Nursing Pinning May 2020

On Saturday, October 10, Concordia University Ann Arbor School of Nursing celebrated the Pinning Ceremony for the Omega Class, the fourth co-hort to graduate from CUAA's school of nursing.

Each semester, Concordia’s nursing faculty and staff nominate students from the graduating cohort who best represent the core values of the nursing program: service, excellence, compassion, and integrity. An additional award, the Nightingale Award, was created as a tribute to Florence Nightingale who embodied nursing as her life’s vocation. The recipient of this award exemplifies that same character and calling.

View all of the Omega class award winners.

Nursing Pinning May 2020Compassion Award: Whitney Rivera (’20)

Presented by Kathleen Sheehan

I had the privilege of coaching and guiding this student through skills 1 and 2.  During our staff discussion about who might be receiving this award this students name came up several times.  Although I never observed her in the clinical setting I had the distinct memory of how she showed compassion to her fellow students.

I believe compassion is multi-faceted and that it is displayed through spirit, mind and body.


2 Corinthians 1:3

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.

We are called to be compassionate as God shows us compassion and comfort.

Mind set:

Compassion is a commitment to relieving or preventing suffering in others. That’s it. It isn’t predicated on familial bonds or longstanding friendships. It doesn’t ask you to burden yourself with other’s emotions, but to act to relieve the pain you see around you.

Physical manifestation:

Compassionate listening means you “listen with your whole body”. You stop what you are doing and send what are termed “approach signals” and position yourself in a way that communicates you are fully present.

As many students are, this student was part of a “Pod” of women that studied together.  The members of this group studied together and pushed one another along through school while working and parenting.

Over the course of her time with us I observed her comfort and care for many of her peers through some very difficult life events.  It was clearly not manufactured or used as a way to be in the “know” or feeling special, because she was privy to the intimate detail of her friends’ lives.  I believe it in her “nature” to show compassion to others.

The May 2020 Compassion Award goes to Whitney Rivera.

Previous Compassion Awardees:

Tommy Thompson (Delta class, Fall 2019)

Sherrie Anderson (Beta class, Spring 2019)

Maria Lulgjuraj (Alpha class, Fall 2018)

Learn more about Concordia’s School of Nursing.

— Rachel Thoms served on Concordia University's Strategic Communications team from 2015-2022. Any inquiries about this story can be sent to

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