Nursing Pins Bestowed to 85 SCF Nursing Graduates

Bradenton, Fla. May. 9, 2022

(Bradenton, Fla., May 9, 2022) — State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) awarded 85 nursing students their nursing pins May 6 at SCF’s Neel Performing Arts Center. The pinning ceremony included welcome remarks Dr. Todd G. Fritch, executive vice president and provost, and Dr. Tammy Sawmelle, SCF’s assistant dean of nursing. Robert Nothdurft, a charge nurse at Manatee Memorial Hospital who received his nursing pin in 2019 and completed a Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) in 2021, both at SCF, was the community guest speaker.  

Graduate Zachary Saba was selected by his peers as the student speaker. Faculty participants included Tracy Abrahamson, Kim Hagans, Michele Tomaino and Bethany Tucker. Abrahamson, Hagans and Tomaino served as faculty readers to announce each graduate. Tucker spoke on the tradition of pinning ceremonies, from its roots in the 12th century crusades to the introduction of the modern tradition by Florence Nightingale in the 19th century.

Jake Diliberto received the Pat Kuebler Award for exhibiting potential for excellence in planning and implementing patient care, qualities Kuebler exemplified. Pat Kuebler was an assistant administrator in charge of nursing for Sarasota Memorial Hospital before joining SCF, then Manatee Junior College, as an instructor. While teaching for four years, she had a profound effect on her students before passing away from cancer in 1981. 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 display her character, compassion and dedication to nursing.

Dr. Mary Lou Proch received the Future of Caring Award. The award was created last year to honor an SCF nursing faculty or staff member who has impacted the future of patient care with their exemplary dedication to SCF nursing students.

The nurses that received their pins during the ceremony completed Associate in Science in nursing degrees (ASN) and are now eligible to become certified as a registered nurse (RN). SCF also offers a BSN degree, giving working RNs the opportunity to earn a four-year degree to enhance their knowledge and skills. SCF proudly graduated 41 BSN nurses this spring.

Additional scholarship awards were presented to current SCF ASN students who are continuing their studies toward earning their nursing pin in 2022-23:

  • The Hospital Volunteers of Venice Excellence in Nursing Scholarship: Lauren Reschenthaler
  • The Blake Medical Center Excellence in Nursing Scholarship: Crystal Edmondson
  • The Manatee Memorial Hospital Excellence in Nursing Scholarship: Simone Anderson
  • The Sarasota Memorial Health Care System Excellence in Nursing Scholarship: Cristina Marquez
  • The Dustin Lane Memorial Scholarship: Valeria Garcia

For information about SCF’s nursing program, visit For more information on creating a memorial scholarship, contact Cassandra Holmes at


Photo caption: Nursing graduate Leila Bruno receives her pin from faculty member Dr. Michael Coppala.

Photo Credit: State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota

Jake D

Photo caption: Nursing graduate Jake Diliberto receives the Pat Kuebler Award from faculty member Patti Jeka.

Photo Credit: State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota

Proch Hug

Photo caption: Dr. Mary Lou Proch, associate professor of nursing, hugs Dr. Tammy Sawmelle, assistant dean for nursing (right), during the announcement of the Future of Caring Award.  

Photo Credit: State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota