The College of Staten Island (CSI) honored its January 2009 Associate of Applied Science Nursing graduates last week in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, as a diverse group of 32 graduate nurses received their CSI Nursing Pins and took the International Council of Nurses Pledge during the traditional Nightingale lamp ceremony.

The student speaker was Alla Tourakhodjaeva, chosen for academic excellence. Tourakhodjaeva is a Russian immigrant who overcame her language barrier to complete nursing school with academic honors.

Jennifer Deddo, the student chairperson and master of ceremonies for this event, is a 44-year-old wife and mother of three who was inspired to fulfill her dream after the death of her sister.