Dean Henson pins nursing graduate Bryce Birt.
Nursing graduates honored during Pinning Ceremony May 14 at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee.
Dean Henson pins nursing graduate Sameera Freed.

Dr. Robbie Henson, dean of the College of Nursing, speaks to the graduates during the nursing pinning ceremony May 14.

OBU honored 49 graduating nurses during the College of Nursing’s Pinning and Lamp Lighting Ceremony held Friday, May 14. The ceremony took place in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium on OBU’s campus in Shawnee.
Dr. Robbie Henson, dean of the OBU College of Nursing, introduced the faculty and staff. Joan Klerekoper, assistant professor of nursing, led the invocation.
OBU President Dr. Heath A. Thomas welcomed the graduates and their guests. He encouraged graduates to love their neighbors.
“Continue to love our God and love our neighbor. It’s going to stretch you, it’s going to challenge you, but the closer you stick to our Lord Jesus, the greater your love for your neighbor will be. Don’t give up, don’t give in. Stay close to Christ and pour out the love that He has given you.” (story continues below)

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Dr. Nichole Jackson, simulation director and assistant professor of nursing, delivered the address to graduates focusing on certainty versus uncertainty.
“It seems in times of change, our instinct is to shift our focus from what we know, what we are confident in, to what we don’t know,” she said. “In doing this, all the things we are uncertain of become magnified while all of the things that we know to be true seem to be almost invisible. Whether you’re in a patient’s room trying to figure out what’s wrong, that you can’t quite put your finger on, or you are facing the unknown in life’s current circumstances, we have to intentionally shift our focus back to where it belongs, which is back to things we can be certain of even in times of uncertainty.”
Jackson encouraged the students to make an impact as they enter their nursing careers.
“I don’t know what comes next, or all the details of your lives from this point forward, but I do know that you are the change that I want to see in the world,” she said.
Next, Megan Smith, assistant professor of nursing, discussed the significance of the ceremony, how it is a celebration of the transition from the student role to the professional role.
Graduating nurses then received their pins from Henson, including Aubrie-Annah Lee Arganda, Anaheim Hills, California; Rebecca Ann Beshears, Shawnee, Oklahoma; Bryce Dennis Birt, Lawton, Oklahoma; Kiersten Danae Brakhage, Enid, Oklahoma; Mallory Lavon Branham, Istanbul, Turkey; Cherie Nichole Brewer, Seminole, Oklahoma; Aubrey Nicole Cotham, Norman, Oklahoma; Katelyn Elizabeth Cruz, Rockwall, Texas; Hannah Michelle Daniels, Cedar Hill, Texas; Hannah Melinda Dunlap, Richardson, Texas; Ashley Colleen Ellis, Royse City, Texas; Colin Bryce Feltman, Prague, Oklahoma; Katy Michelle Fischer, Owasso, Oklahoma; Sameera Elizabeth Freed, Forth Worth, Texas; Jessica Christin Fritchie, Prosper, Texas; Julia Renee Gaylor, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Natalie Elyssa Gorzovalitis, Olathe, Kansas; Nancy Brooke Green, Harrah, Oklahoma; Dana Renae Greeson, Newalla, Oklahoma; Gabriela Marie Guzman, Rowlett, Texas; Juliet Onyinyechi Hale, New Castle, Oklahoma; and Halle Katelynn Hill, Mustang, Oklahoma.
Additional graduates receiving their pins included Brittany Leshae Hodges, Vernon, Texas; Travis Keith Holsten, Wilburton, Oklahoma; Rachel Hope Keith, Davenport, Oklahoma; Kera Jenae Kottmeyer, Lincoln, Nebraska; Malia Ashley Leatherland, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Julia Hope Lewis, Arvada, Colorado; Samuel Brett Lewis, Arvada, Colorado; Audrey Elizabeth McCaw, Claremore, Oklahoma; Morgan Roxie McCoy, Little Elm, Texas; Molly Kate Millard, Oklahoma City; April Christine Miller, Pink, Oklahoma; Dustin Allen Miller, Shawnee, Oklahoma; Natalie Kate Narrin, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Hanna Rayann Norfleet, Tupelo, Oklahoma; Kaitlyn Grace Palmer, Bethany, Oklahoma; Laina Kelby Annell Poe, Dripping Springs, Texas; Sierra Nicole Potter, Shawnee, Oklahoma; Charity Jene Rickner, Chandler, Oklahoma; Michael Edward Stewart, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Jacie Lee Thompson, Oklahoma City; Taylor Makenna Thompson, Shawnee, Oklahoma; Elizabeth Leeann Walker, Jones, Oklahoma; Olivia Frances Ward, Monument, Colorado; Carrie Alyssa Wilkins, Frisco, Texas; Abel Omar Wills Jr., Moore, Oklahoma; Cassidy Elisabeth Wright, Lee’s Summit, Missouri; and Roman Bethany Wright, Moore, Oklahoma.
Henson delivered the charge to the graduates and Dr. Jennifer Sharma, assistant professor of nursing, led the benediction.
For more information about the OBU College of Nursing, visit
With its campus located in Shawnee, OBU offers 10 bachelor’s degrees with more than 80 fields of study and five master’s degree programs. The Christian liberal arts university has an overall enrollment of 1,763, with students from 35 states and 34 other countries. OBU has been rated as one of the top 10 regional colleges in the West by U.S. News and World Report for 29 consecutive years and Oklahoma’s highest rated regional college in the U.S. News rankings for 25 consecutive years. OBU is one of three universities in Oklahoma and the only private Oklahoma university listed on Great Value College’s rankings of 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest.
The Wall Street Journal ranks OBU second in the nation for student engagement among all U.S. colleges and universities. consistently ranks OBU as a top university in Oklahoma and the Princeton Review has named OBU one of the best colleges and universities in the western United States for 16 consecutive years.