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First Cohort to Graduate from ASDN

UC's Hybrid Nursing Program to Host Pinning Ceremony

Written By Victoria Lamanna '15, PR Intern

Program has received nearly 10,000 inquiries


Utica, NY (04/10/2014)
- On Saturday, April 12, Utica College’s Accelerated Second Degree Nursing Program (ASDN) will host a pinning ceremony to honor the program’s first cohort of graduates.

The innovative program is a 16-month hybrid of online study and hands-on clinical placement experience for individuals who hold a non-nursing bachelors degree and decide to seek a second career in nursing. One of the first in New York State to be offered in this hybrid format, the program has received nearly 10,000 inquiries since its inception. Since that initial opening, three additional cohorts have begun their studies. There are currently 114 students in the program, and the next cohort is set to begin this fall.

Family members will “pin” the 15 ASDN graduates at the ceremony. These graduates include Carolyn Aldrich of Watertown, Conn., Kaitlyn Belanger of Oneida; Megan Boeltz of Green; Midzy Lysius of Brooklyn; Kaylan Brennan of Sauquoit; Gabrielle Buczek of Rome; Vanessa Garcia of Syracuse; Rachel O’Brien of Camillus; Julie Osborne of Herkimer; Amanda Perkins of Old Forge; Shannon Phillips of Phoenix, N.Y., Melissa Pouliot of Camillus; Nicole Serrano of Ithaca; Marie Totari of Warners, N.Y. and Katie Virgil of Fabius, N.Y.

Five of the students, Aldrich, Buczek, Garcia, Osborne and Pouliot were inducted into the prestigious Sigma Theta Tau (STTI) International Honor Society of Nursing for showing excellence in scholarship throughout their graduate nursing program. They join more than 130,000 active members in more than 85 countries.

“The department of nursing is very proud of the upcoming graduation of our first class of Accelerated Second Degree Nursing students,” said Cathy Brownell, chair and associate professor of nursing at UC. “The pinning ceremony is a traditional event to signify the entrance of these new graduates into the profession. Their nursing pin is a symbol of the school where they received their degree.”

During the ceremony, Utica College President Todd S. Hutton will give remarks and Serrano will address the graduates and attendees. 

The ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. at Justin’s Grill in East Syracuse with a reception to follow. Nearly 100 of the graduates’ family members, friends and peers are expected to attend.

Utica College’s ASDN Program is approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED), regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Learning and is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Utica College is host to an entire suite of nursing programs including a campus-based undergraduate program, an online RN to BS program and the ASDN program. Students in the various nursing programs at UC have access to several state-of-the-art resources, including the Albert and Gloria Shaheen Nursing Laboratory, which features a fully-equipped hospital ward simulation and advanced learning technologies.

For more information about Utica College’s ASDN Program or the other nursing programs offered by UC, visit uticanursing.com or call 1-888-807-5758.

About Utica College – Utica College, founded in 1946, is a comprehensive private institution offering bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees. The College, located in upstate central New York, approximately 90 miles west of Albany and 50 miles east of Syracuse, currently enrolls over 4,000 students in 36 undergraduate majors, 27 minors, 21 graduate programs and a number of pre-professional and special programs.


Robert Halliday, Ph.D.
Associate Provost
201B DePerno Hall

(315) 792-3122
(315) 792-3006
1600 Burrstone Road | Utica, NY 13502