The 2021 graduating class of Brookdale Community College’s Health Science Institute was recognized for their accomplishments at the Nursing Pinning Ceremony on May 17 and Allied Health Pinning Ceremony on May 18.

The pinning ceremony has a long, rich history, and the practice is now standard in nursing schools across the country. The pin the graduates receive “links you to all of the alumni of this program who have gone forward to be the best nurses in the United States,” said Dr. Jayne Edman, dean of the Health Science Institute at Brookdale. “The symbolism is that we are pinned together, and it is a symbol of honor, courage, and commitment to caring,” she said.

The graduates of the Radiologic Technology program.
The Radiologic Technology graduates received their pins at the May 18 ceremony.

While the graduates are now linked to their colleagues, the experience of the 2021 graduating class was unique. In March 2020, all Brookdale classes and services pivoted to an online environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the change, these graduates were able to succeed and accomplish their goals.

“This has been an unprecedented time to be pursuing education, but even more so, an unprecedented time to be pursuing an education in health science,” said Dr. David Stout, president of Brookdale. “I want to thank you for your commitment to dedicating your lives to making sure that you improve the lives of other people,” he said.

“Completing a nursing program during a pandemic is not for the faint of heart,” Edman said. “You showed adaptability, grace, and determination throughout the program,” she said.

“In the field that you are going into, you get to make a living by doing good for other people,” said Dr. Matthew Reed, vice president of academic affairs at Brookdale. “Many of you have already started doing good and have already served the community during the worst pandemic in 100 years, and I thank you for your service,” he said.

The respiratory care graduates
The graduates of the Respiratory Care program with Carol Schedel, Department Chair, Allied Health and Director, Respiratory Care Program.

This year, Brookdale had 72 nursing graduates, 27 radiologic technology program graduates, and 20 respiratory care program graduates. Mikael Khachatryan and Erika Villani were the recipients of the Outstanding Student Award for the Health Science Institute.

While the pinning ceremonies were able to take place in-person, due to COVID-19 restrictions, graduates were not permitted to bring guests to the ceremony. However, the event was live-streamed so the friends and family members of the graduates could see them receive their pin.

To find out more about Brookdale’s Health Science programs, please visit

Photo Caption: The nursing graduates received their pins at the May 17 ceremony.