Student Spotlight

Brandman University Celebrates the 2019 Hooding and Doctoral Pinning of Nursing Graduates

May 19, 2019 by Victoria Lim

The 150-year old tradition of the nursing pin and ceremony was bestowed upon 94 graduates from Brandman University's Marybelle and S. Paul Musco School of Nursing and Health Professions on Sunday, May 19. Recipients who earned their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees were celebrated by university administration, faculty, staff, family and friends.

S. Paul and Marybelle Musco presented three DNP graduates Ifeatu Enemmuo, Theresa Bark and Mick Hilvers with the i3 awards and $1000 gift, joined by Chancellor Gary Brahm.                    

Faculty presented three outstanding DNP graduates with the Musco i3 awards. The categories are based on examples of how graduates and their clinical scholarly projects will lead healthcare change to inquire for the best evidence, create innovative strategy and inspire others to improve themselves based on best patient outcomes. Ifeatu Enemmuo, DNP won the Inquire award for her project "Relieving Depressive Symptoms in Adults Living with Sickle Cell Disease Through Exercise." Theresa Bark, DNP, won the Innovate award for her project "The Effects of Botulinum Toxin Type A on Depression." And Mick Hilvers, DNP, won the Inspire award for "Effects of Care Management Using Telehealth and Health Coaches for Patients with Heart Failure." In addition to the recognition, each also received a $1000 gift from the Muscos.

The ceremony included remarks of student speaker Ali Reza Ahmadazi Taheri, DNP, who escaped to the United States as a seven-year-old orphan from Afghanistan. His desire to help fellow orphans propelled his interest in the medical field, with a goal of joining Doctors Without Borders. Here is a transcript of Taheri's speech:

In the name of God, most gracious, most merciful.

Chancellor Brahm, honorable Dean Hanisch, honorable professors, lovely, respected, supporting families and friends, our BSN grads and my fellow DNP colleges, and you thought this will never end!

There is a saying that was used by Persian Sufi poets of medieval times, later used by President Lincoln, where they say "this too shall pass." The pressure of having two babies, working full time, and going to school made that phrase, "this too shall pass," echo so much during those years, that I still use it when I have a turbulent day - just like this morning before this speech.

Every paper that we had to write, every 110 miles that I had to drive, every week that I had to be away from my wife and kids for clinicals, and every little couch that was too petite for my 6'3" frame with legs hanging that I spend the night on, I said to myself, "this too shall pass."

Ali Ahmadzai DNP hooding speech
I don't mean to give a cliche speech, as we were taught by our professors when writing our APA formatted papers, but my fellow graduates, all of your hard work and being diligent and giving your education a persevering attention has brought all here today to celebrate this extraordinary occasion.


Why do I call it extraordinary? Our dear professors had mentioned over the years on how much of an important task we were accomplishing by being part of the two percent in the nation to receive our doctorate degree! Well today, with the support of our families, friends and love ones, we are here after three years of melancholy and joyfulness, burned houses and new babies, excruciating biostatistics and newlyweds, and through many other struggles and achievements. We are finally here to humbly accept our rightful seat next to our two percent sapiens and share with them our terminal degree. This is why I call it extraordinary!

Be extremely proud of yourselves for achieving your BSN and DNP degrees, and please, applaud yourselves for this great triumph! Applaud our loved ones and friends for their support. Applaud our professors for being our mentors and directing us to the right path.

For the past few years, we all have been part of each other's lives. We have shared our personal, professional and academic lives with each other. As medical providers, let's be part of our community and our patient's lives. Let's bring health and happiness to our patients and their loved ones. Let's support our profession by educating others regarding our profession on what it is, what we do, how we do it and, by God, how well we do it.

I want to finish my speech with a quote by Prophet Muhammad, where he said, "No two things have been combined together better than knowledge and patience." We had the patience for the past few years and now we have the knowledge. Let's disseminate our knowledge to others. Fellow schoolmates and dear classmates, May the Almighty keep you all healthy, safe and happy. Once again, congratulations! Thank you.



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