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New grads ready to make a difference in health care

Amanda Goodman

Future health care entrepreneurs, nurses, compliance officers and researchers are ready to make an impact in health care, having just earned their degrees from Arizona State University’s Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation.

“It is the case that you are prepared to address real-world health problems, your impact will alter the practice landscape and in some instances, quite literally save lives,” Dean Judith Karshmer told the graduates.

In total, nearly 800 students applied to graduate this spring (not including those finishing their programs this summer), making this Edson College’s largest graduating class to date. Rather than one large celebration, there were five intimate convocation ceremonies held at the Student Pavillion on the Tempe campus.

Three ceremonies were dedicated to students graduating with their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). One ceremony celebrated just graduate students, and another focused on students in undergraduate health programs, including health entrepreneurship and innovation.

Along with the traditional elements of convocation, each ceremony featured a student speaker nominated by their peers.

Jayna Jordan was the speaker selected for one of the undergraduate nursing ceremonies. The BSN graduate started by congratulating her classmates and acknowledging their perseverance and resilience.

“I think I speak for all of us when I say this journey was nothing short of difficult. Learning to be a registered nurse is already a rigorous and challenging task, but to have the strength and the drive to learn while COVID was simultaneously changing the way we deliver health care forever is something to be proud of,” she said.

Jordan also recognized the family and friends in attendance, along with faculty, for helping each one of the graduates get to this day. She said the college provided them with opportunities to “learn how to advocate for one another, adapt and to develop skills that are going to make us the revolutionary new faces of health.”

This graduating class is filled with incredible students. All of them have unique stories that helped shape their time at ASU and in their individual programs. With so many fantastic and deserving students, it was difficult to decide who to recognize as Outstanding Graduates.

Ultimately, three students were selected this spring: Juli Rincon, Zachary Schweiss and Hannah Challa. They all represent the best of Edson College and will no doubt utilize their degrees to make their communities healthier.

At the end of her speech, Jordan shared a quote from Denzel Washington, and while it was directed at her fellow new graduates, the words are sure to inspire anyone who reads them:

“Keep raising the standard by how you carry yourself. Keep teaching, keep learning, keep following. Learn from the best and pass it on. You can’t take it with you, but you can leave it behind; your influence, your power, your wisdom and your ability to touch others. Because everybody is watching us and depending on us, especially now.”

All five ceremonies were recorded and are available to watch on ASU Live.