DSCC Holds Nursing Pinning Ceremony

Honors 65th and 66th nursing classes during the College's 50th anniversary year

On May 4, Dyersburg State Community College (DSCC) honored its 65th and 66th nursing classes with a ceremony for 24 graduates in the Advanced Standing LPN to RN Fast Track program and 29 graduates in the traditional nursing program. The ceremony took place inside the E.H. Lannom, Jr. Gymnasium on the Dyersburg campus. A total of 1,748 nursing students have graduated from DSCC over the past 38 years.

The ceremony began with nursing graduate Tracey Oniovos of Memphis leading the invocation. Amy Johnson, dean of nursing, opened the ceremony with an introduction of nursing staff and faculty. Dr. Karen Bowyer, president of DSCC, acknowledged the graduates and congratulated them on their accomplishments. She recognized Sara Rose of Dyersburg, a student that took dual enrollment classes at DSCC and was able to graduate as an RN within two years of graduating from Dyersburg High School. Regent Barbara Prescott addressed the graduates on behalf of the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR). “Class of 2019, you are a part of history because this is the 50th anniversary year of Dyersburg State Community College,” stated Prescott. “For 50 years, this college has been a vital part of the success of West Tennesseans and the communities that it serves. You can be proud to be alumni of Dyersburg State.”

The ceremony proceeded with the recognition of 32 first-year nursing students and officers for each class. Traditional nursing class officers included Michael Gearin of Union City, president, Brandi Roberts of Mansfield, vice president, Jason Turner of Martin, secretary, Brittany Price and Sarah Rose both of Dyersburg, historians, and Taylor Hollingsworth of Dyersburg, treasurer. LPN to RN nursing program class officers included Rebecca Thornsberry of Jackson, president, Brian Mainers of Jackson, vice president, Kinsey Nelson of Blytheville, Arkansas, secretary, and Jennifer Griffin of Oakfield and Ashley Young of Atoka, historians.

Michael Gearin, traditional nursing class president, addressed his classmates. “We all come from different backgrounds and we all have different beliefs and views of the world,” stated Gearin. “Somehow despite those differences, we managed to come together as a community with a sense of comradery. We have supported each other when things were hard. We’ve celebrated our victories and shouldered the burden when the road got a little too long.” 

Rebecca Thornsberry, LPN to RN nursing class president, also addressed the graduates and thanked those who supported them throughout their journey. “It has been said a river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence,” stated Thornsberry. “While it took strength and courage for us to complete this program, it is our persistence that ensured our success. Today, May 4, 2019, our determination to get through the late nights and early mornings, has finally paid off.”

Dr. Bowyer presented the Friend of Nursing Awards, chosen by each of the nursing classes, to Brenda Springfield, custodian.

The Scholastic Award, presented to the student with the highest grade-point average (GPA), was presented to traditional nursing graduate Taylor Hollingsworth, who graduated with a 3.70 GPA, and to LPN to RN graduates Brian Mainers, who graduated with a 3.54 GPA and Ashley Brown of Union City, who graduated with a 3.58 GPA.

The Peggy Pendergrast Faculty Award was awarded to LPN to RN graduate Jennifer Griffin. This special award, given in honor of Peggy Pendergrast, the founding director of the DSCC nursing program, is presented to a student demonstrating the qualities that are essential for effective nursing practice.

The Clinical Practice Award, selected by members of the nursing faculty, was presented to traditional nursing graduate Jason Turner of Martin and to LPN to RN graduate Racheal Lumley of Ripley. This award is given to nursing graduates who demonstrate qualities such as the practice of nursing as a humanistic art and science, the recognition of each person as a unique individual and acceptance of legal and ethical professional accountability.

Traditional nursing graduate Casey Callins of Kenton presented the Friendship Award, chosen by class members, to fellow classmate Austin Dew of Hornbeak. LPN to RN graduate Roxanne Dowell of Covington presented the Friendship Award to classmate Michelle Blair of Dyersburg. 

Amy Johnson, DSCC dean of nursing, presented class pins to the graduates. Following tradition, each nursing graduate received a ceramic replica of the lamp carried by Florence Nightingale, a pioneer in the nursing profession. Nursing graduates lit the lamps and recited the Nightingale Pledge.


The 24 graduates of DSCC’s May 2019 Advanced Standing LPN to RN fast track class included:

  • Atoka – Ashley Young
  • Atwood – Tosha Coleman
  • Blytheville, AR – Kinsey Nelson
  • Brighton – LaToya Hall
  • Brownsville – Candace Hines
  • Covington – Janet Black, Roxanne Dowell, April Sangster
  • Dyersburg – Michelle Blair
  • Gleason – Tyler Martin
  • Gosnell, AR – Danielle Spears
  • Halls – Amber Moody
  • Jackson – Audrey Akin, Titus Maclin, Brian Mainers, Rand Martindale, Rebecca Thornsberry
  • Kennett, MO – Kayelyn Gillette
  • Lexington – Daemon Key
  • Oakfield – Jennifer Griffin
  • Portageville, MO – Valerie Kellams
  • Ripley – Racheal Lumley
  • Union City – Ashley Brown, Yolonda Dysart


The 29 graduates of DSCC’s May 2019 traditional nursing class included:

  • Alamo – Taylor Bolton
  • Burlison – Lora Flanagan
  • Dyersburg – Sabrina Anglin, Darian Berkley, Olivia Crane, Arvetta Duncan, Taylor Hollingsworth, Brittany Price, Sarah Rose
  • Halls – Allyson Crum, Leah Mayfield
  • Hornbeak – Austin Dew
  • Kenton – Casey Callins
  • Mansfield – Brandi Roberts
  • Martin – Jason Turner, Taylor Yott
  • Memphis – Jennifer Maclin-Tyler, Tracey Oniovos, Jamie Tyson
  • Newbern – Alesha Bibb, Kylee Holland
  • Ridgely – Holly Jowers, Kaitlyn Quick
  • Ripley – Rachel Heflin, Taylor Rice
  • Rives – Ashley Woodcock
  • Trimble – Hope Funderburk
  • Union City – Michael Gearin, Autumn Oseman