Sixty SCF Nursing Graduates Begin Spring 2019 Commencement with Pinning Ceremony

(Bradenton, Fla., May 3, 2019) State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) nursing graduates were awarded more than $20,000 in scholarships to continue their studies to achieve their Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) during SCF’s nurses pinning ceremony Friday, May 3, at SCF’s Neel Performing Arts Center.

Sixty graduating nurses received their nursing pins during the ceremony. Along with fellow nurses on stage and in the audience, the graduates recited the International Pledge for Nurses. The pinning ceremony included a welcome from Dr. Colleen Burgess, SCF’s director of nursing. Four of the region’s hospitals each awarded $5,000 to the top nursing graduates. Blake Medical Center, Manatee Memorial Hospital, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System and Hospital Volunteers of Venice on behalf of Venice Regional Bayfront Health all set up scholarships through the State College of Florida Foundation (SCFF) to encourage nurses to continue their studies and to continue working in the region.

Two memorial scholarships also were awarded. Colin Lane awarded the Dustin Lane Memorial Scholarship to Andrew Arbanas.

Andrew Arbanas also won the Pat Kuebler Award, a scholarship in memory of Kuebler, who worked as an assistant administrator in charge of nursing for Sarasota Memorial Hospital before she came to teach at Manatee Junior College, now SCF. While teaching for four years she had a profound effect on her students. She died in 1981 from cancer. In 1985, the nursing department of Manatee Memorial Hospital, made up of many of her former students, established the scholarship in her name for students who exemplify her character, compassion and dedication to nursing. Cassandra Holmes, executive director of the State College of Florida Foundation, presented the award to Cavazos.

Presenting the Excellence in Nursing Scholarship awards from the four hospitals included Dick Fenstermaker, Hospital Volunteers of Venice; Vernon DeSear, Manatee Healthcare System; Yuri Mykoo, Blake Medical Center; and Janet Steves, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System. Sandra Letourneau, hospital clinical educator, Manatee Memorial Hospital served as the speaker for the ceremony.

The four winners were:

  • Alexandra McNesky, Manatee Memorial Hospital
  • Damin Cartwright, Blake Medical Center
  • Joshua Pelletier, Sarasota Memorial Hospital
  • Lori Clark, Hospital Volunteers of Venice

For information about SCF’s nursing program, visit For more information on creating a memorial scholarship, contact Allison Nash, scholarship manager, at or 941-752-5653.

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