“You have demonstrated the persistence and dedication to succeed," said Dr. Donna Stankiewicz, dean of the Nurse Education & Sciences programs, to the graduating class.
July 14, 2022

Medical Assistant and Dialysis Technician Graduates Honored in Pinning Ceremony

In a festive setting with balloons, a celebration cake, and ceremonial regalia, family, friends, and faculty gathered at the Passaic Academic Center on July 6 for a traditional pinning ceremony to honor the 2022 graduates of PCCC’s Medical Assistant and Dialysis Technician programs.

“You have all done exceedingly well,” said Rosemarie Rocchio, director of the Health Care Certificates Program, as she congratulated the graduates in her introductory remarks.

“We know how hard you all worked,” Ms. Rocchio continued. “Health Care curriculums are not like other curriculums. It’s not just about job skills, but also about soft skills, like how to make patients feel listened to and cared about.”

Dr. Donna Stankiewicz, the dean of the Nurse Education & Sciences programs commended the graduates for their diligence. “You have demonstrated the persistence and dedication to succeed,” said Dean Stankiewicz, who urged the new medical assistants to care for their future patients “as if you were caring for one of your loved ones.”

The graduating class consisted of nine who received a Medical Assistant certificate and two who earned a Dialysis Technician certificate.  The dialysis technicians, Vanessa Cruz and Sashaneek Elson, were not present at the ceremony, but their absence was also cause for celebration and a mark of success for the PCCC program.

“Vanessa and Sashaneek were already hired and couldn’t come because they are working,” Ms. Rocchio announced. Both landed jobs with a leading kidney care company before they even graduated. Their skills and professionalism were recognized while the student completed the clinical requirement of their certificate program at the company. “We are very proud of them and of the feedback we receive from employers about our students,” Ms. Rocchio added. (Read more about Vanessa and Sashaneek)

The pinning ceremony began with a traditional candlelighting ritual. Each graduate came forward to light one of the white candles clustered on a ceremonial table. With all the candles glowing, Gabriella Novak led her fellow graduates in a reading of the Medical Assistants Creed and the Dialysis Tech Creed.

Following the reading, the graduates were called forward one-by-one to receive the gold pin signifying their profession, as well as their medical assistant certificate and a red rose.  The recipients are: Kristine Carrillo, Alejandra Castaneda, Islam Jamhour, Batool Khairullah, Erika Martinez, Gabriella Novak, Fahima Rima, Mayaris Santos, and Charmi Tailor Panchal. 

In addition to receiving the Medical Assistant or Dialysis Technician certificate, Alejandra Castaneda and Vanesssa Cruz also achieved a Phlebotomy certificate while Kristine Carrillo and Batool Khairullah earned additional certificates in both Phlebotomy and EKG Technician.

In a special awards presentation, Alejandra Castaneda received the Academic Achievement Award for having the highest GPA in the MA graduating class. Kristine Carrillo received The Rising Star Award, given to the student who displays the aspiration to render greater service (leadership),  dedication to the care and well -being of people (compassion), and commitment to the ethics of the medical assistant profession (professional integrity).

The program closed with a touching and sometimes humorous video presentation titled “A Look Back.” Created by faculty member Dr. Paola Pawlak, the video captured the graduates during their student days, studying in the lab, attending class, practicing their emergency response skills on one another, and socializing. 

“As stressful as you sometimes found the program, you now also see the fun you had together,” noted Ms. Rocchio in her closing remarks. She added, “We will be sad not to see you around anymore, but now you know that our goal was to make you the best version of a medical assistant that you can be.  We wish you the very best of luck.”

For information about Health Care Certificate Programs at PCCC, call 973-341-1632