FOR RELEASE: 5/16/2012Contact: John Cappiello, (203) 384-3637

Ninety-three students graduate from Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing

Ninety-three graduates of the Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing marked the completion of their studies during commencement exercises on May 4 at Fairfield University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The graduates are from nearly 40 different cities and towns in Connecticut, ranging from Stamford in lower Fairfield County to Colebrook on the Massachusetts line and Westbrook in Middlesex County.
Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing Commencement
Class members prepare to take their seats at the start of the Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing commencement exercises.

Of the 93 graduates, 47 were in the December 2011 accelerated 16-month class and 46 were in the May 2012 traditional two-year class. All the members of the accelerated class have already passed their National Council Licensure Exam, and many have accepted nursing positions at Bridgeport Hospital.

“This achievement reflects the caliber of our students and faculty, and makes us very proud,” says School of Nursing Director Carol Papp.

This is the first year that the accelerated class has outnumbered the traditional two-year class since the 16-month program was introduced in 2003, an indication that a shorter, equally intensive course of study is attractive to students who wish to enter the healthcare workforce as soon as possible.

“By training new nurses, the School helps meet the nursing needs of the hospital and the greater community,” Papp notes. “Patients are the ultimate beneficiaries.”

Kari Watkins, recipient of the Alumnae Association Summa Cum Laude Award for highest grade point average in the accelerated class and the Stanley J. Dudrick, MD Surgical Nursing Award, delivered the class message at the graduation ceremony. She thanked the graduates’ families and friends for supporting the class through their time at the school. “You’re all great nurses,” Watkins told her classmates. “You’ve already made a difference.”

The commencement address was given by Linda Pellico, an associate professor at Yale University School of Nursing. “Don’t believe you’re more special than anyone else,” she said. “Be responsible for setting a standard of behavior. Small, seemingly insignificant events can have a profound effect on the future.”

Senior Vice President, Patient Care Operations and Chief Nursing Officer MaryEllen Kosturko gave the graduates a rousing sendoff. “Cherish this day—you’ve worked very hard to get here,” she said. “I welcome you as new colleagues of mine to this fabulous profession of nursing.”

The graduates of the December 2011 class, listed by hometown, are:

Ansonia – Kristin DiGiovanni, Kristin Rinaldi, Laurel Rourke

Branford – Veronica Alexander, Paul Amarante, Katherine D’Angelo

Bridgeport – Nastasia Barnes, Barbara Griffiths

Bristol – Taylor Fitzgerald

Colebrook – Marlene Spector

East Haven – Myst DePalma, Lisa Ferrucci

Fairfield – Neeraja Kannan

Hamden – Ingrid Scafe-Osmah, Joanne Vaccarino

Madison – Ashley Reynolds

Milford – Angela Kycia

New Haven – Lindsay Bostwick, Andrea Graber, James Haddon, Emily Havener, Danielle Jarrett, Noelle Joyce

New Milford – Kathryn Hicks

Newtown – Danielle Andrews, Jessica Orama

Norwalk – Alan Cortez, Dinah Hubert

Orange – Kari Watkins

Seymour – Jared Penchuk

Shelton – Lauren Laveneziana, Emma Odgers, Amber Rich

Stamford – Diana Roc, Elenda Squitieri, Lindsay Topper

Stratford – Delorece Davis, Stephanie DeLorenzo, Deanna Rogers

Trumbull – Colleen Clifford, Marguerite Parkhurst

Warren – Perry Githens

Waterbury – Ashtyn Andricovich, , Irene Doran, Ronmeka Henderson

West Haven – Jessica Valle

Woodbridge – Melody Bennett

The graduates of the May 2012 class, by hometown, are:

Ansonia – Jennifer Bostelman

Branford – Dana Finkle, Lindsay Witalis

Bethany – Lindsey Mahon

Bethel – Kathryn Gazis, Catherine Hunt, Kelly McElreath

Bridgeport – Jacqueline Cabral, Jennifer Duval, Sara Ingoglia, Albert Jeudi, Taina Vazquez

Cheshire – Meagan Tremblay

Danbury – Mark Valeri

Derby – Ritika Khanna

Easton – Christina Bladek

Fairfield – Nicole Clark

Guilford – Rikki White

Hamden – Melissa Espinosa, Nicole Forbes, Katharine Sweny

Milford – Sopiko Baratashvili, Christin DeRubis, Syndi Negron, Anthony Panzella

Naugatuck – Frank DeGennaro Jr.

Newtown – Jacqueline Talamo

North Haven – Megan Ellison

Ridgefield – Catherine Brown

Seymour – Dimitra Kougianou

Shelton – Lindsay Berube, Beata Dobrzycki, Crystal Jones

Southbury – Amy Tucker

Stratford – Jenna Antezzo, Qendresa Beqiri, Inna Glenbovitch, Lauren Mackay

Wallingford – Allison McNally, Ashley Watson

Westbrook – Lauren Keating, Rick Rasemus

West Hartford – Sarah Armstrong

West Haven – Dike Miller, Kerri Ybarra

Weston – Ewa Skiedziel

Several graduates received special achievement awards during the ceremony, including:

Kari Watkins – Alumnae Association Summa Cum Laude Award for highest grade point average in the December 2011 class and Stanley J. Dudrick, MD Surgical Nursing Award

Beata Dobrzycki – Alumnae Association Summa Cum Laude Award for highest grade point average in the May 2012 class

Jennifer Bostelman – Alumnae Association Magna Cum Laude Award for second highest grade point average (in the December 2011 class and Medical Staff Award

Jessica Valle – Alumnae Association Magna Cum Laude Award for second highest grade point average in the May 2012 class and Cynthia T. Roberts Memorial Scholarship Award

Paul Amarante – Department of Medicine Award

Lindsay Bostwick – Emergency Nursing Scholarship

Catherine Brown – Herbert M. Bickel Memorial Award

Delorece Davis – Bridgeport Hospital Auxiliary Award

Nicole Forbes – Marian Blawie Memorial Scholarship Award

Inna Glenbovitch – Anne Marie Kimball Psychiatric Nursing Memorial Award

Emily Havener – Margaret Olah Award

James Haddon – Mary Ellen Wynne Nursing Award

Albert Jeudi and Marguerite Parkhurst – Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing Faculty Awards

Crystal Jones – Nancy J. Bassett Nursing Award

Lauren Laveneziana – Nursing Administration Award

Lindsey Mahon – Florence LeBrun Kamszik Nursing Award

Kelly McElreath – Cedric & Lottie Newman Award

Mark Valeri – Helen Baumister Memorial Award

Taina Vazquez – Department of Pediatrics Award

Kerri Ybarra – Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Award

Established in 1884, the Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing is the longest-operating nursing school in Connecticut. In addition to a diploma program in nursing, the School offers allied health programs in sterile processing and surgical technology. For more information, visit or call 203-384-3205.

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Part of Yale New Haven Health System, Bridgeport Hospital is a 383-bed acute care hospital (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital) serving parts of Fairfield and New Haven counties. The hospital admits more than 18,000 patients and receives more than 240,000 outpatient visits annually.