MATTOON -- Members of the first graduating class of the Lake Land College licensed practical nurse to associate degree nursing cohort program received their pins during a ceremony on Dec. 11. The pinning ceremony was also a celebration of the first graduating class from this new program.

Andrea Davis, Strasburg, received the Marilyn Fuqua Thompson Nursing Award, which is given each year to a graduating student who is considered to be the all-around best student in the class and is voted on by faculty. The student must be professionally superior and morally responsible, be capable of making wise decisions, be compassionate and caring, be dedicated and possess common sense and a strong scientific knowledge base, demonstrate superior technical skills, possess superior communication skills and composure, often in crises situations. Davis’s name will be engraved on a plaque that is located in the nursing skills lab in Neal Hall.

Debi King, Charleston, received the Associate Degree Nursing Peer Award. King was chosen because of her clinical and scholastic performance, willingness to help other students, professionalism, maturity and spirit. The award is characterized by a true team player, who also is considered a leader. The recipient of this award was selected by fellow nursing students.

During the ceremony, the following graduates were honored:

Paula Blaine, Cowden; Brittany Cain, Charleston; Amy Cripe, Windsor; Andrea Davis, Strasburg; Kristina Davis, Sullivan; Lindsey Dionne, Pana; Gretchen Hille, Effingham; Nicole Houseman, Pana; Cayla-Ann Hurt, Casey; Debi King, Charleston; Brennyn Kirk, Mattoon; Courtney Kuhlman, Shelbyville; Nicole Pals, Teutopolis; Lindsey Rahn, Shelbyville; Rebecca Reinstorf, Pana; Maria Strohl, Neoga; Rebecca Switzer, Brocton; Kelly Wheeler, Windsor; Taylor Wilcox, Shelbyville; Molly Williams, Shelbyville

The licensed practical nursing to associate degree nursing major cohort is a one calendar-year program offering career advancement training to nursing professionals. Offered exclusively at the Kluthe Center for Higher Education and Technology in Effingham, it is a special admission program requiring applicants to meet specific criteria.

The next group of students will begin in the spring 2018 semester.

For more information on this program contact Cheryl Beam, director of nursing programs, at 217-234-5452 or


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