VCARE Nursing Student Selected as Most Honor-A-Bull
A College of Nursing student praised for her high academic achievements, community involvement and military service was recognized with an Honor-A-Bull award in the Health Sciences this week as part of a Veterans Day celebration.
VCARE student Jessica Panasewicz received the honor on Wednesday. The University-wide awards are given to high-performing student veterans at USF each year through the Office of Veteran Success. This was the second year for the awards.
The Honor-A-Bull certificates showcase outstanding student veterans in different academic disciplines, as well as acknowledging stand-out alumni and community partners.
Program Director Dr. Alicia Rossiter, DNP, ARNP, PCPNP-BC, FNP, FAANP, who oversees the college’s Veteran to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (VCARE), described Panasewicz as the ideal candidate to receive the award.
“Jessica has set herself apart from her peers through her community engagements in the university setting and beyond,” wrote Dr. Rossiter in her nomination letter.
Dr. Rossiter praised Panasewicz’s excellent academics in a highly competitive and rigorous program while finding time to balance her work-study commitments working with veterans and also continuing her service in the Florida National Guard, to which she was mobilized this semester during Hurricanes Matthew and Irma.
“Her dedication, integrity, and leadership skills gained through the military have provided Jessica with a strong foundation of excellence in all she does and a commitment to improving the lives of others,” said Dr. Rossiter.
The nomination letter also cited Panasewicz’s overall 3.84 GPA and her selection into the James A. Haley VA’s VALOR program – a program that gives outstanding nursing students the chance to develop competencies in clinical nursing at a VA-approved healthcare facility.
Panasewicz said she was humbled to learn that she won the award and to hear of Dr. Rossiter’s kind words.
“I was little shocked, to be honest,” she said. “I don’t necessarily see those things (in myself). I guess I’m modest. So I was shocked. I was really honored. I was proud.”
Panasewicz is part of a 22-member cohort in the VCARE program set to graduate next month.
Story by Elizabeth L. Brown, USF College of Nursing