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Bethel holds traditional nurses’ lamplighting for juniors

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College’s nursing class of 2011 held the traditional lamplighting for juniors Sunday, Feb. 14, in Krehbiel Auditorium.

Nine of the 10 members of the junior class participated in the service, which also featured music from several other Bethel students.

Following prelude and processional music by Jordan Ortman, freshman from Marion, S.D., junior student Cassandra Miller gave the welcome, followed by an invocation offered by Joanne Kaster, Bethel assistant professor of nursing and mother of junior student Allison Kaster.

Phyllis Miller, interim director of Bethel’s nursing program, spoke briefly on the meaning of lamplighting. This Bethel tradition honors upper-class nursing students for their commitment to the profession.

Lamps are lit and then presented to each student to keep. They symbolize the work of British nurse Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), the founder of modern nursing, who served soldiers in the Crimean War. She was called “the nurse with the lamp” because of the shadow she cast on the wall as she made her night rounds.

Bradley McKellip, senior from Newton, and Kelly Reed, junior from Edinburg, Texas, performed special music, “The Climb.”

Junior student Anna Quiring introduced the speaker, Diana Schunn, R.N., B.S.N., SANE-A, SANE-P, who spoke on “Nursing: The Choice Career.” Schunn, a 1987 Bethel nursing graduate from Whitewater, developed the SANE/SART (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner/Sexual Assault Response Team) at Via Christi Regional Medical Center-St. Joseph Campus in Wichita. She was the first nurse in Kansas to specialize in taking evidence of sexual assault and has also been trained as a forensic nurse examiner, called on to investigate deaths (usually murders) related to sexual assault.

Following Schunn’s address, junior student Gabriela Pineda Escalante led the recitation of the “I Believe” pledge. Miller and Geri Tyrell, instructor of nursing, presented the students with their lamps.

Junior student Prajwala Uprety gave the closing and McKellip and Reed performed a recessional to conclude the service.

Members of the Bethel College nursing class of 2011 honored at the lamplighting were: Andrea Baldwin, Lawrence; Adrian Johnson, North Newton; Rebecca Jones, Newton; Allison Kaster, Wichita; Cassie Miller, Vancouver, Wash.; Gabriela Pineda, San Jose, Calif.; Anna Quiring, Newton; Amita Shrestha, Wichita, and Prajwala Uprety, Wichita. Junior Shawna Cummings, Wichita, was unable to attend.

Bethel nursing faculty, in addition to Miller, Kaster and Tyrell, are Nancy Lugo-Baez, instructor of nursing; Sarah Masem, instructor of nursing; Tressie Maugans, adjunct assistant professor of nursing; and Marcy Thiesen, instructor of nursing.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2009 and one of only two Kansas colleges listed in Colleges of Distinction 2008-09. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at

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