Published December 17, 2021

Nursing, allied health faculty, students became ‘family’

“Hinds supplied people who acted more like family than teachers, and I could not ask for better.”
By: Cathy Hayden

Dental Assisting graduate Arial Thierry didn’t make new friends at Hinds Community College. She made new family.

Thierry, the speaker for the nursing and allied health graduation ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 15, reminded fellow graduates and their families how intense their program is but also how they learned to rely on each other for strength.

Arial Thierry of Brandon, left, gave the graduation speech on behalf of nursing and allied health students; Nija Spires of Jackson, right, gave the invocation. They are with Hinds President Dr. Stephen Vacik.

“Hinds supplied us with some of the best faculty members who helped us when things were not OK. While growing here, I had a family when I came to school,” she said.

“I had sisters to laugh with, a grandmother that gave great advice, an aunt that would be the life of the party and an uncle I had to bring breakfast for every morning. Hinds supplied people who acted more like family than teachers, and I could not ask for better,” said Thierry of Brandon, who plans to either enroll as a dental hygiene student or become an orthodontist assistant. Outside of Hinds, she is in the Air Force Reserve.

Hinds Community College graduated more than 800 students in one of three graduation ceremonies at the Muse Center on the Rankin Campus. Hinds awarded 1,150 certificates and degrees, with some students receiving more than one credential.

Of those graduating, 148 were cum laude with a grade point average of 3.2 to 3.59; 94 were graduating magna cum laude with a grade point average of 3.6 to 3.99 and 117 were graduating summa cum laude with a grade point average of 4.0.

Giving the invocation for the nursing/allied health ceremony was graduate Nija Spires of Jackson who received an Associate Degree in Nursing. She is a member of Alpha Delta Nu Honor Society, which recognizes the academic excellence of students in the study of Associate Degree Nursing. She already has a position lined up in pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and plans to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at UMMC.

Nija Spires of Jackson, right, gave the invocation on behalf of nursing and allied health students at the Dec. 15 Hinds Community College graduation. Behind her is Hinds President Dr. Stephen Vacik.

Hinds President Dr. Stephen Vacik acknowledged the extra difficulties students had because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Commencement is a proud occasion for the Hinds Community College family. Every graduation ceremony is special to the college, as we celebrate the success of each student. It is important that we truly celebrate what our graduates have achieved – they have overcome a series of unusual circumstances over the last several months,” he said.

CATEGORIES: Graduation