Celebrating our graduating students' success

We’re not on campus to host Honors Day as planned, but CNHS has lots to celebrate. From classroom to clinic, our students excel in remarkable ways - and though the Class of 2020 will face challenges ahead, it’s certain they’ll be met hands-on, with hearts out. Read on to learn more about this year's honored graduates.

Undergraduate Honors


Kylie Curtis '20

Kylie Curtis ’20. I appreciate UVM and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences’ commitment to students' learning and wellbeing.”

Kylie Curtis '20, a medical laboratory science major, earned authorship on two peer-reviewed publications as an undergraduate researcher – one as first-author, a testament to her talent and dedication to extracurricular work. She also co-founded the Biomedical and Health Sciences club, and served as a teaching assistant and peer mentor in the LINKS program for first-year students. Kylie received the Scholastic Achievement in Medical Laboratory Science Award for highest grade point average in the Medical Laboratory Science program.

Brianna Pierce '20

Brianna Pierce ’20. “I love that UVM is a big university with a lot of opportunities to get involved in and tons of connections outside of UVM, but being in CNHS, I have the advantages of being in a small school and having such a close knit community within the college.”

Known for her positivity and professionalism, medical laboratory science major Brianna Pierce ’20 appreciated the opportunities her clinical practicum offered. “Medical laboratory science students are fortunate to have a department coordinate it for us and provide us with so many options for placements,” she says of the experience. Brianna plans to begin her career as a lab technician and patient care assistant before pursuing graduate study to become a physician’s assistant. She received the Scholastic Achievement in Medical Laboratory Science Award for highest grade point average in the Medical Laboratory Science program.

Ciera Medeiros '20

Ciera Medeiros ’20. I appreciate the hardworking and dedicated faculty - the professors, advisors, and hospital employees who took the time to always make UVM a place that felt like home.”

Ciera Medeiros '20, a medical radiation sciences major, received the F.W. Van Buskirk Award for highest grade point average in the Medical Radiation Sciences-Radiation Therapy program, and the Clinical Achievement in Radiation Therapy Award for outstanding professional attitude and cooperation in the patient care setting. During her time at UVM, Ciera volunteered with the Vermont Children's Hospital and Bayada Home Health Care, which provides nursing, rehabilitative, therapeutic, hospice, and assistive services. Ciera is noted for her natural ability to help patients feel at ease. She looks forward to beginning her career as a radiation therapist.

Hannah Sheehy '20

Hannah Sheehy ’20. “One thing that made my CNHS experience unique is my minor in religion, which taught me the importance of religious literacy in all fields, including healthcare. My religion classes challenged my ethnocentric perspectives of health and healing. We often understand Western healthcare ethics to be universal without considering patients’ moral systems and how they are culturally influenced. With knowledge that our healthcare system is entangled with assumptions that still perpetuate healthcare inequalities, I can work to become a more culturally sensitive healthcare professional.”

Hannah Sheehy '20, a communication sciences and disorders major, received the Margaret Kyte Memorial Award for outstanding academic performance. Hannah was involved in the CSD Honors Society, the Speech and Hearing Club, Generation Outreach UVM, and the CNHS Undergraduate Student Leadership Advisory Council. She conducted undergraduate research, served as a teaching assistant in Linguistics and phonetics courses, and completed an honors thesis on Parent-Delivered Narrative Intervention for children with autism. She’s also a yoga teacher, and plans to incorporate mindfulness and yoga into her practice as an SLP. Hannah will pursue a master’s degree at UVM.

Kathryn Fagan '20

Kathryn Fagan ’20. One thing I’ve admired about the CSD program is the emphasis on interprofessional growth and patient-centered care. I have learned so much about social justice and the importance of equitable healthcare that will be beneficial to my clinical practice in the future.

Communication sciences and disorders major Kathryn Fagan '20 received the Vermont Speech-Language-Hearing Association Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award for academic performance and professional promise. Kathryn interned in the Eleanor M. Luse Center, served as a Think College mentor, and facilitated speech science lab activities as an undergraduate. She’ll spend the next year as a traveling chapter development consultant for Tri Delta sorority, a role in which she hopes to support and empower young women. She plans to return to UVM to pursue a master’s degree.

Grace Murphy '20

Grace Murphy ’20. I am so glad that I was able to study abroad in Ghana. The experience would not have been possible without the support from my CNHS advisors and professors, and it was a truly life-changing semester.”

Communication sciences and disorders major Grace Murphy '20 received the Department Award for Excellence for scholarship, leadership, and professional promise. She will pursue her master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders at UVM.

Samantha Raymond '20

Samantha Raymond ’20. I really appreciate the fact that my professors care: they ask about our mental states, they adjust curricula where possible to meet our needs as they change, they are adaptable and they truly want what is best for us and foster us holistically.”

Professional nursing major Samantha Raymond '20 received the Vermont State Nurses' Association Clinical Excellence Undergraduate Award. “What I find unique about CNHS is the continuity between theoretical knowledge and applicable clinical skills, in that our professors are also our clinical instructors,” she says. ”Our professors exhibit up-to-date and evidence-based practice and their thirst for knowledge has really ignited a personal passion of mine for client advocacy.” Samantha will begin her nursing career with the UVM Medical Center.

Kelsey White '20

Kelsey White ’20. I feel very fortunate to have a renowned clinical site so close to campus, and to learn from incredible nurses and clinical instructors.”

Professional nursing major Kelsey White '20 received the Clarissa Peters Allen Nursing Award for her conscientious, motivated character. “I have found the relationship between CNHS and UVM Medical Center to be very strong and beneficial to students and staff. I loved being able to get to know the different units at the medical center and form professional relationships from clinical experiences,” she says. Kelsey will begin her career in the UVM Medical Center’s nurse residency program.

Lorean Galarza '20

Lorean Galarza ’20. What I appreciate most about UVM and CNHS is their commitment to change. There were many things that changed over my four years in the nursing program. Much of that change was student-driven. I think it’s fitting to have the students be at the forefront of the change in any given student-focused program”

Professional nursing major Lorean Galarza '20 received the Faye Crabbe Award for excellent scholarship, nursing ability, and service to the university. She plans to begin working in primary care before pursuing a career as a nurse midwife and herbalist.

Xavier Giddings '20

Xavier Giddings ’20. “I feel immense pride in my future profession and the role I’ll play in helping people on their darkest days.”

Xavier Giddings '20, a professional nursing major, is now a registered nurse in Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center’s Surgical Intensive Care Unit with plans to pursue another degree - on the adult-gerontology nurse practitioner track in UVM’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program. He values the breadth of knowledge he gained in his four years: learning how to see and understand physical problems and developing the “emotional intelligence that nurses are known for.” Xavier received the University of Vermont Medical Center Award for Innovation in Clinical Practice.

Lia Guthrie '20

Lia Guthrie ’20. “One of the best experiences that UVM has afforded me was a semester abroad in Western Australia. It was an incredible experience to get a glimpse of nursing on the other side of the world!

Lia Guthrie '20, a professional nursing major, appreciated the nursing faculty more than ever this semester, after seeing them “far exceed their roles as educators” during trying times. “We are so fortunate to have a group of such wonderful people to look up to both in the profession of nursing and beyond,” she says. Lia received the Visiting Nurse Association Ann K. Twitchell Community Health Services Award for scholarship and excellence in community health service.

Timothy Faulkner '20

Timothy Faulkner ’20. I appreciate the faculty of CNHS. They have made the last four years of getting an education a great experience and it is comforting knowing that I have professors and advisors that truly care for the students they work with.”

Timothy Faulkner '20 received the Athletic Training Leadership Award for excellence in the classroom and leadership in clinical experience assignments, student government, and the community. A respected leader in UVM’s Army ROTC program and mentor to athletic training students, Tim is known for being quick to share a joke or a reassuring smile in times of stress. Faculty note Tim’s confidence, dedication and commitment to service. Following graduation he will attend the United States Army’s Basic Officer Leader Course in Fort Benning, Georgia.

Brian Powell '20

Brian Powell ’20. I felt there was true concern about me as a person, instead of just another student in the crowd.”

Brian Powell '20 received the Rebecca Ryan Future Professional Award for exhibiting the qualities and desire to excel as a certified athletic trainer. His high expectations, caring nature, and constructive communication skills served well in his role as a teaching assistant and mentor; and faculty remark on his unwavering and diligent approach to “everything he attempted” as an undergraduate student. Brian recently took the District 1 trophy for UVM in the 2020 Eastern Athletic Trainers Association’s Quiz Bowl and will represent District at the National Athletic Training Association competition. He plans to work as an athletic trainer in a high school setting or orthopedic clinic before pursuing a career in medicine.

The Rebecca Ryan Future Professional Award honors athletic training student Rebecca Ryan, who tragically passed away while rock climbing in 2017 and is fondly remembered for her love of the outdoors, her enduring desire to seek adventures, and her ability to connect and spread kindness though her gentle, nonjudgmental, and caring spirit.

Megan Macfarlane '20

Megan Macfarlane ’20. These past four years at UVM have been formative to me in so many ways. The close-knit environment of the Exercise and Movement Science program allowed me the opportunity to find my niche, and make an impact in the community with the guidance of my dedicated mentors.

Exercise and movement science major Megan Macfarlane '20 received the Outstanding Student in Exercise Science Award for her passion for learning, academic excellence, and engagement in courses and co-curricular activities. Following graduation, she will begin work as a teacher in a nature-based preschool in Montana, with an eye toward graduate school and researching how exercise aids childhood learning.

Anne DiMaio '20

Anne DiMaio ’20. I gained so many valuable lessons through volunteering.These experiences helped me figure out who I wanted to be as a person and as a healthcare practitioner.

Athletic training major Anne DiMaio '20 volunteered with Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sport and the Burlington Marathon medical team, participated in the Student Athletic Medicine Society, worked at the UVM Medical Center, and even set up a “preceptor pet care” service among her clinical mentors. Known for her “genuine smile and wit” and “internal drive to make the most of her experiences,” Anne received the Athletic Training Professional Growth Award for exceptional growth in the prevention, recognition, treatment, and rehabilitation of athletic injuries, and remarkable potential as a dedicated and responsible future professional. She plans to start her athletic training career in New Orleans.

JB Bickers '20

JB Bickers ’20. Giving real-world application to my studies has given me an undeniable edge in understanding various exercise concepts.”

Exercise and movement science major JB Bickers '20 received the Outstanding Future Professional in Exercise Science honor for acting as a positive role model with the leadership qualities and professional potential to significantly impact the field. As a student, John served as head coach for the Olympic Weightlifting Club and president of the Exercise Science Club while also working as a personal trainer. He plans to pursue a master’s degree in clinical exercise physiology.

Graduate Student Honors

Jeremiah Crawford '20

Jeremiah Crawford ’20. I appreciate all the connections that I was able to create during my time here. They truly helped me overcome many challenging obstacles and I am grateful to have met and built a strong professional relationship with them all.”

Doctor of Physical Therapy major Jeremiah Crawford '20, honored with the Isola Braun Award for demonstrated potential for development of professional competency and leadership, appreciates that UVM attempts to support all of its students. Being the only black person in his cohort presented Jeremiah with several opportunities, he says, including the ability to support undergraduate minority students in similar situations. Jeremiah participated in the Vermont Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) fellowship, which enabled him to share his experience as a minority to inspire change in the greater Vermont community. He plans to pursue his physical therapy career in New York City, to give back to his home community.

Emma Shaberg O'Brian '20

Emma Schaberg O’Brien ’20. I feel grateful to have had a variety of opportunities for community engagement embedded throughout our curriculum, all of which I feel better prepared me to be a compassionate and more culturally competent practitioner.”

Emma Schaberg O’Brien ’20, a Doctor of Physical Therapy major honored with the Dean's Outstanding Graduate Student Award, worked with the VT Northeast Disabled Athletic Association’s adaptive kayaking program, volunteered as a FUNFitness screener with the VT Special Olympics, and presented at the UVMMC Women’s Health and Cancer Conference during her time at UVM. She plans to provide specialized rehabilitation services as a physical therapist to cancer survivors.

Kaleigh Mulpeter '20

Kaleigh Mulpeter ’20. “UVM clearly strives to provide students with enriching experiences outside of the classroom, and encourages students to balance whole-body wellness with academic success.

Doctor of Physical Therapy major Kaleigh Mulpeter '20, who returned for graduate study several years after earning her undergraduate degree at UVM, found the experience “very nostalgic,” she says. “Being familiar with campus and the Burlington area was a nice dose of relief during those first few weeks of my doctoral program when little else was straightforward and comfortable.” Kaleigh received the Margaret B. Corbin Award for high-quality academic and clinical performance. She plans to integrate yoga and mindfulness into a physical therapy practice focused on geriatric care, and offer classes that integrate traditional yogic principles with contemporary movement science.

Kiersten Wulff '20

Kiersten Wulff ’20. “At UVM I felt part of an innovative and compassionate nursing and medical community. Dedication to patient-centered care is the core of nursing, and my colleagues and I are committed to providing the highest quality care in this tradition.”

Doctor of Nursing Practice student Kiersten Wulff ‘20 received the University of Vermont Medical Center Award for Excellence in Clinical Nursing Practice for her project measuring the impact of volunteer birth doulas providing continuous labor support. Feedback from nurses, doulas, and parents was considered to set new goals for future program phases.

Sophia Chamberlain '20

Sophia Chamberlain ’20. I was able to work with a wide range of populations in my clinical experiences, including early intervention, acute care, rehabilitation, transgender voice, preschool through high school in a public school, students with complex communication needs, and English language learning students.”

Sophia Chamberlain '20, Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders, received the Eleanor M. Luse Graduate Student Award for academic achievement, clinical service and professionalism. She has accepted a job as a speech-language pathologist at Barre Town Elementary School, working with preschoolers and students using alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) systems.

Jackie Bray '20

Jackie Bray ’20. "I appreciate the sense of community that was present during my education and the opportunities it afforded me to be part of the larger UVM community and state of Vermont.

Jacqueline (Jackie) Bray ’20, a Doctor of Nursing Practice student, received the American Nurses Association Award for Clinical Excellence. Jackie’s doctoral project introduced a protocol that improved screening of hepatitis C for people in recovery from opioid use disorder. The project facilitated early referral for life-saving treatment and also provided evidence for cost savings. Jackie plans to start her career locally as a family nurse practitioner working with underserved individuals. But first, she'll spend the summer enjoying her new role as mother to a baby boy.

Latin Honors

Summa Cum Laude

  • Alana P. Barretto
  • Maeve Grainne Higgins
  • Sophie Lia John
  • Megan Daniele Macfarlane
  • Hannah Stewart Sheehy

Magna Cum Laude

  • Kylie D. Curtis
  • Nicole A. Murray
  • Brianna L. Pierce
  • Isabella B. Sierra

Cum Laude

  • Jessica L. Audy
  • Clara J. Behrman
  • Joshua Cameron
  • Anna Nicklin Garbolski
  • Hayley R. Hancock
  • Emily A. Hayden
  • Petra Christine Jackson
  • Chani R. Krech
  • Hannah Abigail Lichy
  • Alyssa Jane McGillicuddy
  • Grace E. Murphy
  • Benjamin Joseph Prandini
  • Samantha Ann Raymond
  • Marina Natalie Rubin

Honors College Graduates

  • Clara J. Behrman
  • Deirdre Charles
  • Jessica L. Hartman
  • Maeve Grainne Higgins
  • Sophia Lia John
  • Hannah Steward Sheehy
  • Isabella B. Sierra

UVM Outstanding Student Leader: Class of '67 Award

  • Mwai Nyamũ

Mortar Board Honor Society Members

  • Alana Barretto
  • Brianna Pierce

College Banner Bearer

  • Ciera Medeiros

Photos courtesy of students.


Nursing Health Sciences