UM-Flint Names Student Speaker for December Commencement

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Student speaker for UM-Flint's 2016 December Commencement, Nickie Hewitt.
Student speaker for UM-Flint's 2016 December Commencement, Nickie Hewitt.

Nickie Hewitt grew up with dreams of becoming a nurse. Her mother graduated from UM-Flint and became a nurse, and is now a nurse anesthetist. Hewitt and her twin sister Bryanna Williams started at the university together, and followed the same arc to graduation, earning Bachelor of Science degrees in Nursing.

Hewitt entered the university with the intellect and determination to become a nurse. During her UM-Flint career, she learned and embraced the full scope of what it means to become a nurse.

"Although I have always wanted to be a nurse, I never realized how much I would enjoy teaching. I now realize that educating others is just as important for my education and experience and future as the knowledge I obtained," Hewitt said.

She is a recipient of the Maize and Blue Distinguished Scholar Award, the highest academic award bestowed upon UM-Flint graduates. She was recently chosen as the student speaker for the 2016 December commencement ceremony on December 18.

Hewitt earned hundreds of hours of clinical experience during her college career, and recently finished a year-and-a-half long nursing internship within the cardiac medical-surgical unit at McLaren Oakland.

During her years at UM-Flint, she tutored her peers in several subjects, including pathophysiology, medical-surgical nursing I and II, and pediatric nursing. She served as president of the Student Nurses' Association, and participated in numerous community projects, including at lead clinics, Super Science Friday, and led a project to collect donations and goods for boxes to ship oversees to soldiers in active war zones.

Hewitt applauds her teachers, sister, and many others for helping her reach new heights as a person and professional. She wants to work as a critical care nurse, and one day teach.

"I found a home here. I found people that inspired me here. I found people that pushed me here. I found so much here. The University of Michigan-Flint has become a family to me," Hewitt said.

Margie Murray-Wright, the Associate Director for Undergraduate Nursing, and a clinical assistant professor in nursing at UM-Flint said Hewitt "consistently demonstrates exceptional acumen and critical thinking" and has a bright future ahead as a nurse.

"She is that game changer that will look above and beyond. The nurse that closes the gap between marginal patient care and great patient care," Murray-Wright said in her Maize and Blue Distinguished Scholar Award nomination letter.  "Nurses do more than care, they save lives. Nickie will perform those skills adeptly as she combines critical thinking, patient assessment, and nursing interventions in an expert manner."

Robert is a staff writer in University Communications & Marketing. Contact him with comments, questions, and story ideas.