to deconstruct and abolish all systems of oppression that keep people and communities sick. Grateful and honored to be raised by my two wonderful, supportive parents, Nancy & Bill, following in their footsteps and those of my fierce, brilliant sister, Monet. Grateful for my twin brother, Moses, whose work reflects the love & awe we share for nature and all her creatures. Thank you Romy & Nick for existing and being you. Thank you to my incredibly special partner, Jeremias, and his beautiful family. Grateful for the one & only Fabiola Manzo for being there for me every day, and for all the members of this cohort. Grateful for my aunt & cousins for all the support. Grateful for Lauren Waqa, for Xhana, for supportive friends & community worldwide. Blessed with the privilege of this education, thanks to my parents and myself for staying motivated and caring so much. I promise I will take care of myself too, visit the ocean often, and make art forever."

Katie DaValle

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Animal Science

"Thank you to my husband and family for supporting me during this career change. I also want to thank the faculty and my classmates who were all wonderful. To my study partners Nishalina and Calvin, I couldn't have done it without you guys!"

Jonathan “JD” Denney

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology

"Thank you Jesus for allowing me this opportunity to chase my dream, opening the doors into nursing school for me and blessing me along the way to make it so far, without you none of this was possible. To all my family and friends, thank you for your unwavering love and support, I could not have made it this far without you all. You know who you are and what you mean to me, I hope to celebrate this accomplishment with you all."

Michelle Excinia

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

"All the sacrifices and hard work are soon to pay off! A special thanks to my immediate family and the Excinias for continuously supporting me emotionally and financially. You’ve all made this bumpy ride significantly smoother! I love you all!"

Alexandra M. Falk

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition & Food Science

"Nursing school has been a dream come true and I can not believe we are at the end of this journey, ready to begin another. To my mom and sister, you have been my strength and calm when I could not find either. To say I could not have done this without you is an understatement and a million thanks would never be enough. Thank you Samantha, Mom, and Carlos for being my practice patients and even more for always encouraging me to achieve my goals. Thank you Sarah for your continuous support, serenity, and friendship. Thank you Matt for letting me practice skills on you, for helping me study, and for standing by my side through this journey. You are all lights in my life. To the nursing instructors who helped me learn along the way, your knowledge and guidance has been life changing. To the nurses in the hospitals who helped me learn skills and answered my endless stream of questions, thank you for your patience and encouragement. My preceptor, Lorissa, thank you so much for teaching me and instilling confidence in me. Finally to my nursing school friends, I am endlessly grateful for you. I am so proud of everyone in our cohort for this accomplishment and look forward to our bright futures!"

Alisha J. Fernandez

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

"Thank you to my family, friends, and fellow nursing cohort peers that have provided unconditional love and support throughout the entire nursing school journey.  I have all of you to thank for my nursing school success and survival. With the conditions that our society has faced throughout our time in nursing school, I feel incredibly honored to be entering a profession where I get to work alongside healthcare personnel that serve our communities with significant courage, compassion and integrity. I thank my fellow cohort peers, ASBSN staff, and precepting nurses that have provided me with an abundancy of wisdom that I look forward to putting into practice to become the best nurse I can be. "

Lauren Fishbein

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Studies

"In this moment I feel exaltation in completing my BSN degree and sincere appreciation for my family, friends, and nursing classmates. Thank you to my parents, Bev and Steve, for your love and support. Thank you to my big brother, Matt, for bragging about me to everyone you meet. Thank you to my grandmothers. You’re not here with us but you are the reasons why I bravely stand here with a compassionate heart. Thank you to my nursing classmates for creating a positive learning environment, conducive to making mistakes and learning how to be great nurses."

Lovepreet Grewal

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

"To the people who stand by me and believe in me, I am grateful Forever and I love you Always."

Brandon Haas

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Politics

"There are many people who have helped me get where I am today. I am grateful for all the love and support of my family and friends through what has been a major life change these past few years. My teachers shared their knowledge and gave me the feedback and experiences needed to enter the nursing field. Classmates welcomed me, we worked on projects together, and we supported each other through this strenuous program. Clients have been opened up to me and allowed me to not only learn the ropes of basic nursing skills, but showed me how I can make a difference in their lives, too. Lastly, I can thank Sara for her love and companionship. She showed me that I could tackle the hard science prerequisite classes, coached me through college entrance essays, and changed her life around as I changed mine. Going forward I intend to practice nursing the way I practice life. As Mark Vonnegut put it, “we are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.”"

Chelsea Cherise Harden

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Gerontology

"First and foremost I would like to say thank you to my family and friends. This was no easy journey and it took the support from each and every one of you to reach this milestone. The love and genuine support never went unnoticed. To my cohort, we made it! I'm extremely grateful to have met such a motivated and compassionate group of people. It was a pleasure to have been surrounded by inspiring individuals daily. As I venture off into the nursing world, I vow to always lead with dignity, compassion, and faith. Here's to an incredible future ahead. Congratulations Class of 2020, may we break barriers and be great leaders. Thank you!"

Marla Lee Hayley

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Biology, Emphasis in Physiology

"Thank you to everyone who supported me: My mom for always being my rock and a place to call home; My dad for being there when I needed him the most; My siblings Madison, Andrew and Taryne for always encouraging their big sister; My childhood friend and boyfriend Efren for walking by my side throughout this journey; My best friend Britny for always being there even from a distance - from facetiming me while I studied, to lifting me up when times were tough she's always there when I need her the most; Thank you to the rest of my family for always checking in on me and my friends for always being there when I needed a study break. Throughout nursing school, I have always enjoyed reading the verse: "But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8. I believe it is through my faith in the Lord and amazing support system that I have reached this amazing milestone. "

Olivia M. Hua

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

"I am so excited to be graduating and officially embarking on a fulfilling journey of being a nurse. If there's one thing that nursing school has taught me, it is resilience. I want to thank the instructors for challenging us every step of the way; we are stronger nurses for that. I want to thank the patients we had the honor of caring for; they helped build our confidence and taught us many life lessons. I want to thank my sisters and cousins for letting me blabber on about the cool things I was learning and letting me practice my assessments on them. I want to thank my parents for feeding me and providing endless support. I want to thank my furbabies for staying up late with me while I studied. I want to thank my preceptor, Karen, for making the last chapter of the program the best one yet. Last but not least, I want to thank my nursing school friends for keeping me sane and being so supportive not only in school, but also through personal life situations. I am so blessed and I promise to give it forward as a nurse."

Mathew Anthony Kosmadakis

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Hellenic Studies

"Thank you to my family for all the support. "

Julia Lennert

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Biology

"Looking back over the last 18 months, I am extremely grateful for Miguel, my parents, Miguel's parents, and my kids, Valerie and Violet. Their love, help, and support made it possible for me to achieve this dream. Endless thank yous! I am excited to begin this new journey as an RN. "

Fabiola Manzo

Previous Degree: Bachelors of Arts in Social Work

"This would have been impossible without the help and support of my family. Thank you for always being there for me and helping me achieve my dreams.

Esto no hubiera sido possible sin la ayuda y el apoyo de mi familia. Gracias por estar siempre ahi y por ayudarme a lograr mis sueños."

Micaela Jacqueline Mireles

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Biology

"Thank you dad for showing me your work ethic. Thank you mom for showing me how to be kind and love. Thank you to my brothers for showing me how to be tough. With that said, I can't wait to use what you all have shown me and what I have learned as I embark on this journey of becoming a nurse."

Emily Rose Raley

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Biology

"I’m so excited for this next step in my career! To my fiancé, Ames, as well as my parents, grandparents, and the rest of my family and friends: thank you for the endless love, encouragement, and support you've shown me in my journey to becoming a nurse. I couldn't have done it without you. I love you all! "

Courtney Elizabeth Rarick

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

"This journey has not been one I have traveled alone, not by a long shot. Without the endless support of my mother, sister, boyfriend, and friends, I would not have made it to where I am today—the long-awaited graduation has finally come! “Thank you” will never be enough to express how much your constant encouragement and love was appreciated during what has been the most challenging but rewarding time of my life. Thank you for always telling me I could do whatever I set my mind to. I’m so happy to prove you were right, as I can finally add “RN” to the end of my name."

Wulff Franz-Albert Reinhold

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology

"'Knowing is not enough, you must apply. Willing is not enough, you must do.' - Bruce Lee.

Thank you to my instructors throughout my experience this last year for moving me from knowledge to application of nursing as a lifelong pursuit. Thank you to my family for all their love and support that brought my willingness to help others to a realized ability to do nursing to better the world. Thank you to the members of my cohort for traveling this path with me and into our future journeys."

Lexus A. Reyes-Palominos

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences, Human Biology

"I would like to thank all of my parents, siblings, my boyfriend Jose, and my fur babies for their endless love and support. Thank you all for taking care of me so that I can take care of everyone else."

Harandip Sahota

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, Exercise & Science

"Thank you to all my family and friends for the love and support this past year. Excited for all the new growth and opportunities the new journey will bring!"

Alexandra Sherwood

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts in English, Minor in Psychology

"Wow! I never thought in a million years I would be here graduating nursing school! I am so excited to pursue my career as a nurse and I still can’t believe I am here! I can’t even begin to express my gratitude and love for all of my family and friends! Mom, Dad, Jordann, and Madi, thank you for supporting and encouraging me in every dream an goal I have, you mean to the world to me and I love you so much! To my amazing Grammy, thank you so much for being the best roommate, I love you to pieces! To all of my friends, thank you so much for supporting me all of the way and for understanding my lack of ability to attend social events! To my dear nursing school friends, I would not have survived this program without you! I am so lucky to have found such wonderful lifelong friends out of our program! And finally, to my fiancé Josh, I would not be in nursing school today or have decided to pursue my dream of becoming a nurse if it wasn’t for you. You have been my biggest believer, supporter, encourager, cheerleader, and my best friend. You pushed me to pursue nursing which was something I always thought was out of reach. You made me believe in myself and believe that I could become a nurse. I love you so much!

Thanks again to all my friends and family!!"

Sidtia Sidtikun

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences

"Endless “thank you’s” would never be enough to express my gratitude for this life-changing opportunity to fulfill my dreams and for the unwavering support system I am so incredibly blessed to have. Words will never do justice, but to my parents, thank you for simply giving me life. Thank you for your unconditional support and your immeasurable love in everything that I do. I would not be who I am today without you guys. To Boog, thank you for being my confidant, my peace, my backbone through it all. And to my family and friends, thank you for supporting and loving me in the way that you guys do. You guys have all contributed in so many ways to this beautiful life journey. I am beyond excited and blessed to begin this new chapter in my life with each one of you still by my side, including my beautiful nursing friends I have made along the way. With infinite love, Sidtia."

Laura Soriano

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

"How exciting and nerve-wracking it is to know that the time has finally arrived to spread those wings and graduate! As I turn the page to a new chapter in life, I would like to take a moment to thank those who have and continue to support me while I keep taking this journey of mine. Thank you to my mom and sisters, family and friends, nursing instructors, fellow students, and most importantly God. With out you, I would probably be in a tougher situation. I know that this stepping stone will be one of many more to come. Cheers to the future, where I will try my best to be one more individual in making this world a better place."

Caroline Michele Staal

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Minor in Gerontology

"I cannot believe the day has finally come…graduating nursing school! Thank you to my entire family and my friends for your unconditional love and support in seeing me through this journey. I could not have done it without your prayers and words of encouragement. Daniel, thank you for putting up with my crazy when feeling stressed (which was most of the time) and marrying me anyways. Mom, thank you for helping me study and letting me talk through things that I didn’t understand. I hope I can be half the nurse you are someday. And Court, I am so glad that I had you by my side through this whole ride. You’re the best for putting up with my freak outs and many tears. I feel so blessed to have been a part of this program and am honored to wear the title “nurse”."

Dalia Veloz Torres

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology

"Es con gran felicidad y satisfacción hoy finalizar una etapa más en mi vida. Este título se lo dedico a mis padres, sabiendo que jamás existirá una forma de agradecer una vida de lucha, sacrificio y esfuerzo constantes, sólo deseo que entiendan que el logro mío, es también de ustedes. To my older brother, David, thank you for always being there for me and for all your guidance. My younger siblings, Ana and Jesus, thank you for the countless laughs day in and day out, and for bringing so much joy into my life. To my husband, thank you for always believing in me, especially in those moments where I didn’t believe in myself. I love you so much and know I am truly blessed to have a husband like you. Last but not least I’d like to thank my classmates and faculty for making this an experience that I will forever cherish, I wish us all the best in our future endeavors."

Jennies Thi Tran

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Society & Environment

"I would like to express gratitude and love to my family; especially my mom who is the best mom and role model I could ever ask for. Thank you to my dad, my brother Lincoln, and my sister Songnhi; the love and appreciation I have for our bond is indescribable. My inspiration for motivation and perseverance comes from you.
To my other half, Kellen, thank you for always being my source of light, love, humor, and everything in between. Thank you for always encouraging me to push boundaries. I love and appreciate you beyond measure! 
To my cousins and aunt from Stockton, thank you for opening up your home and your continued support throughout this journey. I will always appreciate the times I got to spend with Andy, Aleeyah, and Ari.
To my friends who have provided solace throughout this program, please know that our conversations have kept me sane for the last 18 months. Thank you for reminding me to see the beauty in the struggle.
To my classmates and professors, I am grateful to have shared this life-changing experience with all of you. And a special thank you to the girls I have developed friendships with that transcend nursing school. 
Hussle & Motivate!

Luis Velazquez

Previous Degree: Bachelor in Kinesiology & Exercise Science


Dakota James Wanamaker

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences, Anatomy and Physiology

"I am so happy to finally start this new chapter of my life. To Dylan, I would like to thank you for everything that you have for me over this past 18 months. From the countless nights helping me study and being a great brother, thank you. Amanda, thank you for the endless support, love, and encouragement. Without you two, this amazing endeavor would not be possible. Also, I would like to say thank you to my family and friends for believing in me. Lastly, I would like to thank my teachers, the cohort, and the fellas for helping equip me to become a great nurse and giving me a sense of belonging."

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