2020 Virtual School Graduation Celebration


Thursday, May 14, 2020, 1 p.m. EDT

2020 Graduates, with their families and friends, celebrated their graduation here via Livestream. Graduates and guests are also invited to attend the May 2021 University-wide Bicentennial Commencement on the National Mall. 


GW Nursing Graduation Ceremony

Tune in to watch our virtual graduation celebration.

Posted by The George Washington University School of Nursing on Thursday, May 14, 2020

Photo of Dean Pamela Jeffries in her office
Letter from Dean Jeffries 

Dear Graduates, 


First, congratulations!


Whether today marks your first graduation, your second, or even your third, I urge you to stop and appreciate all that you have done to reach this moment. While we had planned to celebrate this milestone and your significant accomplishments in the GW Smith Center today, we must instead be diligent in our commitment to community health and maintain social distance. But although we’re apart today, we are together in spirit and purpose. With the onset of this global pandemic, I am reminded daily of the great impact nurses and health care providers have on society and it makes me proud. While circumstances are not ideal, I hope that today still brings great joy for you, your family and friends, as we celebrate your graduation virtually.

As we mark this day, I do hope that you will reflect on your time at GW Nursing. You spent countless hours absorbing new knowledge and skills, questioning and debating ideas, and learning from your faculty and fellow students. At a time where competent and compassionate healthcare providers are needed more than ever, we are honored to have played such an important role in preparing you for the next stage of your nursing career.


In the coming days and weeks, some of you will be starting at the bedside; others will move into advanced practice nursing, academe or leadership roles. Regardless of the position title or setting, our graduates are known to represent the best of the profession. In recognition of some of these outstanding members of our community, we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of GW Nursing this year by honoring 10 alumni with the Inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award. It was important to us to acknowledge your colleagues whose professional accomplishments have significantly contributed to the advancement of nurses and nursing. I know that each of you will continue to uphold this tradition of excellence.


The faculty and staff at the George Washington University School of Nursing remain proud of you, your accomplishments thus far, as well as your promise for future impact. We wish you only the best, and hope to hear from you soon and often.



Pam Jeffries

Celebration Program 


The George Washington University Celebration 2020, School of Nursing, Program Cover Image


Please download the program PDF to view digitally and follow along with the ceremony, or print at home. 

Download Program

If you would like a program PDF formatted for professional printing, please email us at [email protected] for the file and further instructions.



10th anniversary GW Nursing


2020 International Year of the Nurse and Midwife



Join us in recognizing our 2020 graduates as we celebrate
GW Nursing's 10th anniversary and the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife



B.S.N. candidates


M.S.N. candidates


D.N.P. candidates


Post-grad Certificate recipients




Headshot of Suzanne Miyamoto


Keynote Speaker

Suzanne Miyamoto

Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Nursing (AAN)

With nearly two decades of policy, advocacy, and leadership experience, Dr. Suzanne Miyamoto directs the operations of AAN to achieve its mission, vision, and strategic plan. Prior to her position at the Academy, Dr. Miyamoto served as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Chief Policy Officer where she supported the membership as a policy analyst, advocate, and strategist at the federal level. She simultaneously led the Nursing Community Coalition - the largest national nursing coalition from 2008-2018. During this time, Dr. Miyamoto worked on such critical legislation as the Higher Education Reauthorization Act in 2008, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009, the Affordable Care Act in 2010, and most recently the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act in 2018.



Headshot of Pam Jeffries


Remarks From The Dean

Pamela Jeffries

Dean, GW Nursing

Pamela Jeffries, professor and dean of the George Washington University School of Nursing, is internationally known for her research and work in nursing and health care education. Throughout the academic community, she is well regarded for her scholarly contributions to the development of innovative teaching strategies, experiential learning techniques, new pedagogies and the delivery of content using technology. Dean Jeffries is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, the Society for Simulation in Healthcare and the Academy of Nursing Education. She also serves on the board of the American Academy of Nursing and is a member of the National Academies of Sciences’ Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education.


Headshot of Glenda Tisdale


Student Speaker

Glenda Tisdale

D.N.P. ‘19, M.S.N. '11, RN
Supervisor/Lead, Home Telehealth Program, Richmond Veterans Administration

Dr. Glenda Tisdale completed her D.N.P. studies in August 2019 at GW Nursing. She currently serves as the supervisor and lead for the home telehealth program at the Richmond Veterans Administration. She also serves as the Home telehealth liaison for the Richmond VA’s national telehealth program, VISN 6, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and joint commission. She holds her Associate's Degree in Nursing, a B.S.N. from Old Dominion, as well as an M.S.N. and D.N.P. from The George Washington University. Dr. Tisdale has consistently been a patient advocate, an innovative thinker, and an avid seeker of greater knowledge. She has an extensive nursing background with concentrations in adult med/surg, mental health, orthopedics, oncology, and health informatics.     



Headshot of Pam Slaven-Lee


Awards Presentation

Pamela Slaven-Lee

Sr. Associate Dean of Academic Affairs; Clinical Associate Professor

Pamela Slaven-Lee is a clinical associate professor and senior associate dean for academic affairs. Prior to GW, Dr. Slaven-Lee held faculty appointments at Georgetown University and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. She is a Sigma Thera Tau Leadership Academy scholar. Her principal areas of practice include leadership, administration, family practice, internal medicine, pathology, gastroenterology, hepatology and simulation-based learning. Dr. Slaven-Lee is a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE), providing curricular support, leadership, and coordination of on-campus simulation-based learning events. She is licensed in Washington, D.C., and Virginia as a family nurse practitioner.




Photo of Marissa White


National Anthem Singer

Marisa White

B.S.N., Cohort 20

Marisa is a nursing student from the Washington, D.C. area and is in cohort 20. She would like to congratulate the students who have completed the program and her fellow cohort 20 classmates who will be completing their program in the summer. 

Awards and Special Recognition

D.N.P. Scholarly Project Award

The Outstanding Student Award for D.N.P. Scholarly Project recognizes the project of a GW Nursing D.N.P. student with the potential to directly or indirectly influence outcomes related to health care, practice or policy. The recipient of this award exemplifies leadership in nursing practice and demonstrates scholarly rigor, innovation and contribution to the profession.

Photo of LaKeshia Evans


LaKeshia L. Evans
Nominated by Dr. Joyce Pulcini




Community Service Award

The Outstanding Student Award in Community Service recognizes a GW Nursing student that has demonstrated exemplary academic and clinical performance, commitment to community service and has promoted teamwork and collaboration among their peers.

Photo of Kat Hamblin



Karen (Kat) Hamblin
Nominated by Dr. Cathi Cox




Nurse Midwifery Award

Through a partnership with Shenandoah University, GW Nursing offers a Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Midwifery. Each year, GW Nursing recognizes one student in the Nurse Midwifery program that has made outstanding contributions to the classroom and demonstrated excellence during their time at GW Nursing and Shenandoah University.  

Successful candidates have demonstrated commitment to improving patient and family health, are viewed by their colleagues as role models, and embody the values and mission of GW Nursing.

Photo of Lilian Stolzfus



Lilian Stolzfus
Nominated by Dr. Mayri Leslie

The Excellence in Clinical Practice Awards recognize APRN students who have made outstanding contributions to the classroom and demonstrated clinical excellence during their time at GW Nursing. Successful candidates have demonstrated commitment to improving patient and family health, are viewed by their colleagues as role models, and embody the values and mission of GW Nursing.

Clinical Excellence for Family Nurse Practioner Award

Photo of Danielle Seier



Danielle Viola Seier
Nominated by Dr. Kathy Leoffler



Clinical Excellence for Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Award

Photo of Elizabeth Bailey



Elizabeth Redmond Bailey
Nominated by Dr. Linda Briggs



Clinical Excellence for Psychiatric Mental Health Award

Photo of Rebecca Merchiori



Rebecca Merchiori
Nominated by Dr. Rhonda Schwindt



Clinical Excellence for Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Award

Photo of Michael Fanelli



Michael Fanelli
Nominated by Dr. Rilko, Dr. Venzke and Dr. Schuler

The Pam & Joe Jeffries Nursing Innovation Award is awarded to a GW Nursing graduate student who demonstrates innovation and the use of technology in nursing practice or education that will impact the culture of health, patient, communities, and/or nursing faculty or students. The selected award recipient also celebrates the core attributes of creative nursing leadership and entrepreneurship, valued by the procession in practice and education.

Photo of Amanda Bridges



Amanda Bridges
Nominated by Dr. Richard Ricciardi


The DAISY Award, provides national recognition and appreciation for Extraordinary Nurses in honor of nurses, nurse faculty and nursing students who go above and beyond to make a difference in the experience of patients and families while in the clinical setting.

The DAISY Foundation was established in 1999 by members of the family of Patrick Barnes. Patrick was 33 years old when he died of complications of the auto-immune disease immune thrombocytopenic purpura or (ITP). Like many families that go through this kind of horrific loss, the Barnes family wanted to do something positive to honor the very special man Patrick was. So, right before Pat’s death, they came up with DAISY- an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The family was very impressed by the clinical care Patrick’s nurses provided, but what really overwhelmed them was the unwavering compassion and kindness that his nurses brought to his bedside. As a sign of gratitude, Pat’s family created The DAISY AWARD®. Today participants include over 2600 healthcare organizations and 200 colleges & schools of nursing, including GW Nursing.

Photo of Alexa Flowers



Alexa Avery Flowers
B.S.N. graduate




Photo of Jonathan Walker



Jonathan Ryan Walker
B.S.N. graduate

The George Washington University School of Nursing has partnered with GW Hospital to offer the Nursing Scholars Program opportunity to registered nurses who hold an Associate Degree in Nursing (A.D.N.), and for those pursuing the Accelerated Bachelor of Science Nursing.

Graduating GW Hospital Scholars:

  • Nicholas Anderson
  • Valeria Davila
  • Brittany Defenderfer
  • Sarah Gold
  • Aimee Hernandez Sanchez
  • Yvette Mikinka
  • Mohammed Rhamati
  • Eva Ruiz
  • Sarah Tivade

The MedStar Washington Hospital Center (MWHC) and GW Nursing have an innovative partnership called Washington Squared (W). MWHC is a hospital with nearly 1,000 beds and is part of a non-profit health system with 10 hospitals, over 30,000 associates and numerous specialty and primary care clinics as well as home care. MWHC is a dynamic hospital with strong research and a commitment to high-quality care in which nurses are highly valued as critical team members.

The W2 program offers tuition support to Accelerated BSN (BSN) students and the promise of employment and professional growth at MedStar Washington Hospital Center (MWHC).

Washington Squared graduates:

  • Stephanie Naya Albright
  • Elnora Leerese Allen
  • Stephanie Altoz
  • Carlika Barbee
  • Marybeth Beitzel
  • Mackenzie Hope Bradley
  • Patricia Mae Casipe
  • Titus Shepherd Cheng
  • Caleb A Chiaia
  • Bridget Crimmins
  • Lauren Damiani
  • Katherine de Juan
  • Kaitlin Chandler Di Cesare
  • Leah Marie DiGiandomenico
  • Marcella Anne Fegler
  • Shawn Steven Glocker
  • Ann E Green
  • Alicia Hall
  • Gabriella Hammer
  • Carolin A. Hanna
  • Victoria M Hinson
  • Brianna B Jennings
  • Sophia Jean Kraus
  • Holly Eileen Kulp
  • Lindsey Langstraat
  • Molly Elizabeth Laufer
  • Marissa Christine Lim
  • Gabriella Marie Mansilla
  • Timnit Mathewos-woldu
  • Nicole Sarah Miller
  • Sara Mutnick
  • Anna Noreman
  • Marcus Lawrence Oglesby, JR.
  • Roseline Ayodeji Oyeleye
  • Khyati Patel
  • Michelle Pearce
  • Gisselle Cristina Perdomo
  • Margaret Anne Powars
  • Lauren Rispoli
  • Liza Maree Sitz
  • Lauren N Stephens
  • Andrew Paul Swineford
  • Kathryn Vanek
  • Veronica Vicens
  • Mary Emily Young

GW Nursing values veterans and offers a supportive learning environment specifically tailored to vets. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) veterans option offers a customized curricular roadmap, which is based on prior education, military service, and experience.

Veteran B.S.N. graduates:

  • Kwaku Ofosu Asante
  • Rahamat Ayewa
  • Lufthansa Ilas Castro
  • Bernarda Sofia Chaparro
  • Bradley Jay Crofts
  • David Falcon, III
  • Eric Fiawoo
  • Aaron Jay Raflores Franco
  • Zackary Gamer
  • Karen Kathleen Hamblin
  • Sarvinoz Hasanova
  • Alison Polgreen Hoffman
  • Crystal Chrishina Jones
  • Dambar Bahadur KC
  • Courtney Gail Kessler
  • Meskir Kidane
  • Daniel Kraft
  • Sarah LaCasse
  • Gabriel Lee Krengel
  • Ashlee Ledet
  • Kailisa Marie Martin
  • Martin Chukwuma Mbakwe
  • Tarick Khalid Muhammad
  • Lardell Mario Oliver
  • Roseline Ayodeji Oyeleye
  • Ariel Lauren Plante
  • Bernadette Romero
  • Demarques Sanders
  • Robert Wayne Scribner, Jr.
  • Windsor Siles Santillan
  • Virnequa Sykes
  • Galinda Kenyetta Thomas
  • Philip Antonio Thomas
  • Cassandra Andrianna Timblin
  • Dan Wilburn
  • Shadrea Jamila Williams
  • Kayla Woods
  • Jiatian Yue
  • Kimverlyn Yue
  • Eric Matthew Zink

Doctor of Nursing Practice Projects

  • Mary Leveillee
    Project Title: Evidence-Based Practice Initiative for Staff Training to Reduce Adult Psychiatric Inpatient Restraints & Injuries
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Beverly Lunsford
  • Ann Lo Basso
    Project Title: Mitigating Delirium for the Elderly Post-Operatively Without Medication
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Beverly Lunsford
  • Kyla Newbould
    Project Title: Effect of Care Transition Referral on Readmission Rates of Geriatric Patients Discharged form the Emergency Department
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Beverly Lunsford
  • Glenda Tisdale
    Project Title: Impact of Telehealth Education Versus Standard Care on Increasing Self-Efficacy Scores and Diabetes Knowledge in Adult Diabetics
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Qiuping (Pearl) Zhou
  • Tracy Willett
    Project Title: Nurse’s Perception of Safety Culture and Patient Safety following Implementation of a Handoff Communication Process between Pre-operative and Operating Room Nurses
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Kesten
  • Naydu Lucas
    Project Title: Multidisciplinary Team Approach to Prevent HF Readmissions in Rural Areas
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Qiuping (Pearl) Zhou
  • Mercy Oigbokie
    Project Title: Using Multi-faceted Validated Tools to Evaluate the Functional Outcomes and Quality of Life in Patients Undergoing Elective Spine Surgery and Associated Referral Patterns for Post-hospital Rehabilitation: A Quality Improvement Project
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Qiuping (Pearl) Zhou
  • Stephen Risch
    Project Title: The Effects of Non-pharmacological Interventions Consisting of Earplugs and Eye Masks, Reducing Environmental Factors to Improve Self-reported Sleep Quality in ICU Patients
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Qiuping (Pearl) Zhou
  • Beth Zimmerman
    Project Title: Impact of Nurse Led Coaching on Inpatient Fall Rate
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Jean Johnson
  • Leilani Attilio
    Project Title: Feasibility of Overdose Prevention Educational Training Program Among Peer Recovery Coaches in Washington DC
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Erin Athey
  • Amanda Bridges
    Project Title: Using Five Wishes to Improve Advance Care Planning in a Maryland Primary Care Practice
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Richard Ricciardi
  • Rhonda Brockington
    Project Title: Quality Improvement: Enhancing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist Skill and Patient-Centered Communication Knowledge for Nurses
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Whitt
  • Victoria Donaldson
    Project Title: Implementing a Digital Imaging Platform using Tissue Analytics in a Level 1 Trauma Center 
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Mercedes Echevarria
  • LaKeshia Evans
    Project Title: The Development, Implementation and Evaluation of an Evidence-Based Biohazard Training Program within a Pediatric Ambulatory Practice
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Joyce Pulcini
  • Lynda Goodfriend
    Project Title: The Effect of Hypertension Education on Knowledge, Lifestyle Behaviors and Blood Pressure Management Among Parishioners in a Faith-Based Setting
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Qiuping (Pearl) Zhou
  • Chayna Hardy-Taylor
    Project Title: A Systems Perspective for Integrating a Community-Based, Family-Centered Nutrition and Exercise Program into a Preexisting Physical Extracurricular Activity
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Mercedes Echevarria
  • Elisabet Harms
    Project Title: A Nurse Led Pre-Operative Patient Education Intervention Effect on Anxiety Levels in General Surgical Patients
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Majeda El-Banna
  • Kimberly Jean-Louis
    Project Title: Utilizing a Mentorship Approach to Address the Underrepresentation of Ethnic Minorities in Senior Nursing Leadership
    Primary Advisor: Dr. David Keepnews
  • Christina Junker
    Project Title: Time for Quiet: Reducing Nighttime Interruptions in the ICU (TURN IN-ICU)
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Kesten
  • Karen Mack
    Project Title: Change Agent Impact on Pain Management Experience through Lavender Aromatherapy: Evidence-Based Practice Project
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Mercedes Echevarria
  • Hillary Mayers
    Project Title: Combating Pediatric Obesity with a Community-Based, Family-Centered Pediatric Obesity Prevention Program 
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Mercedes Echevarria
  • Ji Min
    Project Title: The Effects of Diabetes Self-care Management Education Paired with Behavior Change Support Program Using Mobile Technology in Improving Disease Knowledge, Self-care Activities, and Health Outcomes in Adult Type II Diabetes
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Cynthia Allen 
  • Nailya Muganlinskaya
    Project Title: Implementing the AMI READMITS Risk Assessment Score within a Referral Protocol to Increase Referrals for Follow-up Among Patients with Type I Myocardial Infarction 
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Laurie Posey
  • Rachel Parmer
    Project Title: Implementation of a Provider in Triage Program in a Level III Emergency Department
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Joyce Pulcini
  • Leah Prescott
    Project Title: Increasing Adult Influenza Vaccination Rates in the Primary Care Setting
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Christine Pintz
  • Aileen Renolayan
    Project Title: Educational Session to Improve the Knowledge and Confidence of State Agency Surveyors in Deficiency Citation of Immediate Jeopardy Findings in Nursing Homes
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Mary Jean Schumann
  • Joseph Smith
    Project Title: Improving Patient and Provider Engagement by Utilizing Ask Me 3®
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Christine Pintz
  • Megan Sutton
    Project Title: The Effect of an Education Program to Improve Home Health Care Nurses’ Knowledge and Retention of Heart Failure Care
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Whitt
  • Malvis Tamon
    Project Title: Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment Protocol in the Emergency Department
    Primary Advisor: Dr. Cynthia Allen


The Nightingale Pledge

I solemnly pledge myself in the presence of this assembly to practice my profession faithfully.


I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug.


I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession and will hold it in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty and with pride will I devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.


Hail Alma Mater
To thy spirit guiding,
Knowledge thy closest friend
In its strength abiding,
Pledge we fidelity
Ne'er its place resigning,
Hail thee George Washington!

2021 Commencement

The class of 2020 is invited to join GW at the bicentennial Commencement on the National Mall in May 2021. Specific details will be shared when they are available.