NEWS | June 16, 2017

UC Davis nursing school hosts graduation celebration

Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing celebrates 70 graduates


The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis lauded the accomplishments of 61 master’s-degree students and nine doctoral candidates at its sixth graduation celebration.

Alicia-Jay Esposo, Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Master of Science -- Family Nurse Practitioner graduate Alicia-Jay Esposo, Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Master of Science -- Family Nurse Practitioner graduate

“The world in which we live looks different than it did six months ago, a year ago, even four years ago. That breeds uncertainty in our psyches and our health care systems. Today, I encourage you to remember why decided to become a nurse, a physician assistant, a family nurse practitioner, a nurse scientist or leader, said Heather M. Young, founding dean at the school-wide celebration on June 15. “Your vision and values will ground you and inspire you to go on, whatever changes may come.”

Following the School of Nursing event, the Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Degree Programs graduates received their degrees at the formal UC Davis Graduate Studies commencement later that day.

"It is with much gratitude that we, the doctoral Class of 2017, thank the leaders of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing for the training, inspiration and challenges to help each of us to become the change agent that we want to see in our local and global communities," said Jacqueline Clavo-Hall, a doctoral candidate.

“Our experience in the School of Nursing has been one that has shaped our understanding of how we will transform health care for our patients and professional partners, regardless of their title or credentials,” added Krista Greaves, a graduate of the Master of Science — Leadership program. “None of us could have made it through this without the support of our families, friends or generosity of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.” 

School of Nursing assistant adjunct professor Jann Murray-Garcia delivered the keynote address and encouraged graduates to nurture their relationships.

"At great personal and family sacrifice, you took a risk on yourself, on equipping yourself to improve the health of our region and nation. For that, we thank you and have been honored to be part of that process,” Murray-Garcia said. “Please do not forget how important and even indispensable are your relationships, those you have made here and those you will begin sometime after today."

Nursing faculty recognized five students with awards of excellence highlighting the school’s five core attributes:

  • Excellence in Leadership Development: Hayatullah Niazi 
  • Excellence in Interprofessional Education: Jerry Yang
  • Excellence in Transformative Research: Sarah Reed
  • Excellence in Cultural Inclusiveness: John James
  • Excellence in Innovative Technology: Barbara Abeling

For the first time, students and faculty submitted nominations for the Dignity Health Dean’s Leadership Awards, which were made possible by the Dignity Health Dean’s Chair for Nursing Leadership Endowment. The awards honor staff and faculty in three areas: Diversity and Inclusion, Teaching and Research. Those recognized include:

  • Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Maricel Lumaquin
  • Excellence in Teaching: Elizabeth Rice
  • Excellence in Research: Elena O. Siegel

The Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Graduate Degree Programs, which includes master’s degrees in leadership, nurse practitioner, physician assistant studies and entry-level nursing, as well as a doctoral program, are led by an interprofessional team of more than 55 faculty from across UC Davis. Click here to view a video from the event. Click here to view a program from the celebration. Learn more at